The days when employee onboarding meant giving away handbooks are long gone.

If your company wishes to welcome the millennial workforce, you must consider two very important things:  they have extremely high expectations and they are impatient. Although Millennials can easily adapt to changes and deal with pressure, they are very selective and aware of their options. This means that your traditional employee onboarding will no longer work. And it’s time to be creative if you want to retain the Y generation.

Several companies still fear the word “millennial” as a military weapon pointing at them. Because they know changes need to be made, and they fear change. But, with more than 50 million millennials joining the workforce, employers need to prepare for the future.  It’s their best bet. And yours.

So forget about PowerPoint presentations and handbooks of information, here are a few ways to boost employee onboarding for millennials.


Go Digital

Millenials are a generation of screens. It’s easier for them to communicate and retain information through digital sources and you should consider using these more often. Not so long ago, mail and email were the go-to options. Nowadays we’re taking through social media channels and corporate chats like Slack.

If you want to provide a great onboarding experience for millennials, you might want to go for e-learning instead of traditional classes. You might want to create private social media groups so they can share posts and ideas. You might want to use online chats for sharing files and boost interaction.

Going digital also means embracing new technologies and make sure they are ready for the new employee’s arrival.  Nothing communicates “we forgot you were starting today” than not having the new hire’s gear ready.


Make them feel special

Employees of all generations like to feel special. But we, Millennials, are on a completely different level. Thanks to the internet, we grew up in an age where everything can be personalized and the information is shaped to fit our needs. So, take the time to analyze the new hire’s lifestyle and personal taste during the hiring process. Then, take advantage of that information to welcome him/her into your company.

There are plenty of different strategies to achieve this. You can either give them a personalized welcome gift like a t-shirt. Prepare the company’s devices with their favorite applications. Or even create funny welcoming messages the moment they enter your company’s website or software.

The more unique and personalized, the better! As it will help them feel they are part of the team.


Define KPI goals

Onboarding programs can improve employee performance by 11.5% but only if you establish an appropriate method. Before you start building the road, you should have an idea of the direction you actually want to go. Define what actions should the new employee be able to perform as soon as the training process is over. Which KPI should be impacted as a result. And what type of content is more suitable for the new hire, taking his background experience into consideration.

People are most responsive to training that addresses their needs

Do some research on effective e-learning course templates. Then, identify the needs of your Millennial employee and make sure the information is relevant and useful in different situations. Last but not least, make sure the course is available on mobile devices.


Create short content

Microlearning has become a huge trend last year, and it won’t stop growing. This happens because Millennials are experts in filtering information and tend to lose focus really quickly. Microlearning is all about creating short-term content like tutorials, videos, quizzes, and courses which last 2 to 5 minutes, in order to keep the employee engaged.

 “In days gone by rules and expectations were communicated with a handbook – a document most employees never cracked open.”

Offer small portions of information during the first month via Email or Chats, to ensure productivity and keep the new hire motivated to learn. Remember that they were raised by baby boomers so they believe that education is the road to success. 

Funny team videos are also a great way to engage Millennials in the company’s culture. Ask your team members to create welcoming videos that outline the expectations they have for the new employee. And these videos are more effective if they are shot on smartphones and not overly edited.  Millennials want connections and mentoring, videos will help build relationships with current employees.


Track engagement & give feedback

According to a study developed by Gallup, 60 percent of Millennials said that the quality of their managers is important to them. This happens because the majority of them come on-board with less experience, therefore they are very open to guidance and feedback. And they need it!

If you want to build a powerful relationship between managers and new hires, you should use tracking tools that help identify each one of their needs. By using them, managers will be able to gather valuable insights about the new hires, and eventually create individualized training programs.

Take the time to analyze your new employees’ training data, including the types of content they frequently engage with, and where they are struggling on your company’s software. This way, you can create a more effective and tailored onboarding system that suits their needs as individuals.


To sum up, if you want to welcome millennials into your company, you can’t compete by providing stereotype onboarding.  Millennials constantly look for something smart, creative and interactive that goes beyond their expectations. This might include using digital channels, funny welcoming videos, personalized gifts, or even individual training and feedback.

Make it clear from the start that you offer a positive working environment and a creative company culture. If you’re willing to make the right changes, you will have the right benefits.

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