What Gap? Generational Views on Learning and Technology in the Workplace

Much has been said in the media about conflict between the different generations in the workplace. Baby Boomers crave respect. Members of Generation X want to do it their way. Millennials see work-life balance as a birthright.  Contrary to the headlines about generational differences, we find that generational all agree – learning and development matter.

Key findings from our latest research on frontline learning needs and retention revealed shared views on workplace training and technology across the three generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials) in the MSO workforce. 

  1. Make it personal.
    Three types of training – all with a personal touch – rank the highest for all three generations as both for “preferred learning style” and “most helpful to their current role.”
  2. Train to retain.
    Seven in 10 respondents say job-related training and development opportunities impact their decision to stay with a company.
  3. Improve technology. 
    70% of employees say corporate technology and training tools fall short when compared to personal technology.

The findings come from Jones/NCTI’s ongoing, comprehensive research effort to better address the evolving learning and development needs of our broadband industry clients. During January, we conducted a national survey of 422 full-time and part-time employees, and correlated those results with an industry panel discussion that we hosted during NCTC’s Winter Educational Conference.

Among our survey’s top findings:

  • In order, the types of learning cited by all generations as the top four when it comes to “preferred style of learning” and “most helpful” to their current roles are:
    • One-on-one mentoring
    • Traditional classroom learning
    • Team collaboration
    • Online courses.
  • Millennials, also known as “digital natives,” rank game-based learning as their fourth “preferred style of learning” when the results were viewed by individual generation.
  • 80% of respondents across generations say it’s important or very important that their company provides training options to fit their learning style.
  • At the same time, seven in 10 respondents say job-related training and development opportunities impact their decision to stay with a company.
  • According to 70% of employees surveyed, companies are falling short when comparing corporate technology and training tools to personal technology. Also, employees say companies need to provide more sharing, collaboration and training tools in order to better support them in their current roles.

Here at Jones/NCTI, we support multi-generational learning by providing:

  • Personalized learning
  • Training to support retention
  • Technology that appeals to multiple generations

Read the full research results in our white paper, What Gap? Generational Views on Learning and Technology in the Workplace

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Wayne Applehans is President and Chief Product Officer at Jones/NCTI. He leads the company’s efforts to deliver robust, self-paced learning content to deliver learning content to end users anywhere, anytime and on any device.

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