An improving economy and shifting age demographics in the workforce will make 2015 a big year of change for corporate America. While employees are leaving old jobs for new at an ever-increasing rate, we’re also seeing a technological shift in the way that employees want to communicate — with a growing preference for video over text-based communications. These changes will have a profound impact on training and leadership development in the coming year.
Here are some key trends we see in 2015, and what companies can do to build compelling training programs that deliver results in the face of these changes.
The economy is up — and so is job hopping
With Americans increasingly optimistic about the job market, more individuals are leaving unsatisfactory positions to find new work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national quit rate has risen significantly over the past year. As hiring also picks up, opportunities are rife in nearly every industry — and especially in tech, where a recent analysis of unemployment data by Dice.com saw the unemployment rate dip to an average of 3%, with 55% of employers actively seeking to hire tech talent.
Baby boomers are ready to drop out
A recent report by XYZ University has found that even while people are holding onto their jobs later into life, the aging American workforce is already seeing significant turnover. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10,000 Baby Boomers retire, on average, every single day. Some industries are feeling the effects of that trend more than others — especially real estate, manufacturing, insurance, and health care, four of the largest industries in the country which also have the oldest median employee age.
With so many employees leaving their jobs due to better job prospects, retirement, onboarding, knowledge retention and management training will be critical.
Millennials are now the majority
In 2015, millennials will become the majority of the workforce. With that comes the expectation of more flexible schedules, on-demand information and more opportunities to do what they define as meaningful work. It also likely means more turnover — the same XYZ University report found that turnover among entry-level millennials is significant, with 70% of college grads leaving their first job after graduation within two years.
On the training front, this means that continuous learning and social learning will become increasingly important.
Less text, more video
In our personal lives, video has become the communication method of choice — and the same trend is happening in corporate environments. Driving that influx of enterprise video is a confluence of technology advances and simple human nature. Video is simply more engaging and impactful than text, and people retain more information when they watch video. Video activates more parts of our minds with visual content that can more easily hold our ever-shortening attention spans. And a new generation of smartphones, webcams, and simple video software has made creating, sharing and accessing video is easier than ever.
So what do all of these trends mean for training?
The statistics say it all. With more and more organizations facing talent management challenges due to increased job hopping and changing demographics, knowledge retention and training become all the more important. But how, specifically, can companies address this growing need?
According to Cisco, this year 85 percent of companies expect to create more video content than they did just in 2013. And along with the expected uses in marketing and social media, a rapidly growing set of organizations are now coming to rely on video for sales enablement, employee training and education, executive and management communications, and recorded online video slide presentations for social learning.
When it comes to sharing information on technologies and processes, video makes it easier to show rather than tell. In particular, screen recording tools enable employees to demonstrate to colleagues how to perform a task or reproduce an issue, and video cameras on smartphones and mobile devices offer team members a way to document a process or issue while onsite in the field.
With social knowledge sharing, video can actually benefit an organization twice — first, by recording answers to frequently-asked questions, subject matter experts save time that would otherwise be spent on repeated face-to-face inquiries, giving them more time get work done. Second, capturing and sharing that expertise in a corporate video library also helps to ensure that vital information doesn’t eventually leave with the employee.
New hires have lot to learn from the moment they step through the door on their first day. In addition to learning company procedures and policies, new recruits must also get up to speed on business strategy and product details as quickly as possible. Many organizations seek to address this challenge with face-to-face or classroom-based onboarding, but those solutions have a critical weakness. Once the session ends, it can’t be replayed, leaving new recruits to only hope they caught all the important points.
Video solves that problem, making it an ideal tool to support and scale onboarding programs. With just a standard laptop webcam and a video platform, companies can create a library of new hire training videos with tutorials and best practices for every role across the company. Video can also be used to provide new employees and their families with on-demand information about company benefits and enrollment procedures. And unlike paper manuals, video delivers a more immersive experience for new hires and gives them the opportunity to learn about the company’s culture and familiarize themselves with the personalities of the organization’s key people.
2015 promises to be an exciting year for employee training. With the right tools, companies can make sure that their learning and development programs continue to be effective in the face of changing economic and demographic factors.
A version of this post was first published in Training Magazine. For more information on how your organization can get the most out of video in 2015, contact our team for a free trial of the Panopto video platform today.