by Sherman Morrison
Originally published: September 29, 2017
How eLearning retains millennials is a topic that requires two main components. The first is understanding millennials as a generation. The second component then builds on that understanding to examine how eLearning can be shaped in a way that will help engage and retain millennials in the workplace. Part 1 of this two-part series focuses on the first component: Understanding millennials in a deeper, more thorough way that goes beyond the glib generalizations too often seen in the media and elsewhere.
Setting the Stage for Understanding Millennials
Millennials have become one of the hottest topics not only in eLearning but across all aspects of the corporate and social landscapes, and with good reason. After all, it was in 2016 when the Pew Research Center reported that Millennials had outstripped Baby Boomers to become the largest living generation (source). In addition to that, they are considered the first generation to be largely made up of “digital natives” for whom the Internet and mobile devices are second nature. How to define this generation, however, has not been an easy task. Most now agree that Millennials are those who were born after 1980 and on into the early 2000s. Even what to call this generation wasn’t clear at first. Because they followed on the heels of Generation X (roughly covering those born in the 1960s up through the early 1980s), there were those who first called them Generation Y. But authors William Strauss and Neil Howe had been using the title of Millennials back in the 1980s, and it eventually became the preferred name.