A Year of Change: 2015 Employment and Training Trends

The growing preference for video over text-based communications will have a profound impact on training and leadership development in the coming year.

An improving economy and shifting age demographics in the workforce will make 2015 a big year of change for corporate America. While employees are leaving old jobs for new at an ever-increasing rate, we’re also seeing a technological shift in the way employees want to communicate—with a growing preference for video over text-based communications. These changes will have a profound impact on training and leadership development in the coming year.

Here are some key trends we see in 2015, and what companies can do to build compelling training programs that deliver results in the face of these changes.

The economy is up—and so is job hopping. With Americans increasingly optimistic about the job market, more individuals are leaving unsatisfactory positions to find new work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national quit rate has risen significantly over the last year. As hiring also picks up, opportunities are rife in nearly every industry—and especially in tech, where a recent analysis of unemployment data by Dice.com saw the unemployment rate dip to an average of 3 percent, with 55 percent of employers actively seeking to hire tech talent.

Baby Boomers are ready to drop out. A recent report by XYZ University has found that even while people are holding onto their jobs later into life, the aging American workforce already is seeing significant turnover. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10,000 Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) retire, on average, every single day. Some industries are feeling the effects of that trend more than others—especially real estate, manufacturing, insurance, and health care, four of the largest industries in the country that also have the oldest median employee age.

With so many employees leaving their jobs due to better job prospects, retirement, onboarding, knowledge retention and management training will be critical.

Millennials are now the majority. In 2015, Millennials will become the majority of the workforce. With that comes the expectation of more flexible schedules, on-demand information, and more opportunities to do what they define as “meaningful” work. It also likely means more turnover—the same XYZ University report found that turnover among entry-level Millennials is significant, with 70 percent of college grads leaving their first job after graduation within two years.

On the training front, this means continuous learning and social learning will become increasingly important.

Less text, more video. In our personal lives, video has become the communication method of choice—and the same trend is happening in corporate environments. Driving that influx of enterprise video is a confluence of technology advances and simple human nature. Video is simply more engaging and impactful than text, and people retain more information when they watch video. Video activates more parts of our minds with visual content that can more easily hold our ever-shortening attention spans. And a new generation of smartphones, Webcams, and simple video software has made creating, sharing, and accessing video is easier than ever.

What Do These Trends Mean for Training?

The statistics say it all. With more and more organizations facing talent management challenges due to increased job hopping and changing demographics, knowledge retention and training become all the more important. But how, specifically, can companies address this growing need?

According to Cisco, this year 85 percent of companies expect to create more video content than they did in 2013. And along with the expected uses in marketing and social media, a rapidly growing set of organizations now are coming to rely on video for sales enablement, employee training and education, executive and management communications, and recorded online video slide presentations for social learning.

Preserve Institutional Knowledge: Recording and Sharing Subject Matter Expertise

When it comes to sharing information on technologies and processes, video makes it easier to show rather than tell. In particular, screen recording tools enable employees to demonstrate to colleagues how to perform a task or reproduce an issue, and video cameras on smartphones and mobile devices offer team members a way to document a process or issue while onsite in the field.

With social knowledge sharing, video can benefit an organization twice: First, by recording answers to frequently asked questions, subject matter experts save time that otherwise would be spent on repeated face-to-face inquiries, giving them more time get work done. Second, capturing and sharing that expertise in a corporate video library also helps to ensure that vital information doesn’t eventually leave with the employee.

Welcome to the Company: Video for More Effective Onboarding

New hires have lot to learn from the moment they step through the door on their first day. In addition to learning company procedures and policies, new recruits also must get up to speed on business strategy and product details as quickly as possible. Many organizations seek to address this challenge with face-to-face or classroom-based onboarding, but those solutions have a critical weakness. Once the session ends, it can’t be replayed, leaving new recruits to only hope they caught all the important points.

Video solves that problem, making it an ideal tool to support and scale onboarding programs. With just a standard laptop Webcam and a video platform, companies can create a library of new hire training videos with tutorials and best practices for every role across the company. Video also can be used to provide new employees and their families with on-demand information about company benefits and enrollment procedures. And unlike paper manuals, video delivers a more immersive experience for new hires and gives them the opportunity to learn about the company’s culture and familiarize themselves with the personalities of the organization’s key people.

2015 promises to be an exciting year for employee training. With the right tools, companies can make sure that their learning and development programs continue to be effective in the face of changing economic and demographic factors.

Ari Bixhorn (@aribix) is senior vice president at Panopto, responsible for driving awareness and understanding of Panopto’s enterprise video platform. Prior to Panopto, Bixhorn worked at Microsoft Corporation for 12 years, writing speeches for CEO Steve Ballmer, leading business development in the Windows division, and driving product management efforts within the Developer Tools division.

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