Millennials and Gen Z’s will make up the majority of the workforce and leadership positions in the next few years. This fast-growing population is smart, passionate, and the most technologically advanced generation we’ve ever seen.
As they emerge into leadership roles, organizations should be leveraging their love of learning to improve job-related skills, soft skills, and the traits needed to lead with emotional intelligence. As with all learner styles and generations, a “one size fits all” approach will not work. Rather, a blended approach that accommodates a variety of learning styles tailored to each individual’s specific learning needs will help your leaders learn, retain, and put the information into practice.
Adopting blended or hybrid approaches using a multi-modal leadership learning program can be effective across many learner styles, skills, and generations. Using this variety of learning techniques will give this new generation training options at the pace, style, and platform they desire.
The following training modalities are a sample of options to consider. Select a good mix for optimal engagement, retention, and satisfaction for your learners.
Multi-Modal Learning Approaches
- Virtual instructor-led training (VILT): Virtual training offers a scalable and cost-effective training solution. Shell has reduced the costs of its training programs by 90% by delivering more than 12,000 virtual training sessions.
- Instructor-led training (ILT): While VILT is an effective alternative, ILT is still the learner preference when it’s feasible. Companies use ILT because it proves to be more effective than other modalities in improving participants’ understanding of the material.
- Learning experience platforms (LXP/LEP) and adaptive learning: These software platforms focus on delivering personalized training experiences.
- Self-paced eLearning (LMS): A LMS is an ideal way to deliver more general training, such as new hire training and health and safety training.
- Simulations: Long an integral part of industries such as medicine, aviation, and military services, simulation training is going corporate. Giving employees real-life experience through simulations boosts their ability to retain knowledge, lets them learn in a risk-free environment, and fosters valuable collaborative skills.
- Situated learning: Placing learners “in the situation” can range from complete immersive training such as internships to opportunities for physical practice doing specific tasks or skills.
- Extended reality (XR): Extended reality refers to the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). While VR places learners in an environment that is entirely digital, AR layers digital images on top of real-world images, giving learners a more realistic training experience.
- Immersive learning experience: Immersive learning uses VR to give learners real-world experience, letting them practice their skills.
- Scenario-based learning: Because this type of immersive learning uses learner responses to determine the course of the training, it’s ideal for open-ended tasks and situations where actions have a direct impact on results.
- Micro-learning: A recent study shows that micro-learning—delivering small bites of content—improves learner focus and can improve long-term retention by as much as 80%.
- Cohorts: The collaborative nature of cohort-based learning, which includes group learning, peer coaching, and situated learning, offers an effective path to developing stronger leaders.
- Social and community-based learning: By connecting learners to colleagues and peers, engagement and skill development increase. LinkedIn research shows that learners on online platforms who used social features (participating in online chats or groups, engaging with instructors, or sharing learnings with peers) spent 30x more hours learning than those who didn’t.
- Coaching (informal and formal): Coaching is an ideal approach to help learners develop. It promotes creativity by supporting learners as they grow and build new skills.
- Flipped learning (role-play and practice): Rather than learning passively, flipped learning lets learners engage actively with content in ways that help them apply their existing knowledge and understanding to new situations, analyze and make connections, and evaluate new information more effectively.
- Rotational leadership: By placing next-gen leaders in each of a company’s major business units, they gain the understanding that will help them succeed.
- Academy learning: In addition to different activities that support training in the flow of work, academy learning includes several different training approaches, such as instructor-led facilitation, e-learning, immersive scenarios, and experiential learning.
- Mentoring: 79% of Millennials believe that mentoring is essential for career success. Overall, 97% of employees with a mentor say the experience is valuable, and 55% believe mentoring will help them succeed.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Choosing a variety of methods in leadership training, or any type of training will produce improved results. Millennials enjoy a mix of self-directed learning, classroom instruction, and on-the-job training. Their passion for learning and native technology skills can be leveraged to absorb more information than we’ve seen in other generations. Skill-building improves individual performance and productivity, team collaboration, and job satisfaction. It’s never too early to start developing emerging leadership.
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