Amy Adams is assistant vice president of training and
development at Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. She has more
than 10 years of extensive experience interacting with all
organizational levels to create, promote and deliver training solutions designed to support organizational success.
She is passionate about creating a collaborative and
engaging business environment that encourages
lifelong learning and career development.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the Right Path
Through the Training Gantlet
Create effective, engaging learning experiences by developing
programs with generational appeal
By Amy Adams
As an industry, the goal has been to attract younger generations to become mort- gage professionals. Recent industry data indicates that the average age of a mortgage originator is 47.
Just as many mortgage professionals are starting to
understand the unique attributes of baby boomers,
Generation X, millennials and now Generation Z,
companies need to answer the question: How can
an organization’s training be prepared to equip each
With four generations now in the workforce, it is
becoming increasingly difficult to meet each generation’s training needs and preferences simultaneously.
While each generation has its own distinct characteristics, professional values and unique experiences, there
are key learning preferences that are universal.
For starters, in today’s hectic, interruption-driven
workplace, shorter bite-sized training sessions are the
ideal. Not only are professionals favoring more concise
training sessions, but they also prefer training that affords flexibility in terms of time, format and platform.
More and more people prefer to watch a recorded
video at a time that works best in their schedule, rather
than attend a live training. Also, by developing training
skills in a real-life environment. They like books,
PowerPoints and handouts. Training should explore
ways that they can add value to a client, the business
or the industry.
n Generation X (born between 1965 – 1980): With
this group, the trainer may encounter skepticism,
but along with that skepticism comes a hunger for
knowledge and openness for feedback. They prefer
on-the-job learning, but the most effective way to
modules that can be used across multiple platforms,
such as YouTube or a video-conferencing system,
learners can easily access succinct training content on
a number of devices when they are ready.
Understanding how each generational group learns
is important for creating engaging and effective training programs. The following is a brief breakdown of
each of the generational groups now in the workforce,
including a look at some of the qualities that impact
their training preferences. Also included is a set of recommendations to satisfy these training preferences.
Understanding is key
The information that follows is general in nature and
may not necessarily apply to each individual in a particular age group. It should, however, offer mortgage
professionals a snapshot of the type of training that is
likely to be most effective with each generational group.
n Baby Boomers (born between 1946 – 1964): This
group prefers face-to-face communication. While
the baby boomers are using e-mails and computers, they are less likely to be busy with online social
networking. Trainings that are instructor-led and
interactive are the way this group prefers to learn.
In addition, baby boomers need time to practice
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