L&D and human resource leaders, take note. If you’re not losing sleep over how best to hold onto your top performers, if you aren’t doing everything in your power to engage and inspire an influx of millennial workers—you’re already asleep at the helm. A tech savvy 21st-century workforce is demanding a new kind of relationship with the workplace, one centered around happiness. For organizations not currently bothering with employee happiness, nurturing workers should be a top business priority. Here’s why:

  • Most workers are “checked out.” Eighty-seven percent of employees are disengaged at work. No wonder, with estimates that 40 percent of training fails, leaving workers poorly supported to do their best work. Yet traditional methods, rife with bloated content, antiquated delivery, and abysmal knowledge retention, are still the corporate norm.
  • The workplace is changing. The rapid evolution of technology has completely revolutionized the way we work. On top of that, the largest cohort in the American workforce are millennials, and these digital natives aren’t wired the same as previous generations; they have far different skillsets and expectations. Among this set, attention spans are dwindling, screens are shrinking, and an on-the-go lifestyle demands a new approach to training.
  • Employees are starved for better learning. Development is consistently reported as one of the top three perks millennials consider when deciding to stay at a job—more than cash, a 401k, or any other benefit. And with the job market on the upswing, talent is moving; the average tenure of a millennial's job is just 4.6 years. Gone are the days when employers can sit back on their heels, hoping standard role training is enough.
  • Learning is hard to get right. We know from research that certain learning strategies work best: spacing, variation, interleaving—but the trouble is that these are very hard to do at scale. Bulky training programs can’t make use of these learning techniques. Unless, that is, the units you’re dealing with are small. 

What’s the solution?

Microfy your trainings. Update dinosaur L&D training programs with a micro approach to learning: short videos, accessed online and mobile compatible, and available at the point-of-need. Because if you can teach your employees a bit at a time in 60-second bursts, chances are they’ll be back for more.

A leaner approach to L&D. The good news is that micro content is easier and faster to produce. A targeted, slimmed down approach could mean a 300 percent increase in speed of development and a 70 percent reduction in production costs, coupled with measurable performance improvements. It’s a win-win for L&D.

Treat L&D like it has a seat at the table. A robust learning product should not only perform like an extension of your team, with accessible, custom curricula, modular content, and up-to-date trainings for everyone—it should also be a top priority for the C-suite. Because when a learning program does the above well, learning becomes a partner in fulfilling, and even creating, business strategy.

Engage employees no matter where they are in their tenure. From onboarding to training to daily support, learning and development touches the complete lifecycle of an employee. Empower your team with technical training, leadership skills, and the vision to see their role grow in the future. Because the promise of development and promotion is the new post-recession pension plan.

All or a combination of the above will help contribute to your organization's overall culture of learning. Because when people learn new skills in the right way, at the right time, they feel better, work harder, and positivity spreads. Show your employees now and in the future that you’re investing in them as they are in you—and you’ll drive engaged, happy workers to their ultimate success.