Over the past couple of years, Gen Z has already made their way into the workforce, bringing their own preferences, beliefs, and attitude with them, and it is predicted that they will soon outnumber millennials as the largest workforce by the end of 2019. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that managers today are not thrilled to have Generation Z in their workforce.
Several studies have indicated that this prejudice stems from the assumption that Gen Z is always lazy, entitled, and glued to their phones. Although the reality is far brighter than the concerns, welcoming Gen Z comes with a few challenges, one of which is learning, or the lack thereof. A trend that we see among employee younger than 24 years is their inclination to switch between jobs, pre-dominantly after being denied access to learning and development opportunities.
Gen Z equates the immersive training experiences and continuous learning practices as the primary reason for their productivity at workplaces. Enterprises that provide continuous training and development initiatives to their employees are able to fight attrition like never before, and it doesn’t help that only 58% of enterprises provide adequate training.
Designing training solutions for the internet natives
We know that Gen Z is hungry for information. But what are their learning preference and styles? Pretty much as you expect — digital. Generation Z grew up with mobile devices and doesn’t remember a time when social media and easy access to information wasn’t a part of its life.
As digital natives, they’ve been exposed to large volumes of content and they know the difference between a good and bad learning ecosystem. Therefore, an enterprise looking to retain and nurture the youngest workforce need to foster a continuous learning environment for them at workplaces and start looking into training strategies that fit Generation Z’s experience and competence with technology and newer learning methodologies. An ideal learning environment for this generation should be a blend of mobile resources, social learning, and gamification. Also, the flow of learning resources should be designed in such a way that they can access these resources at any point in time to accommodate time crunch.
We see a lot of managers and L&D professionals voice their concerns regarding Gen Z and millennials. But in a true sense, the next generation of the workforce is an asset. Being the first digital generation, they possess the potential to play a vital role in the rapidly evolving IT ecosystem. It is imperative, given the scenario, that rather than seeing Gen Z as a liability, organisations need to need to invest wisely in a robust learning ecosystem that can satisfy and enable them to move the organisation in par with innovations.