Adapting to a Changing Workforce: How to Create Effective Training Models for Gen Z Professionals

Read Time: 4 minutes

Your learning and development efforts can play a significant role in your company’s success. Naturally, if your Training Models are effective, your employees will possess greater skills and knowledge. This can give your company a unique competitive edge.

Research has also shown that employees tend to be more engaged at work when their employers provide them with growth and development opportunities. By investing in learning and development, you’ll demonstrate to your workers that you want to equip them with the skills needed to climb the ladder and further their careers. If engagement increases as a result, retention may also benefit, potentially saving your company a lot of money.

All that said, it’s important to understand that learning and development programs and training models that may have yielded positive results in the past might not necessarily be as effective now. As more and more members of Generation Z join your workforce, you might need to adapt your L&D programs to the expectations and learning methods of Gen Z.

The following suggestions will help. To modify your approach to learning and development so that it properly suits Gen Z workforce expectations, keep these points in mind:

Gen Z Wants Personalized Learning

Today’s young workers grew up with certain innovations that the older generations did not benefit from. Specifically, developments in machine learning have resulted in numerous personalized experiences for members of Generation Z.

For example, many popular streaming services use machine learning (a subset of artificial intelligence) to monitor and analyze the viewing habits of users. By analyzing this data, a machine learning program suggests content that a particular viewer might enjoy.

That’s just one example. The main point to understand is that in regard to Gen Z workforce expectations, your younger employees may anticipate a certain degree of personalization from learning and development programs. Additionally, recent studies have shown that students do tend to learn more effectively when learning content is personalized and tailored to their specific needs. It’s highly likely the same is true of employees at a company undergoing training.

Your learning and development team may thus wish to experiment with machine learning programs for the purposes of developing learning paths and training content that serves individual workers. Incorporating such an approach into your training models may yield greater long-term advantages than a “one size fits all” approach. One such advantage would be making the right impression on Generation Z employees.

Generation Z Learns Actively

Research into the ways that members of Generation Z learn most effectively indicates that young people today tend to retain what they’ve learned more consistently when learning experiences involve a certain degree of interactivity. Instead of passively listening while someone merely states information, members of Gen Z prefer to learn in ways that allow them to apply said information.

Your learning and development team members can thus review your current training programs to determine whether they allow participants to play an active role in their own training. If a particular training program is lacking in this capacity, they can modify it so that it’s more interactive.

Specific ways to make a training program interactive can vary depending on the exact nature of the program itself. For example, if a training session involves teaching employees how to perform a certain task or complete a certain process, naturally, you could make that session interactive by allowing employees to actually do the work after being provided with instructions. Other ways to make learning interactive involve:

  • Asking employees to play characters in educational skits
  • Tasking employees with teaching their own training sessions, forcing them to engage deeply with the subject matter
  • Turning training sessions into games, in which employees are awarded points for answering questions right, performing certain tasks correctly, etc.

Generation Z Learns Collaboratively

Popular wisdom holds that members of Generation Z are far more isolated from one another than members of previous generations. To some extent, this may be true. Some surveys and studies do indicate that younger people don’t spend as much time in each other’s physical presence as young people in the past may have.

However, it’s also critical to remember that today’s young people have grown up in an age when their digital devices allow them to remain connected far more than young people in the past. Whether this type of connection is a substitute for in-person relationships is up for debate. Regardless, researchers have found that this degree of constant connectivity has influenced the way members of Gen Z learn. 

Today’s young people appear to learn more effectively when learning is something that happens collaboratively. Ways to facilitate collaborative learning in your company’s learning and development programs include:

  • Having teams analyze and present case studies together so that they all learn from said case studies as a group
  • Asking employees to discuss what they learned in training programs via any communication platforms or tools you use, allowing workers to reflect on a learning and development program’s effectiveness collectively
  • Creating teams with members from different departments and asking them to complete certain work-related problems together, facilitating cross-learning

Of course, as you modify your approach to learning and development to better fulfill Gen Z workforce expectations, you need to assess outcomes to ensure these training programs are as effective as necessary. By accounting for the learning methods of Generation Z and prioritizing constant improvement, you’ll optimize the return on investment of your learning and development efforts.

Generate Effective Training Models With Powtoon

Research has also shown that members of Generation Z often benefit from learning complex topics through educational video content. Luckily, you don’t need to have a film school degree to create effective training videos. Powtoon simplifies the process, ensuring generating video content for your learning and development programs is easy and affordable. Sign up today to get started.

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Hanna is Powtoon's Content Marketing Strategist. She joined Powtoon as a copywriter in 2019, after graduating from university with a specialized degree in marketing and business. She continues to inspire people to create incredible video content with blog posts, videos, guides, and more. Hanna's passions include reading, singing, and caring for animals (#proudvegan). Nothing makes her happier than waking up to her two black kitties who, contrary to popular belief, are good luck!
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