No matter how you feel about them, this much we know is true: Millennials are an inescapable part of the corporate landscape. In fact, by 2030, they won’t just be part of the corporate landscape, they will make up 75 percent of the dominant generation.
Today’s business landscape means that no two days are the same. Industries are changing; you’ve probably learned that if your business doesn’t adapt, you could all too easily be left in your competitor’s dust. But where does that leave your employees? As you adapt to a changing landscape, you expect your employees to follow suit. As roles change, however, you might find that you’re inadvertently tapping into their greatest fears: becoming obsolete.
We’ve all heard the oft-used parable about the turkey conference. It’s the one where the turkeys attend a conference where they learn to fly, spending the entire day soaring to new heights over the farm. And when the conference is over? They all walk home.
Contrast that to the treatment of learning as a one-time event. You spend a ton of money on expensive one-day training or pay for an off-the-shelf program to get your employees excited about a new skill. They get amped up and enjoy the learning, but eventually return back to their own ways once they sit back down at their desks. The problem could be retention, but we contend that the main issue is actually a symptom of the traditional way of thinking about learning and training.
It’s a scenario that can make any L&D pro cringe: You have an overarching vision for a new way to improve training and development, but no one else seems to be all that interested. It might be easy to blame the actual initiative when the real problem was in the way you shared your idea. The average person only has an eight-second attention span, which means that even the most revolutionary ideas must compete with things like social media and funny cat videos. Time for multimedia.
As an eLearning company, we can definitely respect enthusiasm when it comes to overhauling your current training programs. We’re pretty passionate about it, too. But we often see a major misstep in the road to new eLearning, and that’s rushing to creation.
Imagine you’re going fishing: You load up your tackle box, grab your bait, and head to the perfect spot to catch fish. Unfortunately, you open your tackle box only to find that you’ve packed mousetraps–no fishing rod in sight.
It’s a jungle out there, and we don’t mean for employees. Today, it’s the employers that are at a disadvantage because organizations are fighting for the attention of a few multi-talented individuals. When someone has talent in their role, other companies will take notice, and you could find that your organization keeps losing crucial personnel to competitors.
It’s a scenario we’re all too familiar with: You get a new toy–a TV; a bookshelf; a new phone–and the second it’s out of the box, you want it to be fully functional. But we’re also all too familiar with the woes of something new, and from assembly frustration to a steep learning curve, you might be stuck reading manuals and using trial and error to learn how to use or put together something new. Not a great user experience.
We can definitely appreciate the benefit of early adoption. It’s early adopters that drive the embrace of new ideas in spaces that have remained stagnant for years–even decades. But is all early adoption good early adoption? Fintech was one of the first industries to jump on the eLearning bandwagon, but unfortunately, didn’t necessarily adopt all of the better parts of eLearning. Unfortunately, as a result of the way eLearning was adopted, the industries reputation took some serious damage; damage that we’re still undoing as an eLearning company today.
Everyone seems to be communicating about the lack of communication within the workplace without much success. It’s not surprising, internal communications may be one of the hardest things to learn and foster, especially in a business where you are dealing with hundreds of people who all have their own ideas and needs.
A 2014 study by SAP had some interesting findings about workplace diversity:
When polled about the biggest concerns being faced by HR managers surrounding diversity at work, 60 percent cited employees’ lack of interest in assimilating workplace values, 50 percent were worried about conflicting generational values, and 47 percent said that they were concerned about the so-called “unrealistic expectations of millennial employees.”