Genera­tions Y and Z: Your new currency is called time!

Keeping profes­sional knowledge up to date is important. But learning costs time – and time is money. In big, hard to digest lumps. There’s another way. Conti­nuous, bite sized appetizers. Such learning oppor­tu­nities are parti­cu­larly beneficial for genera­tions Y and Z, for whom a good work-life balance is more important than for all previous genera­tions.

If only I had taken more time…

“If only I’d had more time, I just worked too hard.” Genera­tions Y and Z have heard this sentence a few times too often. From her parents and grand­parents. Where did this come from? The grand­parents were still shaken by the war years and had to rebuild everything in the post-war decades. So there was little time for private matters.
They inocu­lated their children: “You should get better some day. Works hard.” According to them, work went above all. Again, family and private interests were at a disad­vantage. Genera­tions Y and Z now draw the line. My house, my boat, my car – that’s not what Millen­nials are about. Their currency Time. And they wish to spend it wisely.

Good job, promotion oppor­tu­nities, a decent salary – still important

A good job, career oppor­tu­nities, a decent salary – these is still important to the Ys and Zettlers. But it is at least as important to them that their private lives do not suffer as a result. They don’t want to look back one day and regret not having travelled the world, not having lived out their hobby or not having seen their friends and family enough.

From their perspective this is not even necessary. Both genera­tions have grown up in a digital world and the mobile Internet, where everything works in real time and at the touch of a button – from any place and at any time. And for them it is incom­pre­hen­sible why the profes­sional world should follow other laws.

Flexi­bility is the trump card

Smart­phones, laptops and the like have long since allowed the office to wander. Working today is completely flexible. So why not drop the stylus at four in the afternoon instead of eight? And spend the beautiful sunny day with friends or family. You can still work in the evening – from the home office.

The PageGroup Working Life Study (article in german) confirms that this is now a manifest trend. The boundary between private life and work is becoming incre­a­singly blurred. In Switz­erland, around 70 of the employees work regularly via remote access.

Flexible offers in conti­nuing education

But beware: Those who take this step should provide the tools to enable their employees to work digitally. Conse­quently, it should also make flexible offers to them in the area of conti­nuing education. There is no question that corporate learning is becoming incre­a­singly important in our incre­a­singly data-driven world. Accord­ingly, it should have a firm place in everyday working life.

The reason: Simple job content is incre­a­singly being outsourced to Algorithms. Therefore, learning content is also shifting and virtua­lising. And ist getting more complex, too. According to the World Economic Forum, at least 133 million new roles will be created worldwide by 2022 as a result of the incre­asing division of labor between people, machines and algorithms. For the most part, they require highly specific knowledge.

Presence seminars were yesterday

This makes conti­nuous learning a must. Those who present their employees with a programme consisting of face-to-face seminars will meet with little enthu­siasm, especially among the mille­nials. For the younger genera­tions, a learning culture tied to place and time is just as much a relic from the past as rigid times at work of nine to five.

But don’t worry. There is a solution. In the form of a mobile learning platform. Employees login to whenever they feel they need new input – no matter where they are. The content can be provided as a webinar, video tutorial or any other conceivable form. It is also possible to exchange infor­mation digitally on the various topics – time-shifted in chats or in real time in virtual class­rooms.

In this way, employees can perfectly integrate vocational learning into their daily routine. They also decide how long they learn and what they learn. Sometimes the inclusion of small portions of learning is enough to solve an existing problem. This knowledge can be called up very purpo­se­fully via a learning platform. Your employees will have the motivating experience: Learning can also be fun. Thanks to integrated gamifi­cation instru­ments such as quizzes.

In this way, employers not only meet the need of their employees for more flexi­bility in favour of a better work-life balance. They also move profes­sional learning out of a very unattractive niche in which it had to survive for a long time: too unspe­cific, too lengthy, too time-consuming and anything but fulfilling. The effect: Your employees are always up-to-date, without ever having to make compro­mises in their private lives. If this isn’t a win-win situation.

Sonja Dietz

Sonja Dietz

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