Now that graduation season is coming to a close, more Gen Zer’s (people born between 1995 and 2005) are hitting the job market with their new diplomas. Even though these young people are quite close in age to Millennials, there are some distinct differences that hiring managers and business leaders need to be prepared for before they begin the onboarding process.
The truth is that while Millennials and Gen Zer’s do share some similar values and perspectives, they are drastically different in many ways. Therefore, leaders need to be prepared for the onboarding process to guide this younger generation and ensure that they are able to reach their peak performances.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to corporate training for Generation Z.
1. Gen Z’s Attention Span is Even Shorter
Millennials often get a bad rep for having a short attention span and being rather ADD when it comes to focusing on a single project for a long period of time.
But the truth is, Generation Z may have an even harder time concentrating due to their complete upbringing with technology and instant gratification. Their average attention span is a mere eight seconds (compared to twelve for Millennials) and they are even more likely to switch back and forth between apps and screens the moment they are distracted by a notification.
So, if you thought training Millennials was tough, it is going to be even harder to keep Gen Z’s attention and make sure they are learning everything they need to know.
Whether you are training Gen Z to use the company’s project management software or showing them how to generate their paystubs, you need to make all your lessons laser-focused and concise. Your training programs also need to be even more engaging than before – while still being educational.
Gamification training works well with both Millennials and Gen Z because it is more immersive and interactive than the traditional classroom type setting.
Another important thing to note about Gen Z is that they are highly motivated by personalization, so creating a customized training program is a great way to engage them in the learning process. This is known as contextual training, and it allows companies to use e-learning tools that will adjust based on the individual employee’s skills, current knowledge, and learning style.
2. Flexibility is Even More Important to Gen Z
To say that Generation Z and Millennials have an “untraditional” approach to the 9-to-5 is an incredible understatement. Again, if you thought that Millennials wanted freedom and flexibility when it comes to the workplace, be prepared for things to be shaken up even more by Generation Z.
Since Gen Z grew up with smartphones and technology, they know that it is quite possible to make anywhere an office and will be requesting more flexibility in terms of remote work and office hours than Millennials will.
According to a report from Deloitte Insights, Gen Zers are expected to embrace remote work even more than Millennials – and despise micromanagement. They also want to incorporate more technology that will allow them to communicate and work in a corporate world without boundaries (i.e. an office cubicle).
So, corporations should embrace this flexibility and teach employees how to stay productive and on task, even when they are OOO.
If your company offers flexible hours or the ability to work from home, then part of your corporate training model should include guidelines and procedures for flexible work.
Productivity can either slack off or show improvement when employees are allowed to work from home or around their own schedules. Make sure that Generation Z knows what is expected of them and how they can use technology to keep them on track and connected with co-workers.
3. Gen Z Will Need More Collaboration Training
Even though technology like smartphones and social media are designed to keep us connected with the people in our lives, it has actually made it more difficult to connect IRL (in real life).
This is quite apparent in Generation Z, as they have never experienced a world where texting, IMing, or video chatting was not possible.
Apart from the strain this can have on personal relationships, it can also make it harder for Gen Z to assimilate into an office where collaboration is necessary. They would prefer to send a text than an email or answer a phone call – and they may not feel comfortable leading a meeting or talking to a large group. They also tend to have a more entrepreneurial spirit, but can sometimes struggle to work together with teams for projects.
Businesses will need to cater to this by utilizing both online programs like project management software while also providing training for team tasks. Be sure that your leaders are training this generation on the correct ways to handle conflicts within a group, how to take the lead and develop management skills, and how to properly use various technology to keep themselves organized on their assigned tasks.
Generation Z will soon be making up for 38% of the workforce, as more and more are earning degrees and dipping their toes into corporate America. In order for businesses to help this new generation of the workforce achieve their career goals, they need to understand how to train them and integrate them into the corporate world effectively.
The key here is to truly understand the reasoning behind Generation Z’s behavior. Don’t try to change them; instead, appreciate their motivations and desires and find ways to prepare them for their future careers with your company.
Author Bio: Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.