A Publication of WTVP

According to research conducted by Marvis Meyers, vice president of training and development at AAIM Employers’ Association, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. And while some are delaying their retirement, the majority are beginning to leave the workforce. While the economic downturn has slowed this exodus somewhat, it is inevitable that boomers will soon begin to retire at a faster and faster rate.

The problem? There are 10 million fewer Gen-Xers than baby boomers. The equation is simple and frightening. Ten million fewer people, plus slowing college graduation rates, equal a very wide talent gap. Businesses are now faced with the challenge of finding the talent they need in a competitive workplace, coupled with preparing younger employees for leadership positions before they have had an opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for effective leadership. Informal learning is one of the key strategies organizations can use to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from talented, experienced employees before they walk out the door.

According to Josh Bersin of Bersin & Associates, a leading research and advisory firm, the corporate training industry is undergoing some major changes regarding the move to collaborative informal learning. Since 2009, they have been involved in many discussions with organizations about the tremendous needs to build, manage and formalize their social and collaborative learning programs. This is being driven by many factors: the economy, the “always-connected” nature of the workforce, and the explosion of social software tools and platforms now available.

People are calling it social learning, informal learning and collaborative learning. Bersin’s research shows that informal learning is actually a whole set of new approaches, which include learning on demand and embedded learning, as well as social learning: we-learning. The point is that it is an opportunity to build leadership skills at a time when knowledge transfer is critical. What to expect?