My Experience at The Colossal – #SHRM2018 in The Windy City

 

The Stage was Set

SHRM 2018 annual conference & exposition was the largest in terms of attendance and footfall in its 70 year history. Reports claim that the turnout was anywhere between 20,000 – 25,000 attendees. The massive setting was apt for this grand event with the venue being the McCormick place in Chicago, the largest convention center in North America. The city stayed true to its nick name the windy city with gutsy winds blowing throughout the area but the good part was that it was pretty sunny and warm atleast for a major portion of the four day event.

The Energy, Enthusiasm and the Spotlight

The venue was abuzz with activities throughout its entire duration and the level of enthusiasm and energy was at its peak. The sheer number of people attending this event is a great indicator that there is a continued spotlight on the Human Resources (HR) function. Movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and events like Starbucks Diversity Training Day have played their role in ensuring this.

I personally had the opportunity to speak to quite a few training providers and understand their digital solutions around compliance training. There seems to be a lot of focus and emphasis on making sure that the new age compliance digital learning is not just a check box, it is instead designed to create a culture of learning instead of training. It also ensures a continued reinforcement of the learning through multiple innovative ways and delivery models.

Some other prominent things to watch out for in the coming days would be:

  • Focus on building workplace culture with civility at the forefront and openness to diverse perspectives
  • Human Resources’ contribution to workforce development essentials, meeting the shortage of skilled workforce to fulfill the needs created by industrial revolution 4.0
  • Managing employee relations in the times of gig economy

 

The Famed Chicago Style Hot Dog

Before I end this blog, I have to mention this, when you are in Chicago you have to try the famous Chicago style hot dog also known as “dragged through the garden” due to the numerous toppings. There was ample supply of the same at the venue, so it kept people full and satiated.  And yes, I did learn that when you are in Chicago you don’t put the red ketchup on your hot dogs.

Overall it was a great event, lot of learning and great networking opportunities. I am now eagerly looking forward to SHRM 2019. Did you participate in this year’s event? How was your experience? Share through comments below.

7 Things to Keep in Mind While Designing Digital Learning for Millennials

For eLearning course designers, learners have always been the central focus. In the recent times, it has been felt that the way learners learn and consume eLearning has been changing and one of the primary reasons is the emergence of the millennial learner on the stage.

So, who’s the millennial, and what’s so different about their learning style?

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Millennials are the digital generation of today (mainly, the people born in the 1980s or 1990s) who are married to technology to an extent that it’s almost an extension of their own selves. Research indicates that they:

  • Are global citizens
  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Come from diverse backgrounds
  • Have a limited attention span

So how do you align your development strategy to meet the specific learning needs of millennials?

  1. Make it platform and device agnostic: Do not bind the learner to a specific device or environment; make the digital learning available anywhere, anytime. Preferably, adopt a ‘mobile first’ approach.
  1. Keep it short: Keep the eLearning bite-sized and make it available in micro-learning formats to suit the diversified visual, auditory, and kinetic learning needs. A rigid framework might put off the learner.
  2. Learning goal should be visible: Make the end goal visible to the learner to tie the learning to their work life. This will bring in their active participation and will also encourage them to use the learning in real-world scenarios. This serves their need to be practical and result-oriented.
  3. Make it challenging and fun: Millennials would prefer to solve challenges, so create scenarios close to their day-to-day work and throw in some gamification elements to make it a challenging and fun experience at the same time.
  4. Enable the learner: Keep the design fluid, and enable them to be in control, to take risks, and to multitask. For example, teach a sales call through a branching scenario where learners select the choices they will make while talking to a prospective customer that could result into a successful closure or lost opportunity.
  5. Make it social: Bring in the social and collaborative learning components such as discussion forums, chats, badges, etc. Millennials prefer collaborative experiences and tend to share anything they like. This allows them to enhance their learning experience and also helps the learner community.
  6. Keep it diverse: Various research studies show that millennials are the most diverse of the lot. They consider themselves global citizens. Aim to capture this element in your design for an enhanced learning experience. This could be achieved by using ethnically diverse photographs, globally applicable examples, and using “youth speak.”

This is definitely not a secret sauce or the only seven things which need to be considered while creating a digital learning experience for millennials; but something basic, yet important.

I would like to hear both from eLearning designers and millennial learners about their experiences and views on this.