What is Millennialish? Well, let’s be honest: we made that one up. But when we say “Millennialish,”, we mean more than just the language of Millennials. It’s a worldview — a mindset — of an entirely new generation that is now entering the workforce.

millennialsLet’s face it: those of us who have been in the workforce for a while may have noticed that there are some new kids on the block. Those of us who have been paying closer attention may notice that they’re… rather different. And it’s not just the violently purple, green, cobalt or red hair. They dress differently, they communicate differently, they think differently. They use English words, yet it sometimes seems like they’re speaking another language. They “BTW,” “IDK” and “LOL” their way through the day, connecting through phones and devices more than they seem to connect in person. Apparently it is even possible for these folks to “ROTFL.” These are the young people of the Millennial generation. And they’ve been creating quite a stir in the professional journals since they started entering the workforce. In case you need it, a dictionary of text messaging abbreviations is available here.

Meet the Millennials: the next generation of young folks who are the new-hires of the present and the future. This series, “Do You Speak Millennialish…” looks at the training issues that arise when 2 distinct mindsets coexist in the same workspace. We’ll look at some of the potential barriers to realizing training objectives and goals that can come between people from either side of a generational divide. And we’ll discuss the impact of recognizing, and creating space for the new worldview that Millennials represent.

Here’s an interesting point: the need to classify Millennials as Millennials is a terribly un-Millenniallish thing to do. Categorizing and classifying societal groups of people in a population is a practice common to previous generations. Millennials themselves tend to be far more cosmopolitan, accepting and community-oriented. This is a generation that grew up surrounded by the world-wide web: the world is literally at their fingertips. Their upbringing included internet access to an entire planet’s cultures, religions, ideologies. Most Millennials in the workforce are profoundly unconcerned with age, sex and gender, dress codes, ethnicity and religion, and other distinctions which helped define the world for us more senior types. Being accepting is a common value for Millennials. Community, innovation and creative ways of looking at issues is a practice far more common than with previous generations. And this allows for a level of individuality and personal self-expression previously reserved for the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Cher, and Prince.

Those of us who are Gen-X and older may still think of cellphones and tablets as “gadgets” and “toys.” And we have varying degrees of a love-hate relationship with our devices. Millennials, grew up with internet technology the way the rest of us grew up with light switches. It’s part of the background of life. Whether it pertains to work, play, leisure or personal interest, almost any piece of information can be obtained from the internet, instantly accessible by one device or another. Most Millennials cannot conceive of a time when people didn’t communicate globally, and instantly.

This all has a profound impact on learning in general and eLearning in particular. In this series, we’ll check out how “traditional” training methods impact this new generation of employee. And we’ll explore the vital role of technology in training, both for Millennials, and for the workforce at large. We’ll look at matching the content and delivery methods of eLearning to the attitudes and mindsets of the Millennial employee. And we’ll also take a look at the “why” of developing innovative ways to train all employees.

In the next blog post, we’ll talk about how our time-honored, traditional training methods affect the Millennials in our workforce, and the impact that effect has on our organizations. We’ll also look at creating eLearning systems that speak to, and incorporate, Millennials’ core values. We’re looking forward to discussing training and eLearning for Millennial with you.

To learn more about eLearning check out The road to eLearning Hell is Paved with Good Intentions… and Lousy Delivery and Audience Based eLearning: eLearning has Redefined the Learner, but the Learner has to Define eLearning