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Companies Aren’t Investing Enough In Training Younger Employees

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) recently published a sweeping report, examining how employers, government agencies, and postsecondary institutions spend to collectively educate and train the U.S. workforce.

In the US, a total of $1.1 trillion dollars is spent annually on formal and informal higher education and training. Employers spend the majority of that figure, budgeting some $637 billion across informal on-the-job training, formal corporate-provided training, and other opportunities like certifications and apprenticeships.

Much of that training budget is spent exactly as you’d expect — by industry, training expenditures are proportional with workforce sizes, and as the 70:20:10 rule would predict, budgeted support for informal training is outpacing that for more formal corporate classrooms.

There is one trend the study has uncovered, however, that’s left many industry observers in shockemployers spend almost nothing training younger employees.


Formal training spending by age group from Georgetown


According to the CEW, businesses are spending just 3% of their total training budgets on employees age 24 and younger. That’s almost unbelievably low for any industry — and especially so for organizations in finance or wholesale that rely on younger workforces to staff retail locations, as well as for organizations like manufacturing or nursing that tend to bring in younger employees for specialized job skills training instead of prioritizing university degrees.

Businesses Need to Invest in Training Their Young Employees

With the ongoing retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the influx of Millennials — the largest demographic group in history — out of schools and into the job market, supporting younger employees has quickly become a priority in many organizations.

The good news when it comes to training young workers is that, by and in large, they’re ready and eager to learn. Young employees have only just left the world of academia (indeed, some may still be finishing degrees while they begin their new careers) — they still know what they need to do in order to learn.

And today, young employees’ learning styles can be exceptionally flexible. Honed by technology-enabled improvements in the classroom, young people today are as comfortable learning via video and interactive games as they are via classroom lectures and reading assignments.

Most importantly, when it comes to training offerings, the newest generation of employees are motivated. This is a generation that grew up with Google and YouTube providing information and how-tos on-demand — when they want to learn virtually anything, they take initiative and seek it out.

Yet, even if your organization only hires the best and brightest — the self-starting go-getters who will take the initiative to learn what they need to know — all that enthusiasm will quickly get you nowhere if you haven’t invested in training materials to share.

Related Reading: Why Employee Training Fails


Training Millennials


How Video Training Can Help You Meet the Needs of Young Employees

What’s at stake for companies that don’t embrace video for training, meetings and knowledge sharing? Higher attrition rates, lower productivity—and watching that sharp young grad who just might’ve been CEO one day sign on elsewhere. According to Cisco, 87 percent of young executives say they would choose to work for a video-enabled organization over a company that has not invested in video.

However, that dismal forecast doesn’t have to apply to your organization. Embracing video as a tool for communication and learning is as easy as adapting what works in the classroom for your conference rooms.

Not sure where to start? Here are three proven ways to bring proven, video-based employee training concepts inside your company walls.

On-Demand Corporate Training
Just as universities record lectures for students to review on their own time, companies can use video to make training available to employees when and where they need it. This need not be a complicated endeavor — at most organizations, this can be as simple as using the webcams or camcorders your teams already have on hand to record existing presentations or in-class training already being delivered.

For how easily it can be done, recording and sharing your training sessions can be surprisingly valuable to your bottom line. IBM uses video to scale their new employee orientation, job-specific training, annual compliance, and leadership training to employees worldwide. After deploying a video learning program for managers, the company found that participants learned 5x more material at 1/3 the cost of instructor-led training.

Flip Your Meetings
“Flipped classrooms” have revolutionized higher education. This twist on traditional teaching requires students to watch video lectures before class at their own pace, freeing class time for discussion and problem-solving.

Flipped meetings take this concept to the boardroom. Instead of convening a group to sit through an hour-long presentation just to figure out what the meeting is about, the flipped meeting requires the organizer to share their presentation with attendees ahead of time. Attendees can watch a video presentation and review materials beforehand, and walk into the meeting knowing what questions should be raised. This small change, advocated by innovative organizations like Amazon and LinkedIn, ensures that limited meeting time is used for high-value discussion and decision making.

Video adds value to flipped meetings. By recording their presentations with widely-available screen recording tools, meeting organizers can deliver pre-meeting information and context to attendees in a more engaging format. Organizers can also use video as a simple way to quickly record and share a post-meeting summary with action items and next steps.

Anytime, Anywhere Social Learning
Students in today’s graduate and professional programs often record video assignments to demonstrate comprehension and share best practices with classmates. MBA candidates record business pitches, nursing students capture patient interactions, and law students record mock trials.

As these students enter the workplace, they can continue capturing and sharing their knowledge through the use of social learning tools. Enterprise video platforms provide the foundation for social learning, with software and mobile apps that enable employees to record insights and ideas right from their smartphones and laptops, and instantly share them with co-workers in a secure video library.

As more and more organizations emphasize social learning, the value of capturing and sharing an organization’s internal knowledge continues to show. Today organizations use video to foster knowledge sharing among personnel around the world, allowing organizations to deliver more and more detailed training on virtually any subject without adding staff.

Related Reading: How To Make Engaging Training Videos For Employees


Find out more about training Millennials!

Guide to training younger workersLearn more in our free white paper, Engaging & Developing Millennial Employees With Video.

In this paper, you’ll learn how your organization can support video to help your next generation of employees succeed, including:

  • 4 Aspects of Corporate Culture Where Millennials Expect To Use Video
  • How Your Company Can Embrace Video To Meet The Expectations Of Today’s Grads
  • What Your New Hires Expect From Your Video Platform

Download your free copy today!