Do you want to add more experienced and mature staff members to your team? In this article, I’ll highlight 8 tips to create effective onboarding online training for your Baby Boomer employees.
How To Create Onboarding Online Training For Baby Boomers
We call Baby Boomers everyone born roughly between 1946 and 1964. These people are often described as team-oriented, competitive, and goal-centered.
Though they may not have been brought up during the digital era, many are now familiar with tech-centered training. So, it makes sense to provide them with engaging, entertaining, and interactive online training resources, just as you would with your Millennial team members.
But how do you grab their attention and give them what they need to succeed from day one? Here are 8 top tips to develop memorable onboarding online training for Baby Boomers.
1. Integrate Structured Training Paths With Some Degree of Flexibility
Baby Boomers prefer structured training that lays out the path to professional growth.
For example, progress bars or eLearning course maps that highlight the online training activities, modules, and assessments they must complete.
However, they also enjoy some flexibility that allows them to fit training into their busy schedule. Point them in the right direction and define the onboarding training milestones they must complete. But also give mature new hires room to grow on their own by picking and choosing relevant online training resources.
2. Give Employees the Opportunity to Set Their Own Goals
Your Baby Boomer employees need a destination. They need objectives they can set their sights on and work towards.
Encourage them to set their own new goals and provide them with a list of online training resources they can use to achieve them.
These goals should relate to personal gaps, job duties, and preferences. For example, not every new member of your sales team needs to polish their negotiation skills. Especially those who have been in the industry for several years and have an impressive track record.
3. Tap into the Power of Friendly Competition
If there’s one thing that Baby Boomers can’t resist, it’s competing against their peers. Friendly competition that doesn’t create ill will, that is.
Add game mechanics to your new hire online training program to tap into their competitive nature. For example, leaderboards that set training performance against their co-workers. Or badges they can show off to their peers to praise their achievements.
We suggest caution to this approach, however. Competition shouldn’t be the primary goal of the onboarding online training course. Nor should it cause employees to feel alienated or uncomfortable.
Allow them to opt out of leaderboards, if they choose so. Offer other gamified alternatives, such as points that enable them to track their own progress privately.
4. Incorporate Self-Guided Online Training Activities
Resourcefulness and self-empowerment are two well-known traits of the Baby Boomer generation.
So, it’s wise to put together self-guided training paths and activities that allow them to explore the topic on their own. For example, online training simulations that give them the chance to practice work-related tasks or skills.
That said, they should also have access to ongoing support to bridge gaps and improve comprehension.
5. Use Social Media to Encourage Peer-To-Peer Interactions
Long before communication turned digital, face-to-face conversations were the norm. Baby Boomers are used to that more straightforward human interaction. Which means they expect some degree of teamwork in their onboarding online training.
Use social media groups to encourage peer-to-peer interactions and feedback. This also allows them to share their knowledge, experiences, and insights with other members of the team.
Just make sure to set some ground rules so that everyone feels comfortable voicing their ideas and has an opportunity to provide input. For instance, group members must follow the code of conduct and respect others’ viewpoints.
6. Launch an Onboarding Certification Online Training Program
Baby Boomers are known to enjoy showing off their accomplishments almost as much as they enjoy friendly competition. Launching an onboarding online training certification program gives them the opportunity to work towards their goals, keep track of progress, and demonstrate their expertise.
For example, they have the chance to earn an online training certificate by successfully completing the customer service skills course. Or mastering company policy and passing the compliance online training exam.
You can even offer printable certificates for notable achievements that they can add to their professional portfolio.
7. Provide a Supplemental Microlearning Online Training Library
Baby Boomers are just like every other generation. Some may be more tech-savvy than others. Just as some may need more time to complete the online training course and build vital skills.
A supplemental microlearning online support library gives them the ability to set their own pace and focus on their own areas for improvement.
Rather than having to keep up with peers or cram online training sessions into a busy workday, you can include supporting online training resources that help them boost tech literacy and familiarize themselves with the online training platform.
8. Solicit Feedback Early and Often
As a general rule, Baby Boomers aren’t afraid to speak their minds. They’re opinionated but fair, and will question management if they feel offended. This is why it’s best to ask for their feedback early and often.
Get their input before the online training commences, so that you can define their expectations. Then, encourage them to voice their opinions and concerns throughout the online training experience, so you can always improve your new hire strategy. Conduct online surveys and social media polls to find out how they feel about the onboarding training and what they think is lacking.
Baby Boomers expect new hire online training that’s engaging and suited to their needs. These 8 tips can help you create onboarding training tools that pave the way for workplace success, regardless of their background or tech-savviness. It’s also helpful to provide online training tutorials, guides, and other online training resources to those who need some assistance navigating the LMS.
Want to learn more tips on how to facilitate onboarding training for new employees? Read the article 6 Reasons Why New Hires Dread Onboarding Online Training to discover 6 tips on how to get new hires excited about the induction process.