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Jul 2014

4 ideas to give gens Y and C what they really want from their learning

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Shaping the future of learning

Move over baby boomers - your sons and daughters (Gen Ys born between years 1980 - 2000) are all over your business. Many of them are already managers,  and by 2025, Gen Y will account for 75% of the workforce. With their expertise with technology, higher education credentials and a flair for all things social, they're an interesting bunch to add to an already varied workforce. So what do corporate learning and development professionals need to do to connect with this group? And what about Gen C - who may not need L&D professionals to tell them what to do?

Here's 4 things to consider when creating learning content for your Gen Y and Gen C employees:

Adapt to their lifestyle

Gen Y don't need any convincing on the benefits of technology. They're already there. According to a 2014 Nielson study, Gen Y strongly believe that technology is positively changing their lives, as 74% feel that it makes their lives easier and more connected. It's no wonder that 60% of Gen Y admitted to compulsively checking their smartphones for emails, texts for social media updates. So when smartphones and tablets are becoming the new standard for productivity, connectedness and attachment; responsive elearning, or multi-device elearning is no longer negotiable for organisations to implement; it's mandatory.

Take advantage of the fact that you know Gen Y staffers are obsessed with their devices and use it to your advantage. Work in a multi-device learning strategy that can help your Gen Y learners connect to their learning on-the-go and work through it whenever, wherever. With the ubiquity of multi-devices, you can deliver seamless learning experiences regardless of the choice device they're using. Just take a look at how The Scouts Association are making the move to multi-device learning using the award winning multi-device Adapt Framework.

Make responsive elearning part of their everyday routine, and see the results. Find out how to adopt a responsive elearning design approach.

Get personal

When everything from web pages, to products and services like Amazon or Google, are customised to the Gen Y preference, it establishes the fact the L&D industry needs to raise the bar yet again and deliver personalised learning experiences to get their buy-in. Start this mission by identifying their learning habits and build personas, then develop personalised learning pathways that can be established and carried out through your LMS portal. Another word for this is empathy - show that you care who they are, where they are, and what they want. And of course, every generation wants that.

From Y to C - consumers and creators

The Y in Gen Y could just as easily stand for YouTube. According to YouTube statistics, there are over 1 billion registered users, with over 6 billion hours of video being watched each month on the site; that's about an hour for every person on the planet. Did I mention that YouTube reaches more adults aged 18-34 (oh look, that Gen Y bracket again) than any cable network? Or that mobile makes up 40% of YouTube watch time? If you consider that this is the generation that helped the likes of Gangnam Style, Justin Bieber, and one too many cat videos go viral - videos are a treasure trove of creativity and engagement that could be better utilised by L&D departments.

Just take a look at how we helped Medibank engage with their predominantly Gen Y staff; we complimented their elearning programme with quirky, humourous animated product knowledge training videos that were embedded into the modules, that helped drive immense discussion and excitement for their new product launch. The video characters were additionally used as marketing tools, to help drive the virality of the product training programme and boost uptake rates. Training videos have had a notoriously bad reputation in the learning industry, but when done correctly, and with the right strategy behind it, you could harness the power of videos in your elearning programmes and embrace the logical (and fun) way to get Gen Y engaged with your learning.

And what about their upstart younger siblings, gen C?

It doesn't stop with consumption of video. Gen Y has the tools of video production in their hands. That content that's overwhelming the planet is being created by them, and the upstart brothers and sisters, gen C - generation content. The next generations will produce learning content for themselves, not rely on a central L&D team to push it to them. To enable Y's and C's to get along, you need to create environments where social, informal and user generated content can co-exist alongside L&D's central fare. See our latest learning insights report for more about the push towards user generated content.

So like, what's next?

The gen Y/gen C workforce is only going to get larger, and not only do you need to start planning a learning strategy that meets their needs and delivers the right stuff, you need to think about the natural evolution of your learning programmes. Don't wait until it's too late with those PowerPoint slides causing that glazed-over look in Gen Y eyes (that is, if they're not already on their smartphones), because that just won't cut it anymore. Engage, connect and inspire your next generation staff with multi-device accessibility, and personalised learning experiences, with the option to create their own content, because Gen Y/ Gen C want it that way.

Take action and tap into gen Y

Need help making sense of gen Y and what it means for your learning programmes? Whether you're looking to develop a learning strategy, tap into multi-device learning with the Adapt Framework or want to know more about custom learning solutionsblended learning programmes or our Totara Learn platforms, contact us today. We're here to help you best talent and deliver the best learning solutions for your talented staff, and increase performance across your organisation - no matter what generation!



Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.