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Press Release

Research Shows All Generations Agree: Social Media for Learning Underused in Organizations

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Tue Oct 12 2010

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Most workers, regardless of generation, think social media is not used enough for learning activities in their organizations, according to research by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). The report, Social Media: The Millennial Perspective, finds that while workers across generations say more social media should be used for learning, it is the millennial generation (those born after 1981) that is clamoring for adoption of new technologies.

Millennials are expected to make up almost 50 percent of the workforce within five years, according to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Findings from this latest ASTD report show that Millennials see great value in social media technologies and use them as productivity-enhancing tools. The report's findings indicate that companies who want to attract the best new talent need to move toward adoption of new technologies.

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Other key findings include:

  • 81 percent of Millennials use social networks compared to 46 percent of Baby Boomers

  • Shared workspace (e.g. SharePoint, Google Docs) are the most used technology for work-related learning

  • Finding resources and improving knowledge sharing are the most common ways Millennials use social media at work (44.6 and 43.4 percent respectively)

  • 47 percent of Millennials work in companies with a virtual community, and at organizations with virtual communities Millennials are more likely to visit and contribute to them than are Gen Xers or Baby Boomers

Social Media: The Millennial Perspective also contains recommendations for organizations that wish to implement the use of social media more effectively. Top recommendations include:

  • Gain a clear understanding of how employees value and use social media tools in the organization.

  • Train people in how to make the most productive use of these technologies.

  • Determine whether any employees are on the "cutting edge" of using social media tools in a productive way and learn from them.

  • Enable those who are experts at using social media tools to teach others how to use them.

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