Raleigh, N.C. — July 12
Millennials, who grew up in the Internet age, learn and communicate differently than baby boomers — and the results of a new national poll show current approaches to workplace training are struggling to meet the needs of this younger generation.
A poll of American workers commissioned by Workplace Options, a provider of work-life programs and employee benefits, shows that younger workers have decidedly different views on the value and scope of workplace training programs compared to their older counterparts. Among younger workers, age 18 to 29:
• 75 percent said workplace trainings would be more valuable if they were available remotely through hand-held mobile devices — 40 percent of respondents age 30 to 45, and only 26 percent age 46 to 65 reflected this view.
• 63 percent said training sessions would be more valuable if they were shorter and less time-consuming — compared to just 39 percent of respondents overall and 36 percent age 30 to 45.
• 95 percent said they would feel more comfortable talking to managers and supervisors if internal communications training was provided at their current workplace — 67 percent of respondents age 30 to 45 and 66 percent of workers age 46 to 65 felt the same.
“Workers under the age of 30 grew up with different tools and expectations than middle-aged workers and baby boomers,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Workplace Options. “As a result, they process and absorb information differently than previous generations. Younger professionals are more inclined to communicate and interact effectively through technology, so the standard model of one person lecturing to a room full of people may not be the most productive approach to reach this age group.”
Challenges of a Mobile Workforce
Projections indicate that advances in technology coupled with growing needs to reduce operating costs will increase the percentage of the American workforce working from remote locations over the coming years. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by the end of 2013, 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will have the ability to work remotely through mobile technology, which will put pressure on employers to adapt their own training methods.
“Flexibility is a central concern for employers to stay competitive in the labor market,” Debnam said. “The more options and resources available to employees, the more attractive your organization is going to be to the next generation of top-shelf talent.”
Importance of Advancement Opportunities
The Workplace Options poll also highlighted the increasing importance of personal and professional training for American workers. Results show half of workplaces provide training opportunities for personal or professional growth beyond specific job-related tasks, while nearly seven out of 10 workers (68 percent) described these offerings as valuable employee benefits.
Overall, 60 percent of respondents (and 69 percent age 18 to 29) said the availability of personal or professional development training would make organizations more attractive employers.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average tenure of an American worker with their current employer is only about 4.1 years,” Debnam said. “Employees are looking for opportunities to not only become more effective in their current role, but also for insights that will help them advance their career in the long-term.”
Source: Workplace Options