The Role of eLearning in the Millennial Definition of Change Management
By Allison Hess
February 15, 2017
The Millennial generation is becoming a driving force in business due to their sheer magnitude and use of technology. Most notably, Millennial attitudes and behaviors influence the perception and execution of specific strategies in the workplace. This is changing the way eLearning is utilized and moving forward, the role of eLearning in the Millennial workforce is expected to have a specific impact on change management.
Millennials are Open to Change
Millennials are known for many things, including their openness to change. For this reason, they are natural leaders in the change management field. Millennials are excited by innovation in their companies and often able to move with structural changes more easily than their older counterparts. In a similar vein, Millennials are not resistant to changing their own jobs. Millennial “job hopping” is higher than that of any other generation. Millennials on average have a minimum of 4 job changes in their first ten years out of college, according to a study by LinkedIn. However, the reason Millennials are frequently on the move is not, as many people assume, because they are more fickle than other generations. Rather, they feel they do not receive appropriate opportunities for advancement or training. 87% of Millennials reported that professional development is a deciding factor on whether or not they will accept or hold a position. Thus, if companies want to retain great talent, they will need to offer high-quality, updated education and training tools. This is most often found through cloud-based eLearning systems, which can be customized, updated, and spread easily.
Millennials are changing the way organizations are traditionally structured. Companies are moving from a top-down approach to all-around leadership and collaboration. Millennials appreciate opportunities to innovat
e and hold dialogue with their peers—but only if the collaboration is efficient and effective. When “time is money,” Millennials refuse to sit in long board meetings that seem to have no tangible results.
eLearning appears to be a potential solution to creating more efficient collaboration. Online teachers and forums enable discussion, learning, and growth when and how the employees need it. No more wasted time, space, or money on inefficient meetings or teachings.
Sharing versus Broadcasting
Prior to the rise of change management, major structural changes in organizations were often communicated in a top-down manner (e.g., changes were simply broadcast via a newsletter or email describing the changes to be made and each individual’s role in those changes). In 2017, more and more organizations are recognizing that broadcasting major change is largely ineffective, since it often fails to bring about true change within a company culture. Millennials connect with their peers and companies through social media, and increasingly, businesses are finding success using these platforms to disseminate information. They are also recognizing that training is part of change and eLearning is one way to assure that change-focused training takes place in a timely manner. Among other things, eLearning enables widespread information to be “broadcast” in an interactive and comprehensive way, while still being cost-efficient and brand-customized.
Flexible Work Balance
Although work-life balance has been important to every generation, Millennials are demanding a flexible work schedule. Work is now less about the number of hours spent in the office and more about the number of projects successfully and productively accomplished. It comes down to: “Where you work isn’t as important as how you work.”
Mobile-compatible, cloud-based training is going to be the choice communication with this new influx of millennial workers. The capability to access company-specific information anywhere, at any time, on any device is going to be the key to finding a true work-life balance.
With the ongoing movement of Millennials in the workplace, it seems likely that constant change will continue to structure most workplaces in the coming years. For this reason, it also seems likely that eLearning will continue to arise as a viable solution. After all, it is capable of responding to professional development needs in a flexibility and consistent manner.