Mixing millennials and boomers: 5 tips for effective ERP training

Your workforce is currently made up of two polar opposite groups of people – Boomers and Millennials. Baby Boomers are associated with virtues such as loyalty, dedication and perseverance and Millennials are associated with being technologically savvy and independent.

Both generations have great virtues but these virtues translate into big differences in workplace skill sets.

Considering how different your workforce has become, how are you supposed to devise a one-size-fits-all training program to get your entire workforce up and running on your ERP? Successful ERP training must accommodate the characteristics and preferences of their users.

Here are 5 tips to accomplish this:

1. Baby Boomers as the “corporate memory”

Boomers serve as the “corporate memory” of organisations and are typically the disseminators of knowledge. Boomers can play a part in training new employees by sharing their company-specific knowledge and passing down organisational values.

2. Clearly communicate training benefits

Millennials want to know the “end result” of an activity before fully committing to it. Thus, it is important to give them a “run through” of the training program before it commences and let them know how the new acquired skill-set will have a lasting impact on their work.

Training should guide them through software simulation practices and show them the big picture of how an ERP improves the company’s bottom-line, their careers, and compensation opportunities.

3. Incorporate multimedia content

Tying Millennials to a chair for 8-10 hours a day while trying to teach them a massive amount of information is not the right way to structure a training program. Trainees must be given the option of accessing training materials in small, bite-sized segments and in a variety of formats.

A mix of self-help documentations, 30-minute online webinars by remote experts, and even knowledge apps and YouTube videos can boost interest and increase productivity.

4. Personalised, targeted information

Millennials generally have no patience with cookie-cutter solutions. Thus, it is better to assign a training moderator to small groups of Millennial employees, segmented according to department and position, so that training is relevant and targeted.

5. Using social forums to facilitate interaction

Millennial employees are extremely interactive and responsive and, as such, prefer training in social settings. They should also be given a platform where they can give and receive feedback from the training moderator and share concerns and questions with colleagues. Digital forums like private Facebook groups or space on your internal CRM can solve this need.

For Millennials, it is not enough to simply present the new information. Millennials digest new information through multimedia training, and continuous back-and-forth interaction with the training moderator and amongst themselves.

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