Generation Y, ‘the Millennials’, now outnumber every other generation in the global workforce and by 2030 they’ll represent 75 per cent. That’s why understanding, supporting and developing this ‘new’ generation is so important. At artgym, we’ve extensively researched and analysed the trends in learning for Generation Y. We particularly like the analysis within ‘On Demand Learning: Blended learning for today’s workforce’ (IBM, 2005) where it’s argued that these younger and intrinsically different employees need learning solutions that are aligned with their values and characteristics.
Their analysis of Generation Y workforce values include:
Give them a clear vision of why the curriculum matters to them and demonstrate how the learning will help them to reach their goals.
Offer stimulating and engaging experiences which they can actively participate in, relate to and easily transfer to their day-to-day work.
Allow the learner to choose how to fit their learning into their busy work schedules. Learning may need to be in smaller chunks and, to some degree, available at varying times.
Provide the space for collaboration, diversity and teaming. Give learners a chance to share ideas and solve problems together.
Find out what technology – for example social media – learners intuitively use in their work and personal lives. The secret of using technology is offering layers of content, interaction and making it fun.
Give instant gratification and results. Create learning experiences where they can apply knowledge immediately after it has been presented or shared, followed by instant feedback.
Responding to and embracing these important values is a must in order to facilitate the learning of Generation Y employees. Recognising their abilities to collaborate, create peer group communities, learn on-the-go and teach themselves (also see our Learner as Expert Model) is key to creating truly effective, high quality, skill acquisition, which enables them to achieve those all important instant results.