The business world is changing and professional associations need to start thinking differently about how they operate and serve their members’ learning needs.
In the United States alone, baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, leaving behind a huge hole in organisational knowledge and leadership, and millennials, who have high expectations when it comes to learning and development, are projected to account for 75% of the workforce by 2025. The challenge for associations now includes meeting the learning needs of millennial members while managing the growing knowledge gap and accounting for the way in which rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing the job market.
The good news is that millennials are eager to learn and acquire new skills. To remain relevant and valuable to a tech-savvy, knowledge-hungry millennial audience, more associations are turning to tech to modernise their approach to learning and development and incorporate new kinds of content and delivery methods. According to industry research firm Tagoras, 87.4% of professional organizations are now offering technology-enabled learning to their members, and of those, 60% indicated they are currently offering their members access to a learning platform.
By leveraging next-gen learning platforms, associations can play an important role in filling the emerging workforce knowledge gap while meeting millennial expectations for learning and professional development, helping them to realise their career ambitions, quickly accumulate knowledge, stay abreast of industry change, and remain in lockstep with fast-moving best practices.
Here are four ways that a next-generation learning platform can help associations facilitate an engaging learning experience for millennial members:
Integrated, adaptive learning
Busy millennial professionals want to consume information at their own pace with content delivered in manageable, digestible chunks. A learning platform can help support this adaptive style of learning, allowing members to personalise their learning to fill in knowledge gaps as they see fit, leverage decision trees to access various learning paths and content, and move quickly through course content when they demonstrate mastery.
Mobile learning is the future. Global mobile and tablet browsing now accounts for 51.3% of all web traffic and today’s on-the-go professionals demand anywhere, anytime learning with content maintained in the cloud so they can easily access learning content from their preferred mobile device. Millennials are also very comfortable consuming video content on mobile devices for just-in-time learning opportunities and prefer this kind of visual learning to paper-based methods.
Most millennials use the web and social media to learn about things online and network with friends. Next-generation learning platforms allow associations to provide their members with a one-stop-shop for social and collaborative learning where individuals can access information, expert advice, and mentorship online, as well as network virtually and share experiences and insights in real-time. For example, they can leverage integrated video capabilities to enable regular feedback and facilitate iterative improvement through social assessment.
Content creation and curation
Not only do most millennials cite the opportunity to learn and grow as the thing they look for most in a job, but they also assume a digital-first approach to video discovery and are platform agnostic in their video consumption. That makes the effective creation and curation of “just-in-time” learning content, especially video-based learning content, a critical component of the kind of informal, modern learning experience millennial professionals are seeking out. Using a next-gen learning engagement platform, associations can enable millennial members to access “snackable” snippets of “how to” nuggets of knowledge when they need it most.
By using a next-generation learning platform to facilitate mobile learning, social learning, just-in-time learning with strategic content creation and curation, and other modern learning strategies, associations can play an important role in helping young professionals quickly accumulate knowledge, stay abreast of industry change, and remain in lock-step with fast-moving best practices.