It’s no longer appropriate to view millennials as a challenger generation.
They are no longer that up and coming statistical minority; they have now ‘arrived’ in the workforce in vast numbers, and have just become the largest workforce generational group.
Along with their sheer presence millennials bring one other fascinating quality to the table: they are the most demanding workforce generation.
This study of 1,000 middle and senior managers, from UK firms, revealed that when considering all 4 generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, millennials and Generation Z, millennials required more guidance and support than other generations.
Millennials were shown to be more reliant on detailed targets and regular progress meetings to keep up their motivation than other generations.
This high maintenance millennial mind-set should not be viewed as a negative or a generational tax, because a deeper dive into the data reveals that it is an eagerness to learn new skills that is driving this demand for management time.
Millennials are a typically well-educated generation who value personal development, which should be music to the ears of L&D professionals.
One way to satisfy this insatiable need for learning, within the millennial generation, is to bring a greater focus on self-directed, ‘just in time’ learning.
Class-room based block learning, while comprehensive, occurs too infrequently to meet the typical millennials day to day demand for knowledge.
Block learning still has it’s place but it must be blended with a more ‘in the moment’ and ‘on demand’ style of micro-learning if the L&D offering is to going to satiate the demanding millennial generation.
It is within this environment of self-directed, ‘just in time’ learning that mobile learning really comes into it’s own.
Technological advances now mean that it is possible to deliver world-class, state-of-the-art learning via smart-phone or tablet.
This makes it a perfect learning platform for millennials, for 2 main reasons.
The first is that millennials are virtually addicted to smart-phones, with 25% of them spending more than 5 hours per day on the phone, according to this study by B2X.
Half of them look at their phone over 50 times a day, three times the rate of boomers.
If you produce learning content on the mobile you’ll be able to deliver it right to the millennial’s door step, no matter where they are.
This brings us neatly to the second benefit of mobile learning for millennials, that is, it suited to remote and flexible working, which is what millennials love doing.
You can’t reliably reach millennials with an exclusively face-to-face, classroom based learning delivery environment because working remotely is part of their DNA.
Mobile learning means that you can deliver learning to millennials anywhere/anytime which is something that traditional learning models will fail to do.
But, it’s more than about logistics.
Research shows that millennials are motivated by personalised learning and mobile based learning has perhaps the greatest capacity to deliver on this.
By personalised, we mean giving the learner the ability to control the nature, timing, and direction of the learning process.
This level of personification and flexibility just can’t be achieved with traditional, face-to-face learning, whereas it is easy do with mobile learning.
By giving your millennial learners access to a library of snack-able learning content which can they dip into at will, gives learners the ability to personalise and self-direct their learning to suit both their day-to-day and long term developmental needs.
Mobile-based learning provides another distinct benefit to millennials in that you can automate reward and recognition of learning using gamification.
By using game based features like achievement badges and leader board learners can receive recognition for their learning.
This means that mobile-learning should be especially motivational to millennials as research shows they are the generation most incentivised by reward and praise.
Mobile learning brings so many benefits to millennial learners over traditional class-room based learning that it has to be the right way to go for the what is now the biggest generational group.
By delivering mobile based, ‘just in time’ learning across your business you will drive up ‘participation rates’, ‘engagement’ and ‘learner retention within your millennial population.