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.