By the year 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 47% of the population will be comprised of Millennials-Digital Natives (born after 1980) who were raised playing video games and surfing the Internet to get information.
What does this mean for corporate learning? How are they preparing for a younger generation of workers who are attuned to learning using the latest technologies?
The most fatal flaw in learning and development today is that we are not using the myriad of 21st century innovative technologies available to us – mobile devices, social media tools and games.
When you look at the learning preferences of those entering and already in the workforce, it becomes apparent why, if we are to have “ready now” leaders, we must begin to re-imagine training and development.
- Receive information quickly and from multiple sources
- Parallel processing and multitasking
- Processing pictures, sounds, and video before text
- Random access to hyperlinked multimedia information
- Interacting and networking simultaneously with many people
- Learning “just in time”
- Instant gratification and instant rewards
- Learning that is instantly useful and above all FUN.
If this is true and, I believe it is, then there must be a “Millennial Learning Style” and it should be taken into consideration when designing training programs. We should consider employing:
- All forms of multi media technologies
- Learning by doing
- Lots of links to relevant Web sites
- Placing performance before competency
- Building social media platforms to encourage “informal learning”
- Encouraging risk taking and learning through failure
- Anytime, anywhere access to ideas, information and each other
What innovative learning strategies is your company considering in order to attract, develop and retain tomorrow’s leaders today? I’d like to hear from you.