One of the key reasons often cited for Generation Y employees changing jobs is that they feel they aren’t learning any more.
Research reports tend to couch this in phrases such as ‘lack of career advancement’ but that covers the same territory. As you advance your career, a major part of the satisfaction comes from new experiences that you learn from.
This phenomenon can be described as 2014’s version of the glass ceiling. It’s a ‘Learning Ceiling’.
So how do Learning and Development Managers need to tackle this costly talent draining issue?
The answer doesn’t lie in merely sending those Gen Y employees on a course. That’s a traditional approach which fails to tap into how people actually learn about things.
Based on the well trodden 70:20:10 model, 90% of learning comes from ‘doing’ and from colleagues. And there’s not a lot of ‘doing’ in theory orientated classroom teaching.
We live in a media and communications world where our antennae are constantly tuned into a multitude of messages and experiences. That’s what we learn from. That’s why most of us couldn’t live without our Smart phones or tablets.
That principle needs to applied to learning in the workplace. It needs to be driven by experiences from actually doing things – not from dry text book theory.
Over the next few years, Learning Managers will start to see various ways that they can facilitate ‘learning by doing’. And the most effective ways will be based on how most of us now live our lives.
Technology enables us to get almost any information we need on the go. It enables us to try out new things on the fly. And then share and compare our experiences with those in our peer groups. It enables us to ask questions of each other and broaden our horizons . In other words, it’s a constant learning experience.
So, it really is that simple. By relegating those old learning programmes to the bin and adopting new ‘learning by doing’ programmes, managers can start to tackle the ‘Learning Ceiling’ issue.