These are our people; These are our happening customers; These are our employees and students; These are our children. The Millennial society is so important to all of us. If we don’t embrace them, we will be lost, wandering in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, wondering what happened in our classrooms, in the workplace and in our homes. Love ‘em or leave ‘em is not a consideration. To understand millennials is essential for us – even for themselves.
Millennials have desires which differ from the older generation.
- They want personal time off with flexibility as to when they could use it.
- They want paid vacation + additional hours of unpaid, personal time to use over the year.
- They would find another employee to cover for them when working in the salon, resulting in less staff turnover and happier employees.
Our Millennials study and learn differently. They are digital natives. Exceptionally comfortable with E-books, E-learning, everything E, in fact. They want to be qualified NOW. And want to be qualified in specific skills. These individuals don’t necessarily want to be multi-skilled – hence specialised, individualised learning has become an essential process to offer our Millennial community. If we feed this type of student and employee, they will be our future student forever.
At Beauty Therapy Institute group of colleges, we have launched all of our learning material onto an E-platform, enabling our students to study on their phones, tablets and laptops. Everywhere they go, their books go with them. And we personalise their learning choices into unique packages, ensuring they study what they want to, to achieve their own personal goals. Studying at their own pace, in their own time, on campus and off.
Millennials love to have Mentors and Coaches. They live their lives by enjoying clear expectations defined for them, with tight learning goals which fit closely to their aspirations. They appreciate direction from a Mentor and especially enjoy having one-on-one with time with them. They have a need for real life and personal assessments to achieve their learning outcomes and goals. Our practical assessments are individualised, only done when the student is ready. Taking each one’s learning goals and deadlines into consideration.
Millennials are keen to ask for help and guidance to improve their skills. We encourage our educators to mentor their students throughout their learning process and not only coach them. This is so important at all levels of life for a millennial. From student to workplace.
Interestingly enough, millennials feel more connected to their peers than the older generation. They are socially connected daily. They may not visiting your homes like in days gone by, or running in the streets, playing outside. But connected they still are. In fact, they know more about each other that we ever did, visiting our peers at home.
It is highly recommended in your businesses to have monthly group sessions to talk, demonstrate and learn from each other. Sharing knowledge is power, and this group of individuals are priceless at this. They generally prefer working and collaborating in groups. So it is essential to create group sessions to discuss and learn from each other. We encourage this in our classrooms and for home study. To encourage opportunities to collaborate and learn together.
The Millennials learn best from hands-on experiences. So, doing case Studies, being real-world scenarios, shouldn’t be a drudge. But we need to show our millennials how they can benefit from them before they buy into it. Gather your students into group sessions for Case Studies. Get them to role-play their assessments to closely model an actual examination experience. Let them practise on each other and do demos in your treatment rooms to closely emulate what is really happening in salons and spas.
Because they are so accustomed to using technology for learning, 80% are using online resources as their primary source of educational information. While they prefer learning in groups, they prefer self-direction. Provide them with online resources to use in their own at a time that works for them. Show your students how to create highlights, summaries, flash cards and questions on their E-books to excite them with their learning. Put them into groups of like-minded students or employees. But let them create self-direction. Don’t dictate to them what to do. Simply show and guide and they will figure it out themselves.
In class, you can assign an e-learning module or a webinar to a student. Provide them with follow-up resources to continue their self-directed learning. In their group learning sessions, discuss the learning material as a group and allow them to share their thoughts during these sessions. Don’t stand up in front of a class, lecture and leave. If you do, something happens. You leave them behind and lose their trust.
Get them to learn and watch in their own time and place and pace, in advance of a group learning session via an e-learning module/webinar. Use Youtube, videos, connect them with bloggers and vloggers. Direct them to the correct resources and let them self-study. Happy students, happy teachers.
Millennials are used to instant gratification in terms of feedback (think: ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, etc. with social networks). Because they are highly focused on achieving goals, they flourish on feedback as essential to their growth. But it is how feedback is generated that makes a difference. Regular feedback is most effective in motivating them to continue to develop their skills. They appreciate both positive reinforcement and critical feedback on how to improve. It inspires them to continue to develop. Positive and flattering feedback is great. But pointing out critical elements which need developing also inspires them to grow. Explain their achievements using the ‘sandwich method’ of feedback. Good…Critical…Good. With the challenges in the middle of the sandwich.
Continuous Professional Development has become a crucial facet of growing and developing continuously. Embrace your Millennials. Mentor our new therapists and help them achieve as lifelong learning. Show them what they can do to learn quickly and efficiently and they’re yours for life.
Blog written by Sandy Fuhr
Director and Franchisor of group of Beauty Therapy Institute colleges and President of CIDESCO International.
For further information on Beauty Therapy Institute campuses in Africa:
Email: [email protected] or Call/WhatsApp: +27 78 562 8935