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5 steps to introducing new learning and development frameworks

Over 60 million Generation Z employees are set to enter the workforce over the next few years, but how you can recruit and retain them? We’ve assembled five key learning and development frameworks that can help you fill skills gaps and modernise your business.

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5 steps to introducing new learning and development frameworks

Over 60 million Generation Z employees are set to enter the workforce over the next few years, but how you can recruit and retain them? We’ve assembled five key learning and development frameworks that can help you fill skills gaps and modernise your business.

1). Break learning down into bite-sized, impactful chunks

So, who are Gen Z? – Generation Z are those born from 1996 to 2012 – and soon to become a prominent part of the workforce, bringing with them fresh ideas and new ways of working.

There will be two things to consider when looking to hiring Generation Z employees – their desire to receive information instantly and their wavering attention spans.

Both of these factors should inspire you to introduce a ‘microlearning’ framework.

If you’ve downloaded a language app like Duolingo lately, you will know what microlearning is – punchy, bite-sized learning and development frameworks delivered at a time and place that suits your busy schedule.

Microlearning breaks information down into short bursts, using concise paragraphs, illustrations, audio snippets and interactive games/quizzes.

This new way of learning meets the needs of the modern workforce and has proven to be more engaging, efficient and cost-effective than other methods.

By creating bite-sized learning courses, you remove the need to pay for an instructor, utilities, classroom equipment and reprinting training manuals when updates are made. According to academic Ray Jimenez’s book 3-minute eLearning, learning developers can reduce development costs by 50 percent.

Introducing microlearning also helps companies increase retention and productivity. According to a recent survey, microlearning improves focus and supports long-term retention by up to 80 percent.

There are a number of free and very affordable microlearning apps that you could use to create new staff training programmes. Further examples can also be found here.

If you want to access support from experts, our Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM) project can introduce you to BCU academics and students who can help you build a basic training management system.

2). Human touch is important

It’s well established that your future workforce know technology like the back of their hand. However, they’re not robots always glued to their phones.

Surveys show that 72 percent of Generation Z employees prefer face-to-face communication at work.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be in person – Generation Z often use FaceTime, Zoom or Skype as methods of face-to-face communication. These virtual environments are a natural way for your future employees to build their relationships with their peers.

Therefore, utilising virtual or real-life face-to-face learning and development frameworks can help you recruit and retain fresh talent, and can also establish a symbiotic relationship with your staff – your new recruits can be mentored by more experienced staff, while the latter can learn new techniques and methods from the former.

Consider hackathons, role-playing activities, design challenges, mentorship programmes and live discussion groups as new methods of learning.

3). Create your learning with smartphones in mind

Bring your training to where Generation Z lives – on their smartphones. It may sound like a generalisation, but it is an accurate one, with 55 percent of them using their smartphones for more than five hours a day.

Therefore, it is imperative that you build frameworks with a mobile-first design that is succinct, simple and interactive.

You will not retain interest if this mobile technology is too complicated or slow, however. Ensure your information is relevant, has a clear design and simple navigation.

As mentioned earlier, incorporating interaction between colleagues and microlearning strategies will further bolster its appeal.

If you are looking for cheap, effective and easy-to-use mobile training content, eLearning Centre has created a list of some of the UK’s best providers.

4). Immersive, personalised learning

Your future workforce is adept at immersive learning, in which training is brought to life in a way that is interactive and engaging.

Immersive training uses technologies such as augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), respectively, to create engaging learning in a controlled environment.

AR and VR can offer an introduction to new systems, minimises risks and facilitate accelerated training. Immersive learning environments can generate as much as 40 percent in training time and cost savings.

Furthermore, artificial intelligence (AI) is a key trend that has been used to support human workers, becoming one of the most relevant tools in the talent management industry.

54 percent of executives state that implementing AI is increasing productivity.

Using AI software can help you increase the level of difficulty when a learner is doing well or reducing it when they need further support.

Utilising this software can also help you identify areas for improvement on an individual or team level, enabling you to deliver additional material that covers specific skills gaps.

Interested in implementing some of these technologies into your business? HLSM can help you make vital connections to make it happen.

5). Cross-training ticks the boxes

The changing workforce of today wants to know everything – and that can be advantageous to your business.

Offer training that extends an employee’s capabilities. Offer sales training to a marketing officer or vice versa.

When it comes to enticing Generation Z employees to your business, agility is paramount.

This will enable employees to perform quick pivots, making your workplace more flexible and better positioned to deal with changing circumstances. It will help you close those skills gaps and place you ahead of the curve when it comes to recruitment.

Tailored, hands-on support to solve your business challenges

Our award-winning HLSM project understands the needs of modern businesses by working closely with them to identify their requirements, fill skills gaps and recruit a talented student/graduate that can meet the business’ needs.

HLSM, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund, is a unique partnership between BCU, Aston University, Newman University and local councils to introduce better business growth for SMEs in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area. 

HLSM’s account manager provides one-to-one support, as well as a business skills needs assessment, which provides comprehensive evidence of what challenges the business is facing and how we can support.

The project ensures it matches the right student and graduate talent to the business, offering mutual benefits – our students and graduates build their real-world experience and get to apply their knowledge, while local businesses can address and solve challenges they are facing.

“HLSM looks to meet the needs of the changing workforce by offering tailored, focused support, as well as providing a talented student or graduate, adept at skills in current ways of working,” explains Nicole Riley, Graduate Talent Consultant.

“If you are looking to develop new ways of working – whether it be to recruit new talent, fill skills gaps or stay ahead of the competition – we have the talent, knowledge, resources and commitment to help make it happen.”

Looking for further guidance on building new learning and development frameworks? Get in touch and find out how HLSM can support your business.

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