Over the next few years, Generation Z will be begin entering the workplace. Born around the year 2000, the internet has been a constant presence in their lives, and 81% of this new generation use some kind of social media. From the way they interact with one another to their use of new technologies, Gen Z brings unique skills and key benefits to the workplace. With that in mind, here are my recommendations for motivating and developing this new generation as they embark upon their chosen careers within your workforce.

Use media and gamification

66% of Generation Z list gaming as their main hobby, so media rich content is all-important in future e-learning programmes. Gamification provides an engaging, hands-on learning experience that immerses the learner in ‘real world’ environments and scenarios, and its popularity is only set to increase. More and more, high quality video and audio and 3D animation are bringing  e-learning content to life, as multimedia continues to have a prominent place in the lives of younger generations and becomes an increasingly popular method of communication.

Simplify content

Social media app Instagram exploded in popularity after its makers decided to drastically simplify the app’s functionality with simple photo-sharing which allows users to share photos in just three clicks. Generation Z reportedly have an attention span of around 8 seconds, and so simple, concise learning content and intuitive navigation and features are essential for capturing and retaining the attention of a younger audience. Learning content needs to be snackable, and bite-sized, easy to digest chunks of information are not only more easily retained, but can help engage the user in their own learning.

Multiply platforms

Gen Z operates from multiple screens including monitors, mobile phones, laptops and tablets, and so mobile learning is set to accelerate even further over the next few years. 85% of this tech-savvy generation has a smartphone, so offering learning through a mobile device is not just a ‘nice to have’ option, but is essential to connect with tomorrow’s workforce. Responsive design and auto-fit capability will become increasingly important in delivering future learning programmes, as improved accessibility will resonate with younger generations who now manage many aspects of their lives through their mobile phones.

While this new generation will bring new challenges to workforce learning, these tech-savvy, ‘digital natives’ can provide fresh and innovative ideas and process more information at faster speeds. From the rise of 4G and increased bandwidth to the latest advances in content development, the rapidly evolving needs of new generations will continue to shape learning and development in the workplace. My advice? Keep pace with the latest technologies as part of your core L&D agenda to get the best from the digital generation.

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References
Make Your Marketing Strategy Mobile to Attract Generation Z (2015)
Instagram Was First Called 'Burbn' (2014)
Infographic: 25 Per Cent of Generation Z Left Facebook in 2014 (2015)

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