If you are from Generation X, just like me, you probably miss face-to-face conversations with your colleagues. We know how easy it was for us to walk up to a team member or a manager and ask for help without realizing that this privilege would soon be gone. Remember the times you shooed away a chatty office friend who came to graze at your desk for a round of mid-noon bonding, because you were busy on a call? That’s wasn’t very long ago. Despite our valiant efforts at adapting to the new situation, we still ping our office friends or boss on IM and crib every time an opportunity presents itself.
Now, think of Generation Z, who are joining the workforce in increasing numbers. No, they won’t pat us for our adaptability (real and imagined), they’ve grown up in a digitally endowed world, remember? They have schmoozed with technology for working, collaborating, and learning. And they are changing our workplace and the learning environment.
This pandemic has impacted the traditional work and educational set-up permanently. It has compelled educationists to explore hybrid learning models and their applications in schools and colleges. Remote learning and online classes are the new normal. Similarly, in a multigenerational workforce, as Generation Z becomes dominant, offices have to organize the modern workplace to attract this generation of talent, train them and ensure productivity. But our experience with blended learning tells us it’s not that difficult, right?! Not quite.
How is a Hybrid Model Different from a Blended Learning Model?
Hybrid is not just about pushing the learning resources on a virtual platform. While both are convenient, efficient, and cost-effective forms of customized training solutions, the difference is subtle and important.
Hybrid Model and Blended Learning Model – Similarities
Hybrid Model and Blended Learning Model – Differences
Why Should We Adopt a Hybrid Learning Model?
Building a flexible work environment might just become more and more important for organizations because the digital natives will demand greater control over their work settings. After months of remote working and the eventual evidence of greater productivity and efficiency, employers will probably need to support working from home with the intermittent return to the office to provide one-to-one support to the teams as and when required. Today, customized training solutions and implementation of the hybrid model is all the more important for the evolution, well-being, and sustenance of the workforce.
How Do We Implement a Hybrid Learning Model for a Multigenerational Workforce?
We have to determine which part of the training can be best served through in-person sessions. For example, feedback can happen face-to-face or through audio/video conferencing. We have to adapt techniques to ensure that all employees and leaders share the same vision for the future. Both employer and employee can enable the implementation of the hybrid model.
Tasks for the Employer
Tasks for the Employee
How Do We Lead Generation Z in a Hybrid Environment?
According to Forbes, agility is a critical skill set for leaders in this endless cycle of virtual meetings and economic challenges. This is the time to prioritize people over processes and customers over contracts. Specific strategies for mentoring Generation Z could include:
We were fortunate to have our leaders sitting in the adjoining bay when we entered the workforce. Our leaders groomed us, allayed our fears and anxieties. They sensed our cognitive readiness, social and emotional IQ and held up a roadmap to help us navigate the corridors of the corporate learning jungle. Generation Z needs to see those leadership traits virtually. As mentors and colleagues of Generation Z, we need to put in the extra effort to connect with them because these are the formative years of their corporate life. They need us to guide them through this highly disruptive and VUCA-driven business environment.
This is the time to set up a hybrid workspace for a hybrid workforce. This is the time to make training smarter.
– By Rukmini Chaudhary, Director – Instructional Design at MPS Interactive