Does your job offer you smart choices when it comes to reskilling?
- If you’re a millennial looking for reasons not to quit your job, ask what kind of L&D transformations does your company offer
- Access to learning and development opportunities is considered an important workplace benefit by millennials
My experience at my previous organization was like a roller-coaster ride. It started comfortably followed by a ‘high’, then an adrenaline-filled free fall, and finally, a glorious end,"says Ananya Taduri, 31, a millennial with the skills and smarts to choose a job as opposed to settling in one. Taduri, an IT professional, says the root cause for the “highs" and “lows" and her decision to leave her previous organization was linked to a lack of learning and skill development opportunities.
Sanjana Gupta, a banker, who is in her third year at her third job, is willing to stick out another year with her current employer in spite of no promotion. “I am learning a lot in my current role as my manager offers me projects and mentoring opportunities. This is helping me upskill on the job," explains the 33-year-old.
Access to learning and development (L&D) opportunities is considered an important workplace benefit by millennials who are hungry to keep their skills current, says online learning platform Udemy’s 2018 Millennials at Work Report.
So, if you are a millennial looking for a new job or finding reasons not to quit your current one, ask if your company offers or plans to integrate these five L&D transformations that can fulfil your development need.
Does the company offer continuous and personalized learning?
Learning technology has caught on with this need and the new learning system, which is increasingly taking centre stage in most organizations, is the learning experience platform (LXP). These platforms offer employees with personalized learning recommendations and paths, which deliver different formats of content from multiple sources—including learning from experts and peers—in a “Netflix-like" interface. These platforms enable employees to pull off learning based on their individual needs, learn as they work, and to keep their skills current on an ongoing basis. So, if you haven’t heard about this one, ask for it.
Does the company offer anytime, anywhere learning?
Despite the high demand, the one challenge L&D departments face is getting employees to find time for learning. The solution to that has been found in micro learning or short, focused bytes of learning. Effective micro learning fits easily into the employees’ daily, busy workflow, engages maximum learner participation via gamification, and is mobile to ensure employees have access to it anytime, anywhere— whether they are on the floor, out in the field, in a commute, or working remotely. “On the go" learning is the one you should be targeting.
Does the company offer hi-tech, experiential learning?
Virtual reality (VR) is the latest learning tech addition to the experiential learning format, which enables “learning by doing" in a risk-free environment. Within a VR 3D training environment, learners can explore, interact with or touch virtual features in a seemingly real way using a headset and other equipment. These modules engage multiple senses into the learning experience, thereby, increasing the effectiveness of the learning outcome. While VR training has been around in sectors like automotive and healthcare, it is fast gaining traction in retail and hospitality for soft skills training such as handling customer interactions, etc.
Does the company use or offer software-embed learning?
If your core job involves working on software applications, very soon, you will not need to look beyond the app interface to learn how to work on the software, use a new feature or troubleshoot a query, thanks to in-app learning or learning embedded within the software. Leading enterprise software applications, such as Workday, SAP, etc. have already integrated in-app learning in the form of instructional guides, videos or chatbots, in order to offer training at the point of need. In-app learning is crucial in the “software as a service" (SaaS) model to enable simultaneous user on-boarding, increase adoption, and reduce support issues on the software.
Does the company believe that blended learning is the way ahead?
While the newer systems and formats may seem attractive, none of them will solve the need for skill development as a stand-alone. It will be a blend of the existing and new learning formats—each of which will play a crucial part in developing skills needed in the digital world.
You are now armed with your L&D checklist to provide feedback to your employer on making it a “millennial worthy" workplace or use the list to choose your next employer.
Aparna Gupta is a Bengaluru-based senior leader in learning and development sector.