THE MILLENNIALS ARE CALLING
Work is important, presence is not
The millennials are flowing in the corporate industry and changing the way workplaces work. Only in the United States, over 40% of the employees will leave the industry to pursue opportunities that satisfy their passion. Ethnic diversity is increasing and employees are generally becoming more globally oriented. Job hopping has become the new ‘cool’ trend, and recent graduates are constantly experimenting and learning skills to explore their potential. (Loehr, 2014)
According to Intelligence Group, 86 million millennials will be in the workplace by 2020. Further research shows how they are proudly oriented towards meaningful and independent work. 74% want flexible work schedules, 88% are looking for collaborative work environments, and 64% want to create an impact on the world through their actions. Hence, the influx of GenY in the corporate world requires an adjustment on part of the organisations to if they are to retain them. (Asghar, 2014)
Along with several other things which makes the millennial generation stand out, the chunk of females actively participating in the workforce is one of them. According to a report by PwC titles The Female Millenial, this is the first generation with so many career-oriented females. They do not just want to work outside their homes but also outside their home countries. They are as equally incorporated into the global work transformation as men, and this has never happened before.
The language of millennials
Studies about neuroplasticity, which is the change that occurs in the brain structure as a result of different learning and experience, has shown that the brain structures of this generation is technology-oriented. Hence, institutions need to incorporate technological tools in their lesson delivery. They are also dependent on and interactive with their parents. This hints the learning institutions to shape their marketing strategies towards the parents. (Beatriz Rivera, 2006)
Rivera also mentions that, institutions need to pay attention to these changes and adjust their culture and learning curriculum accordingly. Hence, they must make an effort to make the learning environment inclusive and flexible for the millennials. The incorporation of technology is necessary in order to make institutions more global and flexible. They must instill mechanisms where the students can be a part of the institutions regardless of space and time.
Interactive, tech-savvy and, restructured training is required for the adaptation of new teaching models. According to Price, a psychology professor in Dalton State College, millennials are multi-taskers and they look for greater variety. Instructors are using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to interact with students and share resources. YouTube videos are also being used for lessons in class. (Novotney, 2010)
Professor Hartman suggests using new methods to engage students such as student response mechanisms and collaborative spaces for team projects. Millennials want experience alongside their learning. They increasingly volunteer and do part-time work. This also explains why they want flexibility in the workplace and want their bosses to act like their mentors.
Learning how to learn
As institutions and workplaces integrate digital practices in their activities, there is also an increase in distance learning. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, there was a 4.7 percent increase in the enrolment of distance learning courses in 2013. If the numbers are increasing, this indicates that students are satisfied by the courses.
The new students turning into employees have low memory retention. They have a vast amount of knowledge but not in-depth knowledge. With a low retention rate, they are better at learning in short bursts. Since online learning courses are usually self-paced, it provides a greater sense of independence and flexibility which is the highlight of a millennial’s life. This generation lives in a time when tuition fee is increasing every day, hence, distance learning saves them the living expense in another place and online course allow them to gain necessary qualifications to get basic jobs and earn money. (Bâby, 2016)
A long-distance affair
While in the US, online learning has already become a common word of the mouth, the UK still struggles to gain an international positioning in this field. There is an inherent scepticism in the culture of the UK which needs to be overcome for e-learning to thrive. One way to do this is to provide reliable and quality accreditation, for example, Columbia University has a strong reputation in this market. This makes the role of online training providers significant. Educational organisations including Pearson are already providing accreditation useful for adding credibility to training professionals. (Coleman, 2014)
With diversity and inclusivity increasingly prevalent in the workplaces and institutions, technology has become a lifeline for organisations to make their practices digital and up to date. A global mindset of the millennials has led to them look for work and study opportunities beyond borders. As a result, distance learning requires a greater number of trainers and reliable accreditation to overcome customer scepticism and enhance their confidence. E-learning practices encourage, not just students, but also organisations to provide a chance to their employees to upgrade their skills. It is not very long before online learning becomes the new ‘cool’ trendy thing to do.