Skillsoft Blog

Millennials and Their Expectations of Learning and Development

By Glenn Nott

More millennials are entering the workforce, many with different expectations and preferences around how they want to work, learn and consume information. Not only are they demanding more flexible work arrangements, they are also looking for experiences that more closely reflect and align to their technologically-fueled lives.

To prove return on investment, C-suite executives of every organization must ensure learning is integrated with the needs and expectations of both the overall company and its learners. In an age where ‘Human Capital’ is an organization’s most critical point of success, investment in tailored L&D initiatives will only become more vital.

The millennial workforce

Organizations commonly underestimate the role learning and development strategies can have on improving engagement from millennials. As a generation characterized as an army of “job hoppers,” who on average will change roles approximately every 18 months, they provide unique challenges for HR professionals, managers and business leaders when it comes to motivating and engaging them.

Simply providing L&D opportunities won’t be sufficient for this cohort of learners. In order to get a positive response from millennials, HR and C-suite executives must work together to deliver L&D in a way that is engaging, purposeful and impactful.

Schools and higher education institutions have been deploying blended learning strategies for a long time. Hence, by the time millennials enter the workforce, they are well adapted to these forms of learning and will expect their employer to provide L&D opportunities in ways that are innovative, technologically-driven and align to the modern work environment.

The future of learning

More organizations are realizing the potential of Big Data to individualize L&D strategies in a way that better aligns to the changing needs of the workforce.

This is the key reason for Skillsoft’s decision to work with IBM Research. Using data to uncover crucial learning and behavioral patterns, we can now provide intelligent recommendations to organizations around how individuals like to learn, and then provide focused learning pathways to ensure learning is delivered at the right time, in the right way, with the right type of content that resonates with each individual learner.

We recognize that though there are millions of possible pathways through Skillsoft’s learning content, there will be one that is highly tailored to each individual. Effectively, through the mobilization of Big Data, we can provide “hyper-personalized learning journeys” to individuals, whereby learning systems are based on their changing needs, interests and career aspirations.

The future of L&D is highly prescriptive. Similar to social media platforms providing notifications to individuals to alert, advise or encourage some form of action, soon we will be able to provide similar L&D alerts to individuals, through mobile devices, at a time and in the content format that individuals will be most receptive to receiving them.

To learn more about the importance of Big Data to the future of organizational L&D, please download Skillsoft’s regional study and report, ‘Leverage the Power of Big Data and the Cloud’ and the infographic here.

Glenn Nott is Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Skillsoft

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