What If I say that your training initiatives will soon become obsolete possibly in less than 3 years?
If you’re from the L&D or training departments of organizations,you are bound to get anxious by this statement.. But, the hard truth is-it is inevitable i.e. if you don’t…….. apply or implement the learning strategies to suit the needs and demands of the new generation of learners , popularly called as Gen Z your learning initiatives will become obsolete and redundant.
So who are the Gen Z’s ?
Gen-Zer’s were born in the mid-90’s and raised in the 2000s. According to new analysis by Bloomberg of United Nations data, Gen Z will account for 32 per cent of the global population in 2019. Shockingly, this is more than the millennials (which the report defines as those born between 1980 and 2000, who as the report suggests will comprise 31.5 per cent of the population of 7.7 billion). With the current working population soon going to be dominated and replaced by the tomorrow’s workforce, It is important to attract, retain and more importantly engage them like never before.
So how do you attract and hire the talent of the Gen Z?
Before you publish the next job opening, I recommend in understanding the challenges in hiring the gen z talent.
The Gen Z is entering the workforce, bringing with it a technology-first mentality. While the millennials were born at the start of a major technology boom, the Gen Z entered the scene when technology had reached a prime stage of growth and was continuing to evolve and develop at a breakneck speed.
• Practically Gen Z have grown up in a world where the human dependence on technology is at its peak. According to a recent survey 98 percent of Gen Z have used technology as part of their formal education which reaffirms the close relationship of this generation with technology.
Hence they have a desire to not only be on top of the technologies but to also constantly learn new skills. As a result, Gen Z place a high importance on the opportunity to progress in the workplace.
• ‘Money is no more the prime motivational factor for the gen Z’- A fat paycheck is sure to motivate the generation Z to join a company. But studies reveal that it’s not the primary motivational factor. According to a study by Millennial Branding and Randstad US, 42% of Gen Y said money would “motivate them to work harder and stay with their employer longer,” that number slipped to only 28% for Gen Z.The generation Z prefer career advancement opportunities at the company, the work culture, etc over direct monetary benefits.
Various ways to attract and hire the Gen Z
1.Digitise recruiting efforts
Rather than just prefering to set up a mailbox to hold the resumes, the organisation need to reach out to the gen Z. For example, the organisation can include an interactive video to showcase the life of employees at the organisation and invite the prospective candidate to join them .Will you Fit Into Deloitte is a classic example of how a gamified interactive video can educate a potential candidates of Deloitte’s Graduate Recruitment campaign about the company’s culture and various service lines in a innovative, and interactive way, transforming what are usually dry and boring recruitment videos.
•Choose your next best set of workers by allowing them to play a game and solve the real world challenges than attending a formal interview process or completing a series of MCQ.
2.Increase the visibility across the social media.
The Gen Z before joining an organisation spends considerable amount of time to do a detailed research on the organisation.Hence, social media channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter become an important platform to share regular company updates . The workforce of tomorrow is sure to visit your social media pages to understand the organisation, it’s culture etc.
3.A responsive official website
Yes , you read it right. When the Gen Z comes looking for a job at your organisation, the first virtual space that they will visit is the official website of the company. Make sure that an organisation has a good professional website in order to give him/her the adequate information. Also ensure that there are no bottlenecks and don’t expect the generation Z to browse the website through PC or laptops alone. Instead ensure a clutter free navigation and a responsive web design.
How to engage Gen Z?
To the millennials and the baby boomers.,technology was something that helped them in making a process more easy and helping them to complete it fast. But for the gen z, technology is a part and parcel of their life. Hence the best way to engage the gen z is through the effective use of learning technologies
1.Netflix of learning
“Netflix of Learning,” is increasingly a common way people are describing the “modernization” of workplace learning strategy. Like Netflix, the workplace learning will be customised and tuned to the preference of the modern learner. Instead of pushing the learning content to the learners, the learners are given the option to choose what they want or wish to learn and the modern LMS are capable of suggesting courses based on factors like role, department and past content consumption. The benefit of such a model is that the learners are introduced to content that they might not otherwise have seen.
The organisation can upload their online learning materials which includes the animated videos, gamified e-learning and amazing scenario based learning and simulations to engage the Gen Z.
2. Microlearning as a learning strategy
With a reducing attention span of the learners, an organisation can no longer engage the audience or the target learners with lengthy learning content. They prefer learning in short bites and hence I believe that microlearning will be emerging as the best choice to tackle the reducing attention span of the modern learners.
3. Mobile learning
•Gen Z reaches for a tablet or phone very 7-8 minutes
•According to a Google report of 2016, the number of mobile-only users has grown, and they now surpass desktop-only
These statistics tells us the importance for choosing the mobile learning approach to engage the gen Z who are mobile first.
According to LinkedIn Learning’s “2018 Workplace Learning Report,” many prefer to learn at the point of need which is possible through the mobile learning approach of anytime anywhere learning. With the Gen Z preferring more flexibility at the workplace, mobile learning will definitely enhance the learning experience. By choosing the mobile learning approach, the organisation is able to offer more to the learners like social learning, easy sharing of the content etc.
4. Create competition
We have seen that competition in learning can enhance the spirit in the learners to make the learning process more engaging. And this is true in the case for the learners from this generation. An organisation can choose e-learning gamification to foster the element of competition.For example, an inclusion of a leaderboard linked to the points earned can help the organisation to create the competition among the learners and studies shows that the Gen Z loves to compete and master the skills than their predecessors
5. Ensure instant feedback
The Gen Z wants instant feedback for their actions . This is so true in case of learning too .
The e-learning strategies like gamification, scenario and simulation based learning experiences are also an ideal way to give the learners the immediate feedback .
How to retain the Gen Z talent?
While the organisations are already worried about the millennials who are considered to be job hoppers, there is little sigh of relief with the Gen Z . The Gen Z unlike the millennials value job security over monetary benefits. But this don’t mean that they are not demanding. The Gen Z prefers to work in those organisations where they feel that they are valued and have the opportunity to build and advance their careers and invest in the personal growth.
Hence, the organisations should focus on investing more on learning and training initiatives for the Gen Z employees. Make sure that it is not just a one time process but a continuous learning approach, which calls for a culture fostering organisational learning- where the organisation promotes active learning and the learners take ownership of learning voluntary.
Hence,I feel that online learning is one of the most effective ways to establish a continuous learning culture to retain the Gen Z talent.