Learning Resolutions: A Gen X-er's Guide to Workplace Learning in 2015

We can’t afford to wait another hour, minute or even a second when it comes to learning, developing and mentoring our team. At the heart of my argument is a very sobering and eye-opening statistic. By 2015, almost 33 percent of our workforce including 48 percent of our supervisors will be eligible to retire. Two thousand and fifteen is less than 45 days away. We are less than 45 days away from 33 percent of our workforce who at any time can make an obvious and personal choice to not just leave our company but leave their position as a member of working society.

The mass exodus of our more experienced senior workforce hasn’t simply snuck up on us. Their retirement has not come as a surprise. The beginning of 2015 signifies a dawning of a new era, one that X-ers like me have been planning for our whole lives. For the first time, we are in the spotlight. Whether this spotlight is by default or not doesn’t matter to us just that we are in the driver’s seat.

As a newly minted workplace and organizational leader, there are some immediate changes and resolutions I’m making as I come into this position of power with my company.

  • Self-Guided Learning & Development. As a generation, we are fiercely independent and cynical, and because of that we believe on focusing our learning, development and growth that is self-guided versus a formal learning environment. We like learning from others and doing it on our own terms.
  • Intraprenuership. Creative thinking in the traditional corporate world is often in short supply. We need specialized training and intraprenuership programs within larger enterprises that are focused on new ideas, thinking and an approach to product development and services that is fresh, new and interesting. This entrepreneur mindset has brought us game changing companies from our Gen X peers like Google, Twitter and Amazon.
  • Technology Focused Learning. We love technology but we love the ability to be independent and an individual even more. Technology helps us accomplish that. Crowd sourced learning, video training and resources facilitated through technology are one of the best ways to develop our younger workers especially the misunderstood millenials we are now leading.
  • Diversity of Thought, Experience and Team. Diversity comes in many shapes, forms, sizes and experiences. It helps set organizations apart through specialized skills, experienced or points of view. We will continue to grow these areas and building company culture and work experiences around these things.

As a member of Generation X, it’s safe to say I, like my peers have been eagerly awaiting this day. My workplace resolutions as a peer, mentor and leader are many. I don’t take my responsibility lightly because I’ve been waiting, planning and anticipating this moment when I’m able to take the reins and guide and develop my workplace starting not just in 2015 but today.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is an author, speaker, HR professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the President/CEO of Xceptional HR and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. Want to connect? Send her a tweet!