Training Generation Y: the UPS case

Training Generation Y: the UPS case


Within the field of Training & Development the learning style of generation Y employees is a hot topic. The central question is how to prepare these youngsters for their role in the workforce. In traditional instructor-led courses this generation growing up with Social Networks and Instant Messaging will be bored within 10 minutes. Should we adapt training approaches to this new continuously multitasking and thrill seeking target audience or should we stick to our traditional approach and bore them to death? Since research has shown that most traditional training approaches have generate dissapointing results with other generations as well, the answer is clear.

UPS, global logistics services provider, already invested heavily in new approaches for training new employees. An interesting article in Fortune magazine descibes their approach. UPS found that the time-to-competency of most of their generation Y staff was longer than it used to be. That is why they shifted from their traditional Human Engineering approach towards Technology-Enhanced Hands-on Training. A shift from theory oriented instructor-led training towards instant practice in a safe environment with technology support where usefull. No computerized simulations or videogames, but a real-life experience in a film set like training center. UPS invested 34 million dollar in this new approach setting up its Integrad training facility. According to UPS the new generation can be seen as Generation Why? They don’t like following instructions and always question assumptions. Good traits for a new generation of learners I would say!

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    Linda Caruso

    Thanks for this article! I am doing research about GenY and this UPS example perfectly illustrates what organizations must to do engage the next generation of employees.

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