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Blog: Everything you need to know about training “Generation Z”

Lauren Tomlinson

Firstly, allow me to explain what Gen Z’s are…

Also known as the iGeneration. These individuals are born between 1995 and 2010. As many as 23 million Gen Z’s are still in school and will be entering the workplace over the next few years.

Whilst Gen Z’s are the children of Gen X’s, they’ve grown up worlds apart. Gen Z’s have grown up in the digital age of connectivity and remote working. They never shut off or disconnect – this is vastly different from the way their parents and grandparents approached their careers.

With careers in mind, training has developed a great deal over the last 20 years, and with Gen Z starting to join the workforce, training will need to be more progressive to suit the ever-advancing market.

How are Gen Z different to millennials?

Due to Gen Z’s ‘snack media habits’, this generation consumes information by switching between multiple devices and platforms. It seems imagery is more their style, think: Snapchat and Instagram, these are their primary sources of communication. There really is a true meaning behind “a picture paints a thousand words”. It also appears that Gen Z’s are natural researchers, growing up alongside YouTube and Wikipedia – they know exactly how to locate the information they’re looking for and aren’t afraid to use their initiative being resourceful. This may not sound enticing, but as a result, Gen Z’s have stronger virtual communication skills, online collaboration skills and more of an entrepreneurial spirit as they are used to researching and finding things out for themselves. The only short coming though, is attention spans…you will have about 8 seconds to engage with them.

On that note, how can we connect with Gen Z learners?

  • Provide flexibility – Training will need to be more flexible so suit their ‘as-and-when’ approach to learning
  • Feed their ‘snack media’ habits – Bitesized learning modules would suit perfectly, you need to keep them engaged!
  • Easy to use – Gen Z’s expect workplace technology to be intuitive, easy to use and accessible. For them, out of date and more complex software, means feeling left behind and feeling frustrated
  • Use mixed media and visually stimulating messages – Gen Z appears to be a ‘visually orientated generation’, therefore the more imaged-based your courses are, the better

As Gen Z’s continue to join the workforce, they are going to encourage the way training is going for the future. So, if you want a glimpse into the future training styles, create your courses to suit Gen Z’s, they are the future.

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