As the technologies change and adapt, company leaders must do the same. One of the biggest challenges that businesses face today is bridging the gap between generations and ensuring its operations remain consistent and fluid with the corporate climate. There has been a lot of research that has shown that the millennial generation, those between the ages of 18 and 29, see the world differently and, therefore, work differently. What motivates them is not the same as it was for previous generations. And the way they learn is also different.
An obvious difference between this group and others is that millennials grew up in the age of the Internet. They are comfortable and, arguably, even reliant on using technology. According to a study conducted by PwC, this generation already accounts for 25 percent of the workforce in the United States and, by 2020, will make up 50 percent of the workforce worldwide.
Needless to say, it is important for businesses to make sure they are implementing systems that satisfy the needs of these employees. Reducing turnover rates and making sure members are regularly engaged and productive has always been a cornerstone of successful companies. However, it is important to note that the traditional strategies used for onboarding and retaining employees may not be effective for this new wave of workers.
Training and developing this generation
PwC said that "millennials tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos. They expect rapid progression, a varied and interesting career and constant feedback." Woven into this is the fact that technology and digital devices are a staple in their lives. In fact, the source found that 41 percent would rather communicate through electronic platforms than face-to-face and that 75 percent agree "access to technology makes them more effective at work.
Taking this into consideration, companies can leverage mobile learning content and technology to significantly enhance employee training and education programs. It is likely that an organization already has some kind of development program in place. But integrating innovative and digital tools and systems into it to adhere to the standards of modern day workers is essential. Not only can employers offering learning technology benefit from increased production and performance, but they can also save money.
"Traditional training methods are expensive and ineffective."
Information Age found that, in the past, companies in the U.S. have spent over $160 billion on training programs. Not only does deploying professional training through the traditional classroom setting cost money, but it also requires a lot of time. The source also noted that just 60 minutes of training material can take as many as 185 hours to put together. And it would be one thing if all this time and money offered a high return on investment. Unfortunately, it was found that the majority, or 80 percent, of people were unable to remember the information after a month.
Respondents in the PwC study revealed that training and development is one of the top benefits they look for in an employer and that their "ease with technology means that they respond well to a range of digital learning styles and delivery methods, which might include online learning modules, webinars or interactive game-play."
One of the most useful strategies a company can use is the model of microlearning, which consists of offering small bursts of content and information into an incremental framework. This kind of education can be delivered in a way that is more affordable, convenient and effective. Businesses will also have the ability to custom learning programs that meet the specific needs of individuals. It has a wide range of delivery formats, including gamification, interactive labs, social learning portals, Web-assessments, virtual videos and scenario-based simulations.
By taking the time to tailor programs in a way that works best for the users, a business is supplying its team with advanced skills and training in a way that is most likely to be effective. In turn, employees will feel like they work for an innovative corporation that genuinely cares about them and wants them to succeed. As Simon Casuto recently pointed out in his article for Tech.co, there are a number of reasons why so many Fortune 500 companies are incorporating eLearning into their training and development programs.
"An enthusiastic employee is a productive employee, and eLearning serves as a platform to help build eagerness and engagement among teams," he explained. "When employers take the time to plan thoughtful, efficient, and entertaining eLearning opportunities, a powerful message is sent to employees that they are valued and someone is willing to invest in them."
To ensure long-term success and sustainability, it is imperative that organizations recognize the need to adopt cutting-edge systems and technologies into their infrastructure. Partnering with a learning content development team will give companies the analysis, expertise and support needed to convert out-dated and ineffective training materials into advanced and dynamic digital learning solutions.