On Tuesday this week the American Society for Training and Development held their annual Southwest Learning Summit her in Plano. Keynote speaker Tony Bingham, current CEO of ASTD talked about the new Millennial Generation, or as he put it, the “Net” Generation. This demographic group is just about ready to enter the workplace. The majority of this group has graduated from high school and will be moving into college of the work force. The majority will enter after some college.
So what is so special about this group? This group will represent about 50% of our workforce by 2014, a force of over 162 million new workers. Tony continued to describe the “Net-Gen”. This is the group that has been on the internet since they were born. They cut their teeth on our mouse pads. They didn’t experience phone with wires attaching them to the wall. They are the masters of multi-tasking, just watch one go at it on their Ipod. They are talking, texting and listening to music, all at one time. The blackberry is for the boomers. This generation is smarter than the past generations with greater brain development. Thanks to video gaming and other electronic stimuli. The average IQ has increased by 3% every decade. This group also has a different outlook toward work life. They seek greater freedom and customization of their work. They want to be managed as individuals and not as a part of a group. They seek integrity and transparency in the workplace. Work needs to be fun and not just a method to make money.
For training this group we will also need to seek new venues that can attract and retain their attention. Classroom and e-Learning will continue to be utilized, but newer venues in the social media world will need to be considered and utilized in the blended learning process. This generation is the generation that grew up tweeting, blogging, U-Tubing, Facebook…… They will want to be able to get instant knowledge on demand. These new venues or tools will also be used for recruiting this generation. Snail Mail is out texting is in! Look at how Facebook and Linkedin is becoming a leading recruitment channel for recruiters.
I personally look forward to working with the Net Gens because they will drive our future technologies that will contribute to the success of our businesses. I also feel that this generation will come to the workplace more engaged, with a joy of learning while working.
Next issue, a review of ASTD Learning Summit keynote speaker Tony Schwartz’s message on transforming the way we work.