Getting Prepped For The Next Generation Of Employees

Getting Prepped For The Next Generation Of Employees
Summary: What happens when you get a group of 15 and 16 year-olds in one room and ask them how they learn? Learning and Development professionals have bent over backwards to deliver the learning environment that Millennials demand, but as the next generation of post-Millennials make their way into the workforce, what’s next? What is the next generation of employees?

The Next Generation Of Employees: Some Interesting Insights 

Usually described as those born between the early 1980s and the turn of the century, Millennials now represent the single largest group in today’s workforce. Soon these digital natives will have a fresh group of young upstarts to contend with. The first of those born in 2000 and since the turn of the century will be entering the workforce over the next 24 months. As social commentators grapple with their label (Generation Z, the iGeneration, post-Millennials, and the Screeners are hot favorites), Lumesse Learning’s insights team gathered the teens taking on tomorrow’s workforce into one room and asked them how they learn.

Call them late-Millennials, iGeners, call them what you want: The insights gained by talking to this group of 15 to 16 year-olds offers up some eyebrow-raising surprises:

  • Paper and pen is in.
    Contrary to popular perception, all of the 15-16 year-olds participating in the study thought they learned better with pen and paper than when they typed information into a computer.
  • They get curation.
    Googling isn’t the answer for late-Millennials / Gen Zers. Today’s teens are incredibly switched on to how search engines work, and they don’t depend on them to get the answer right first time. They use apps they trust to deliver content created by authors and curators they know have authority.
  • Smartphones are a not a learning asset.
    Teens participating in Lumesse Learning’s study said they tended not to use smartphones when learning: Screens are too small and phones offer too many distractions. When learning new things, most turn their phones off, some even have to place them in a different room. Devices do play a primary role in learning acquisition for today's teens, but they believe that tablets and pads deliver a more immersive experience.
  • Site design and usability trigger best engagement.
    The next generation of employees learns online best when sites look appealing and are intuitive to use. Sites may be rich in content, but if they look drab and present navigational challenges, today’s teens just move on. The biggest causes of disengagement are too many instructions and too much text.

So what kind of tech-based learning really engages teens soon to join the workforce (and what doesn’t)?

  • Like
    Collaborative quiz tools like Getkahoot were favored; where students in the classroom engage with their personal devices to learn together and multiple-choice questions are displayed on the classroom’s smartboard. This kind of experience incorporates “against the clock” questioning and displays votes instantly to really engage the next generation of employees. “To meet the learning expectations of tomorrow's workers, eLearning needs to get better at delivering the kind of interactive experiences today's teens have grown up with in the classroom.” says Carole Bower, head of learning at Lumesse Learning. “When we think about how we apply this to eLearning in the workplace, we can use aggregated scores and leaderboards in our courses to replicate this kind of engagement. “In the workplace, however, it’s likely that the learners aren’t going to be in the same room at the same time, but synchronous or asynchronous results can still be shared as learners progress through questions.”
  • Unlike
    What kind of technology do today’s teens dislike? Lumesse Learning’s teenage study group was not engaged in forums or message boards. When teachers started a discussion on these platforms no one would respond, or if they did, they’d post irrelevant comments. “It seems that there is a time and place for collaboration”, continues Carole. “It’s always worth doing a temperature check to make sure that any social learning is going to appeal to the learners and be meaningful for them.”

Conducted as part of Lumesse Learning’s “Leadership, learning, and the connected generation” program, full details from the teens study are available on video. Expert interviews from the world’s leading researchers plus new infographics and research summaries have also been drawn together for the first time in the program’s comprehensive insights download.

“Learning and Development professionals are becoming acutely aware that, by 2020, nearly half of the workforce will be Millennials or post-Millennials”, explains Carole. “The insights paper and video package we’ve created for this program responds to their increased calls for simple, straightforward guidance as Learning and Development departments set about delivering learning support for the next generation of workers.”