Tofaş Akademi

Update Your Strategy for iGen Learners

As 2020 and the first wave of the “great shift change” looms on the horizon, training organizations are juggling strategic planning and training delivery during an unprecedented volume of churn, as Boomers retire and the replacement workforce comes in with new, higher expectations for a User Learning Experience (ULX).

Workers entering the workforce can’t remember a time without access to the Internet and Google Search available at any time on their smartphone (sometimes called the “iGeneration,” or “iGen” after Apple’s popular naming convention), and they expect formal and informal training on the job will match the learning style they grew up with:

  • tech-enabled and personalized
  • self-guided and on-demand
  • in mobile-friendly, microlearning chunks.

With so many competing demands on the modern learner, training content must be more engaging than ever and have a high production value to appeal to a sophisticated media consumer. As a digital transformation makes its way across the corporate training landscape, the currency of the modern learning economy is your learner’s attention—hard to get, and harder to keep.

For many traditional risk-averse training organizations, it will take an uncomfortable wave of disruptive innovation to move forward with a content delivery strategy matching their iGen customers’ learning style and exceeding ULX expectations.

Closing that gap between current and future states can be a challenging digital-transformation journey, but training organizations can learn valuable continuous improvement lessons from unconventional business areas and models.

Asking the question, “How do we get there from here?” motivated our small team to apply new ideas using best practices and strategies from alternate industries and disciplines, which gave our corporate training strategy an evolutionary jump forward! (See image below.)


Set aside the training industry view of the world for a moment, and consider what disruptive innovation your team might re-purpose from these diverse sources of inspiration:

E-CommercePotential Training Application
One-click purchases and consumer behavior tracking, including:

· Click-through rates to other pages

· Time on page

· Interaction with clickable events

· Source/origination of traffic

· Repeat vs. new user traffic

· Time-of-day volume trending

Leverage HTML5 for content delivery (vs. mobile app or e-book) and apply Google Analytics to track and trend key event triggers launched by learners, such as:

· Playing a video

· Completing a guided simulation

· Returning to a previously completed course and using a “one-click to content” menu to navigate directly to a refresher on step procedures for a task

Brick-and-Mortar RetailPotential Training Application
· Staging of shop floor space to drive traffic flow (higher profit merchandise up front, and clearance in the back)

· Upselling consumption of high-value purchases

· Apply UX web design and instructional design principles so your “gotta know it” content is featured up front in the prime real estate spot, and opt-in “nice-to-know” content is further down the page—and leverage your assessment strategy with learning objectives to judge the difference

· Ask “Is this the content on which I want to burn my most limited resource—the attention span of my learners—for the best ROI of their time?”

Social Media MarketingPotential Training Application
· Tracking video view-counts and abandonment rate timing and volume

· Ad choices for personalized messaging

· Subscriptions

· Polling

· Influencers as early adopters and brand ambassadors

· Pull metrics from a streaming media server for visibility into when viewers drop off of a training video, and shorten the average length of your tutorial messages accordingly

· Feature Tier 1 support SMEs as on-camera talent so learners know who to connect with for quick and accurate help, and assist SMEs with building their personal brand as a go-to resource for informal, collaborative learning with their peers

Self-Help PsychologyPotential Training Application
· Introspective self-evaluation

· Positivity coaching

· Encourage feelings of individual empowerment and self-confidence through voicing feedback

Push beyond the traditional Kirkpatrick Level 1 “Smile Sheet” course evaluations and build surveys that:

· Ask targeted questions about the learner’s perception of their own people readiness to perform tasks after the training

· Remind them how much they have learned with examples

· Acknowledge when they do not have any outstanding questions

· Build their self-confidence to see greater end-user adoption rates with reduced resistance to change

Software DevelopmentPotential Training Application
· Buy/lease/rent talent—Buy (hire FTE), lease (consultant/contractor) or rent (outsource) coding and programming tasks

· Prepare release notes for end users for detailing changes, updates, improvements, and bug fixes during the software development life cycle

· After completing a self-guided course, make the content available for sustainment/refresher training on demand in the LMS, with a page dedicated to release notes about what’s changed in the materials and when those changes were published, so a returning learner quickly knows what’s new at a glance

· Consider hiring a contractor to write custom Java Scripts to expand functionality of your rapid content development tool of choice, so you have a great ULX for learners but don’t have to carry that specialty skill set as a full-time employee

· Consider buying pre-coded widgets from a third-party vendor for targeted new functionality at a one-time cost

Digital Transformation of Print MediaPotential Training Application
Adding slideshows and interviews over static photos, opt-in/want-to-know-more content, mobile-first design thinking—formatted to tablet dimensions but works on desktop browsers· Leverage the unique elements provided by an HTML5 delivery of training content

· Incorporating rich media and mobile-first design principles

· To create a corporate training ULX that models the quality of the consumer experience available on most learners’ smartphones

Digital MarketingPotential Training Application
· Monitor and manage customer brand and product awareness

· New product promotion

· Measure market penetration

· Determine demand for potential new products

· Design targeted and mass mailings

· Leveraging influencers with high-target-audience recognition for sponsorship, endorsements, testimonials

· Feature your people and your products in training videos to build a relationship with the brand (your training content)

· Include executive sponsors delivering a change-management message or a recognized innovator recommending a new product solution to the enterprise

· Target questions in the end-of-course survey to gauge your audience’s willingness to receive follow-on performance support training

· Learn their preference for how that training should be delivered—is there an ROI on spending six months building a wiki if only 9 percent of users say they would use it?

Augmented RealityPotential Training Application
Combination of in-real-life (IRL) events or observed behavior and digital content delivery to influence and extend the user experience· Low-tech options to start getting mobile screens involved in training at minimal cost

· Use free online tools to create QR codes that link to online training materials; print out stickers and place them in the work area where that training applies

· Think of links to job aids outlining step procedures and tutorial videos for how to receive goods and materials into the system, posted around the loading dock to be scanned on demand from company-issued tablets or phones for refresher training

What other industries might be unconventional sources for inspiration when updating your corporate training strategy for iGen learners? Which content delivery platforms hold your attention in your private life and give you a baseline for meeting your corporate learners’ high ULX expectations?

As you plan your digital transformation journey to a scalable, sustainable training solution, keep challenging your team with the foundational question: “How do we get there from here?”





Curated by: Burak Altuğ Semercioğlu

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