They are young and busy. They are highly driven and crave technology. They are pragmatic and want learning at their fingertips. However, their attention span is extremely low which makes them easily distracted. This is the story of today’s modern learner! Let’s explore further.
We are living in an exciting era full of dynamism in almost every sphere. How can L&D space be left behind?
Micro learning and on-demand resources are the new trends in the learning and development zone. Personalized learning plans via the route of technology are creating more dynamic learning opportunities than ever before. With added online content and MOOCs, the new training model is paving the path of young and modern employees to own their skills. An era where experts share knowledge freely, a blended learning methodology is helping to create a win-win approach for all progressive organizations.
Knowing the top five characteristics of such dynamic modern learners of today can give L&D professionals the opportunity to turn their strategies into enriching experiences. So, let’s get started:
Modern learners want mobility – anywhere and anytime
Addiction to smartphones can’t be denied, especially for modern learners. As per a recent research, users unlock their mobile phones nine times an hour and millennials check their phones 150 times a day. In L&D space, around 67% of learners learn on mobile devices by consuming information everywhere. And around a third of people learn while traveling to and from work.
However, quite a lesser percentage of L&D teams are prepared to present information on mobile platforms as on date. Hence, this gap needs to be addressed for driving the agenda of learning in every organization.
Modern learners are highly willing to learn
Their craving for learning is evident from LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report, which states that 94% of employees would stay at a company if it invested in their career development. Several other pieces of research highlight that 67% of millennials say that the opportunity to learn and grow on the job is extremely important. And professional development opportunities are seen as the top strategy being used for attracting and retaining talent in organizations.
There’s another angle added to it. While combining the lists of most popular courses from Coursera, Lynda and LinkedIn Learning, it is seen that soft-skill courses top the chart. This highlights how modern learners are trying to empower themselves by willingly trying to improve themselves for preparing for their future. Body Language topped the chart that also included Emotional Intelligence, Critical Thinking, and Communication skills enhancement courses.
Modern Learners thrive in online social environments
Undoubtedly, modern learners are more social than any previous generation. Social networking has taken the place of face-to-face communication. They are more likely to respond to a tweet or post their learning need in a Facebook page than make a call. The pull can be attributed to a collaborative environment and open forums that social media offers. With its aid, learners develop their creative, critical thinking ability, and communication skills in a much better self-directed manner. Also, social media satisfies their impatience urge of instant gratification. They are used to getting information at a moment’s notice and hence L&D teams must use this channel to enhance modern learners’ experience.
Modern learners prefer well articulated Micro Learning
New age learners are drifting away from traditional learning curriculum and embracing micro learning. Such an action-oriented approach of offering bite-sized learning gets modern learners to learn, act, and practice as it draws on the cognitive framework based on the natural attention span of humans. This bite-sized training needs to be taken care of while framing L&D strategies in organizations.
However, modern learners seek more than just shorter bursts of learning. They want formats that are entertaining and engaging. True micro learning is built on purpose. And it’s not easy as ideas don’t come pre-packaged in 90- second bursts. Invest and make efforts to create lessons that are impactful, informational, compact, engaging and meaningful.
Modern learners are ambitious
In the last two years, mobile searches including the term “best” and “____for me” have grown by 80 and 60% respectively as per Think with Google report. Learners are seeking for the most useful answers and 70% of users tend to leave if it’s not optimized for them as per their needs. To be precise, in spite of being busy and overwhelmed, modern learners are ambitious and their thirst for learning is growing high.
They know how to navigate their way around the virtual terrain. They are the most energized, skilled, and capable generation to enter the workforce. Learning and training are the keys to retaining millennials. Leveraging this trait will benefit employees and will give your L&D team a competitive edge over other corporations, contributing to improved retention rates.
Time to invest in employees’ ongoing learning and development journey!
While a majority of modern learners may possess these top 5 characteristics, however, it’s always wise to carry out a detailed learner analysis before creating your L&D framework. Address all gaps by ensuring that the needs of every individual are being considered. Empower L&D teams to develop the workforce of today with meticulous planning and flexibly enabling people to learn while they work. Help your organization attract, retain, and develop new and high-potential talent.
To know more about learning trends, register for the People Matters L&D Conference 2018, to be held on the 23rd October in Mumbai.