The Matures have retired; the Baby Boomers are easing their way into semi-permanent, semi-retirement; and the Millennials are texting their way through the company door. Now it’s up to Generation X to inherit the helms of business and industry. Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1980 have grown up and matured alongside technology. Many continue to be early adopters, easily upgrading their devices along with their technical acumen. Leading-edge businesses are already leveraging Gen Xers’ use of mobile devices and preparing them to take over the reins through career development programs that include mLearning.
Paging Gen X to the C-Suite
It’s a leap from the front door to the C-Suite, but continuing education plays a key role in preparing Gen X for senior management jobs. Experience and innate interpersonal skills help to propel careers, but without consistent and concerted learning, the employee will never make it to the top. We’ll look at two ways employers can ease the transition to the upper echelons through mLearning.
Method No. 1: On-Demand, Real-Time Access to Unlimited Knowledge
Smart businesses anticipate needs—their needs as well as their customers’ needs. These companies plan for contingencies rather than relying on crisis management. They groom junior employees to step into senior positions using mLearning in a dual role for career development—formal and informal learning that can take place anywhere, anytime.
Employees can seamlessly grow their technical skills by accessing a library of technical information when and where they need it—continuing on-the-job training. By compiling a library of on-demand leadership mLearning programs, self-starters will take the initiative to create their own career paths. In addition, management can encourage employees to explore options at Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as Coursera. When free time intersects with mLearning, businesses can create deliberate succession to the top.
Method No. 2: Leapfrogging the Competition through Social Learning
The Mad Men series introduced many of us to the world of the “good old boy network.” Some of us remember first-hand the attempt to figure out the difference between flirting and networking at Jerry Rubin’s Studio 54 network get-togethers in the ’70s. Today, companies can implement a robust social learning program where it doesn’t take long for natural leaders to emerge. Mentor/mentee partnerships can develop naturally, and those who exhibit self-motivation will set up their own Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) to direct their own career advancement. And that’s one clue that you have a budding leader to watch.