The professional landscape has never had so much potential, or so many potential pitfalls.
Leading workforce analysts believe that by 2025, Millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce. This will be the most significant shift in the workplace since the Baby Boomer generation entered the workforce, and far larger in scale.
Forward thinking professionals in the learning and development industry are already preparing for this change and adapting their offering to cater for an emerging multi-generational workforce. Yet it is hard to find evidence or success stories that demonstrate the impact these changes are having.
Concepts such as gamification, blended and social learning have become popular themes, which help to re-engineer L&D’s offering to better suit Millennials, a generation used to accessing information on demand, and in bite size chunks.
However, despite this shift at the theoretical level, there is still a larger portion of evidence that suggests more needs to be done to truly realise the potential of the next generation.
New research from the Association of Accounting Technicians has found a shocking 67% of employees feel out of depth at work, and that 80% of staff believe with more training they could do their job better. Millennials crave development opportunities more than any previous generation, and are also over twice as likely to leave in favour of pastures new, if they feel they are not receiving this opportunity.
Considering staff turnover costs British businesses over £4 billion every year, and the average employee takes eight weeks to reach maximum productivity level, it’s no wonder there is a focus on developing and retaining talent. This need becomes even more pressing when you consider that 68% of business leaders expect their need for staff with higher level skills to grow in the years to ahead.
The question is: What comes first the recruitment or the education?
With over half of business leaders voicing concerns over their companies’ ability to recruit employees with the skills required for future demands, it is clear L&D’s role will become more vital than ever. However this increased demand for internal training raises important questions for L&D professionals.
How do we cater for the learning styles of an increasingly diverse workforce?
How do we effectively engage line managers in the L&D process?
How do we make good quality content available to all on demand?
The benefits of solving the professional development puzzle are huge. Recent studies have shown that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. T-Mobile, for example, have seen a 96% increase in participation and a 783% increase in responses in their internal ‘T-Community’ system by integrating gamification rewards to employees who answer peer questions.
It is very hard to find examples like these however, which is strange considering top calibre candidates are flocking to companies that score highly on employee satisfaction surveys and heavily publicise their development programs. The success of companies like Google, Virgin and John Lewis in attracting the cream of crop is testament to the power of company culture awareness, and the success that comes by having a trained, engaged workforce.
So it really does beg the question: Why should your success be a secret?
Alistair French, Sales and Marketing Executive, Bray Leino Learning
Copyright © 2016 Bray Leino Learning