How do generations learn differently? – Millennials

How do generations learn differently? – Millennials - Blog Post

Millennials also known as Gen Y, are those born between 1977 and 1995. This generation is open to training and development. They expect to be presented with opportunities in the workplace. Millennials tend to challenge authority and seek flexibility when it comes to rules and regulations.

The millennial generation expects to be presented with opportunities. Both Gen X and millennials grew up with computers but the main difference between Gen X and millennials is that millennials grew up in the dawn of social media.

Research has shown that millennials prefer a range of learning strategies. Millennials have a short attention span and prefer audio and visual platforms. This is something that trainers should note when creating a training programme for millennials.

Unlike Gen X, millennials prefer an application-based

Case Study. They will take on board a theory and see how it is applied rather than relating it to a real-life scenario. Millennials tend to learn by carrying out a hands-on task and finding knowledge through that process.

Millennials do not respond well to authority and always seek to justify a decision or an approach. A trainer should remember to provide the rationale and reasoning behind regulations to help millennials to justify the rules and procedures that they are being asked to follow.

As the older members of the Generation X category are progressing towards the end of their careers, it is important that training managers remember that they need to adapt training and development plans to reflect the influx of millennials entering their workforce. 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials by the year 2025.


Millennials respond well to training in a relaxed atmosphere. They will value flexibility and engage more with training when they can decide when they can complete training within their schedule.

Millennials are motivated by things outside training like prizes, money and praise. Gamification elements can be an element that can be incorporated into a learning management system that can result in performance prizes and remuneration.

In the next blog, we will look at Generation Z and see how they learn and if there are any major differences between millennials and Gen Z.

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