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The Top Characteristics of a Learning Generation


September 12, 2019



The Top Characteristics of a Learning Generation

We are nearing the end of a decade, and according to statistics, millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) and Generation Z (those born in the early 2000s) already make up half of the global workforce.

By 2025, millennials and Generation Z will comprise 75% of the global workforce. Both millennials and Generation Z are considered to be learning generations, as both of these generations were born digital natives. In other words, they started interacting with technology at very young ages. But being born a digital native is not the only reason millennials and Gen Z are a learning generation. It is being born in an era of advancement and revolutionary changes that has led them to have a number of characteristics that make them amazing learners. Because they are amazing learners, it makes them amazing employees. But what are these characteristics that make millennials and post-millennials a learning generation? In this article, we’ll discuss exactly those characteristics.

1. A Thirst For Knowledge

Both of these generations are a curious lot, and thus are always willing to learn how things work. Millennials and post-millennials are willing to invest time and money to learn new things and grow. This is made evident by the amount of student loans this generation takes and the amount of time they spend learning on the internet. This curiosity or thirst for knowledge leads these generations to be great employees, who do not need to be repeatedly told to learn new skills, as they are willing to do that on their own accord. To do this, they must be presented with learning that engages them.

2. A Sense Of Individuality

Each millennial or post-millennial believes that they are one in a million, a completely unique individual, which is in a way true. However, this belief of theirs often irritates the older generations who think that they got everything “handed to them on a silver platter”. However, it is this sense of individuality that makes millennials and post-millennials a highly-creative generation. Their individuality keeps them happy, and makes them come up with unique and innovative ideas. When it comes to learning, these generations choose their own unique learning paths, which give an organization a pool of employees with a variety of talents.

3. Multitasking

Both the generations mentioned above are also habitual multitaskers, due to the fact that they have been surrounded by technology from a young age that allows them to listen to music as they chat with someone on a social media site, all the while they are doing their homework. This multitasking skill comes in handy when millennials and post-millennials start working, as it allows them to learn from a digital learning platform while doing their jobs. In addition to this, communicating with colleagues and sharing important information.

4. A Craving For Quick Feedback

Millennials and post-millennials both crave feedback and as quickly as possible. Why do you think these generations are addicted to Facebook and Instagram? Because when they post something, they want instant feedback, in the form of a like or a comment. This is one of the reasons why they constantly check their phones every 5 minutes. This craving for feedback also makes them good learners as they thrive on it to improve their performance. Providing employees from this generation with instant feedback in their digital learning courses, and a weekly feedback from their managers, are great ways to get them to improve professionally and personally.

5. Adaptability

Because millennials and post-millennials have seen the world advance quicker than any other generation has, they are great at adapting to changing situations. This is something that is known in corporate organizations as “learning agility”. Learning agility allows employees from this generation to quickly grasp the changing trends of an industry and to develop skills to align themselves with those trends.

These characteristics of millennials and the Gen Z make them the “learning generation”. Organizations can take advantage of these characteristics of these generations, provided they supply their millennial and post-millennial employees with learner-centric digital learning that fits their characteristics. Using outdated learning methodologies on these generations will be a waste of effort. Implement digital learning in your organization as soon as possible and use the learning generation to take your organization to new heights.

You may also be interested in our article about the greatest TED talks on learning! Click here to check it out or copy the link, https://training.safetyculture.com/blog/4-ted-talks-on-the-future-of-learning/

If you would like to learn more about how to build the most effective employee training strategy!

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Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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