When discussing learning and personal growth, it’s easy to picture those boring mandatory training sessions we’ve all had to endure at some point. But here’s the thing: the younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z, view learning and development quite differently.
According to LinkedIn, 76% of Gen Z folks believe that learning is pivotal in their path to success. As millennials age out, Gen Z generations make up an increasingly large part of the workforce. Organizations simply can’t afford to ignore their hunger for growth and development without running the risk of losing the benefits associated with acquiring exciting new talent.
This newest generation grew up in a world saturated with the internet and mobile devices. They also faced economic recessions, layoffs and high learning and development costs. These experiences have shaped a unique outlook where these generations don’t necessarily expect the same traditional career path as previous generations.
So, the bottom line is that investing in learning and development isn’t just a box to check; it’s a way to engage and retain the talent of these new generations and bring fresh perspectives and experiences to L&D for the newest generation in the workforce.
Strategic Approaches to L&D for the Newest Generation: What Are Gen Z’s Preferences for Learning?
There’s a common belief that Gen Z has short attention spans. However, there’s more to this story. Gen Z has developed a sharp “content filter” due to growing up in the digital age. They can easily sift through information and figure out what’s important. As per Squarespace’s findings, 92% of Generation Z individuals multitask while browsing the internet.
Once something piques their interest, Gen Z’s attention span improves significantly. If you want to engage them in a learning context, learning leaders need to work harder to create content that grabs their attention from the start.
The good news for learning leaders is that Gen Z is keen on workplace learning, and they expect it. According to Purdue Global, 84% of Gen Z individuals expect their employers to offer formal training opportunities.
Microlearning: Small Lessons, Big Impact
Think about watching fun and short videos on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Aren’t they attention grabbers? Gen Z, the younger generation, really loves these places, specifically the audio-visual appealing content in them. So, when it comes to learning, it’s a good idea to make it quick and interesting, just like those short videos. That’s where microlearning comes in. It means breaking up learning into small, easy-to-understand pieces. Microlearning utilizes tiny, exciting lessons that fit how Gen Z likes to learn – short, sweet, and to the point!
Technology in Learning: Engaging Gen Z
Gen Z has a positive view of new learning technologies. They believe technology can revolutionize learning in the future and enhance the overall experience. Gen Z prefers YouTube or learning management platforms as their primary learning source. They also enjoy using interactive apps and online courses with video components. The message to L&D professionals is evident: prioritize video and interactive learning methods to engage younger generations effectively.
Personalized Learning: Transforming L&D for the Newest Generation
Only a small fraction of Gen Z learners finds traditional lectures appealing, signaling the need to avoid lengthy and uninspiring explanations. Their enthusiasm lies more in self-guided exploration, where personalized and self-paced online courses take center stage.
Collaborative Learning: Gen Z’s Another Favorite Approach
According to the insights in an article by Josh Bersin on LinkedIn, 71% of individuals belonging to the Generation Z, 69% of those categorized as Millennials, 55% of individuals within the Generation X cohort, and 54% of Baby Boomers desire enhanced collaborative learning experiences.
The numbers above show that Generation Z is naturally passionate about collaborative learning. They thrive when working with peers and valuing the exchange of ideas and experiences. This generation’s preference for teamwork aligns with their desire to learn through active engagement, such as hands-on experiences and interactive discussions. As digital natives, they harness the power of technology to facilitate collaboration, making the most of online platforms to connect, share knowledge, and collectively achieve their training and personal goals.
Mobile-Centric and Multimodal Learning: Customized Learning for Gen Z
Considering their comfort and familiarity with smartphones and tablets, it’s evident that Generation Z strongly prefers mobile-friendly learning materials. This preference is driven by their fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles, where having training resources accessible on their mobile devices is highly convenient. What sets Gen Z apart is their diverse learning approach, which encompasses various modes of learning, such as text, images, videos, and interactive exercises. They appreciate training content that caters to these diverse learning styles, making their learning experiences more engaging and effective.
Gen Z is reshaping L&D for the newest generation. Their unique perspective, shaped by digital immersion and non-traditional career paths, emphasizes the importance of investing in L&D. To meet Gen Z’s preferences, strategies like microlearning, technology integration, personalized learning, collaboration, and mobile-centric multimodal content are crucial for creating engaging and impactful L&D experiences.
Gen Z is charging ahead, and they’re approaching fast! L&D teams, it’s time to get ready!