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How To Leverage mLearning To Train Your Multigenerational Workforce

May 15, 2019 | By Asha Pandey


With most organizations having a mix of 4-5 learner profiles, there is a pressing need to have a learning strategy that can resonate with all of them. In this article, I show you how you can use mLearning to train your multigenerational workforce.

Leveraging mLearning To Train Your Multigenerational Workforce

One of the significant challenges that L&D teams face the world over is the wide range of ages in the workforce. As they gear up to handle the training needs and build leadership for tomorrow, the question is how to design a training strategy that would work across their multi-generational workforce.

The answer lies in first understanding the unique nuances of each generation and identifying what excites them, or otherwise. Then use the common cues to determine the right training strategy that can be delivered across the multi-generational workforce. In this article, I outline one of such measures that are, how you can leverage on mLearning to train your multi-generational workforce.

What Divergent Multigenerational Profiles Do You Need To Plan The Training For?

Today, most organizations have employees across the following 4 generations:

  1. Baby Boomers
  2. Gen X
  3. Gen Y
  4. Gen Z

Note: In fact, in some organizations (like legal firms), you are likely to see even a fifth profile (the Traditionalists).

While each profile is different from the next, all of them have several common aspirations.

  • Essentially, everyone wants to learn so that they can perform better and grow in the organization.
  • Given the workload and pressure of achieving a work-life balance, they do not want to carve out large chunks of work hours for training. Instead, they look for more flexible, shorter trainings that can offer them the flexibility to consume on the go/in the office seamlessly.

Each profile has some unique aspects that include what their preferred tools and methods of learning are. Also, the motivators that will help them learn are different for different profiles.

Interestingly, mLearning provides a wide range of options and possibilities that will help you address the learning approaches across all the profiles and train your multigenerational workforce.

What Factors And Expectations Are Common Across The Multigenerational Workforce?

At EI, we work with several global L&D teams to address this challenge of training the multigenerational workforce.

Let me share some of the key pointers we have seen on what the employees of today (across generations) wish to see.

Top 10 Wishlist

  1. Personalized training (so that they spend time on what they really need or what interests them).
  2. Training that is relevant, relatable, and can be easily applied on the job.
  3. Training that is flexible and is available “anytime, anywhere”.
  4. Training delivery that gives them the control to consume on the device of their choice.
  5. Short, focused training that can be consumed or accessed easily to “on the go”.
  6. Instant learning aids or job aids (that are available within their workflow and do not require them to log on to the LMS and hunt for them when needed).
  7. Training that features interesting content.
  8. Training that offers motivating content and provides a hook while bringing them back to learn more.
  9. Learning strategies that do not follow the most obvious format but engage and challenge them.
  10. The bottom line is, that they want training that helps them with a sense of time well spent and walk away with a sense of accomplishment.

What Are The “Must Haves” To Train Your Multigenerational Workforce, And How Can You Leverage mLearning To Meet Them?

If I were to map the capabilities of mLearning-based training to the wish list to train the multigenerational workforce, it would tick all aspects.

Beyond these, the biggest appeal of mLearning for multigenerational workforce training is its ability to sync up with the learner lifestyles. Thereby, it can be delivered in diverse formats that can be consumed during the day or the week. This could include:

  • Listening to podcasts as they drive.
  • Reviewing video-based learning during their bus/train commute.
  • Referring to a job aid (a quick reference guide or a cheat sheet) in waiting periods.
  • Taking a short practice session.
  • Taking a challenge over the weekend (a gamified assessment).

When combined with other trending approaches, its impact multiplies, and it resonates across the multigenerational teams. For instance, you can use:

  1. Microlearning-based training for formal training as well as to offer instant job aids/learning aids (Performance Support intervention).
  2. Video and interactive video-based learning across varied corporate trainings that include Induction and Onboarding, Compliance, Soft Skills, Leadership skills and so on.
  3. Mobile apps for learning to offer personalized learning paths.
  4. Use elements of gamification to retain learner interest and keep them engaged to complete the learning path.

How Can You Leverage On mLearning For Training Your Multigenerational Workforce?

You can leverage on mLearning for training your multigenerational workforce through the following approaches. You can offer:

  1. A judicious mix of learning and reinforcements to ensure that the “Forgetting Curve” does not set in.
  2. Adequate room to practice, hone skills, and gain proficiency or mastery.
  3. Detailed feedback and remediation or recommendations to further enhance their learning.
  4. Nudges to review, challenges, and hooks to come back for more.
  5. A channel for informal and social or collaborative learning.
  6. An avenue to contribute User-Generated Content (UGC).

While the challenge of the multigenerational workforce is a tough one, and it needs several measures to meet the mandate. Leveraging on mLearning is a great point to start.

I hope this article provides pointers that you can use to leverage on mLearning for training your multigenerational workforce.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

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Asha Pandey
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