How Training Differs Between Age Groups

Knowledge sharing, different perspectives, and enhanced customer experience were all identified as key benefits to having an age-diverse workplace; older groups can share practical experience and expertise, younger groups can help with skills training or working methods, and customers can be matched with an employee who they share more commonality with. However, having such a diverse set of staff can cause difficulty when choosing a training programme to fit all of their needs.

The reason training differs so much for different age groups is because you can’t always use the same training material for a group who are already at vastly different starting points – this issue is most prominent with subjects like technology as younger generations are typically much more comfortable with these more recent developments.

A survey of nearly 2,000 employees found that workers in their 50s are not receiving the training and skill development that they need to success in this digital age, raising concerns for future skills shortages as technology continues to evolve. Specifically, 62% had not received training in computer skills, and they were less likely than younger employees to have been trained in project management, customer service, digital communications, and other important skills.



Neglecting employees with lesser skill levels benefits nobody, leaving them with no motivation to develop and grow. Instead, consider these training methods for workplaces with varying skill sets:

Pre-assessment – Assessing each individual with a quick survey or testing software can show how much of a variety of skill levels you’re dealing with and what areas need the most attention overall. This could also help to separate the employees of a large workplace into appropriate groups to make training as efficient as possible.

Mixed Methods – Mixing face-to-face training with online classes allows participants to choose a method that they feel most comfortable with, or suits their learning style better. Another way mixed methods can be effective is by using online classes as ‘catch-ups’ for the less experienced individuals to take advantage of outside of the usual face-to-face training sessions.

One-on-One – Training employees one-on-one, rather than as a group, allows you to really get a feel for each individual’s skill level, and address it accordingly. This is likely the most effective way to ensure everybody is staying up to speed, but it can be incredibly time-consuming.


Other factors to consider include:

Language – Avoid jargon unless completely necessary for the topic.

Variety – A variety of content and lessons for people to use allows each individual to find their best fit.

Pacing – If training isn’t individually led then it’s important to ensure that the majority aren’t speeding through the material and leaving anybody behind.


Boxphish’s purpose-built Cyber Security & Awareness Training software is designed to improve employees online security knowledge and reduce their threat level with a diverse range of on-going training and simulation. Training options include quick tips sent straight to your email to read on the go, to more in-depth quizzes and tests with an intelligent grading system for each individual user, ensuring that the provided training is suitable to their learning style and requirements. 




CIPD research report



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