In the coming years, new technologies such as automation and A.I. will transform industry, causing organizations to continually restructure and retrain their staff for more complex job roles. The good news? Change and disruption are already ingrained in the new ‘Millennial’ generation’s mindset — and the smart money is on organizations that can harness it.
In 2015, Millennials (those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s) became the predominant generation in the workforce. By 2025, three out of four workers globally will be Millennials. Business leaders who fail to respond decisively to this demographic shift risk losing competitive advantage. On the other hand, those who provide them innovative approaches to learning and employee engagement will prosper.
UNDERSTANDING THE MILLENNIALS
Millennials were bred to withstand the economic threats posed by new technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence.
Millennials don’t need to be told that having one job, one skill set, or one profession throughout their careers is a thing of the past. They’re already aligned with the new rules of the game, embracing continuous growth as an integral part of their career management.
To watch our animated video on Millennials click here
A NEW APPROACH TO LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT
This thirst for practical learning experiences that are immediately relevant often renders traditional training methods, such as classroom and Web-based Training, less effective. Our approach is to help companies take full advantage of Millennials’ passion for continuous learning and experiential engagement by finding innovative ways to hit that demographic differently. For example:
- Serving up bite-sized learning content narrowly focused on an achievable objective
- Employing gamification strategies to spur competition and make learning fun
- Facilitating online learning communities where Millennials can help one another
- Implementing tailored on-the-job learning strategies, such as rotational assignments and career paths with rapidly changing and expanding responsibilities
- Using learning analytics to personalize content and ensure its immediate relevance
- Engaging Millennials through the power of storytelling, presenting short, day-in-the life scenarios built around recognizable personas and tasks
- Focusing on the practical with an online library of short, task-relevant “How to …” videos
RETHINKING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
The Millennial’s desire for engagement extends beyond training to communication. This generation is purpose-driven, and wants to hear what drives leadership, the organization, and the changes happening around them. Moreover, they want channels where they can express their thoughts and opinions. Get leadership involved through informal podcasts (think “fireside chats”) on front-of-mind topics. Work closely with leaders to time-box opportunities for real dialogue with employees around the ideas and issues presented in the podcasts. Give Millennials a voice — and listen — and you will be much more likely to retain them and tap into their potential.
In conclusion, while the degree to which Millennials are willing to engage makes them adept at change, employers must understand the value Millennials place upon work as an experience and retool their approach to training, communication and change management accordingly. You can pay a handsome salary, but if they start to wonder if there’s a better experience to be had, they won’t stay — and the advantage will be lost.
This topic is the first of a three-part multimedia campaign series from our Enterprise Change Practice. Read Part 2: ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’ here and Part 3: ‘You Say You Want a Transformation’ here.
Partner, Enterprise Change Practice, Infosys Consulting
Holly brings the scientist’s curiosity and observational skills to the world around her. She uses her interactions with some of the world’s leading corporations – and their workforces – to form fresh and intriguing insights on education and skills. After 25 years’ consulting experience, she remains a hands-on practitioner who helps clients deal with people and organizational implications of agile enterprise and changing business models. She is developing and delivering learning programs, both for Infosys Consulting and its clients that grapple with the challenges and opportunities provided by technology in the learning space. Holly is now bringing this perspective to the World Economic Forum, as steering committee member of their Global Future Council System Initiative on Education, Gender and Work. Holly can be contacted via LinkedIn or Holly_Benson@infosys.com