Gen Z: Training the Digital Generation

Millennials have been in every headline. For better (or usually worse) they seem to be the topic of every news story. But Millennials have now become old news. Gen Z, those born between 1995 and 2010, now making up 20% of the Workforce. Gen Z is further defined as “digital natives”, or those who from their earliest youth have been exposed to the internet, social networks, and other mobile systems. Being born into this digital age, it is unsurprising that this generation are self-learners and do better absorbing information online than from traditional styles of learning. Here are some tips to help you coach your Gen Z employees to be their best:

1. Communication:
        Despite being constantly plugged-in, this generation strongly values face-to-face conversation. They find it important to build genuine relationships with authority figures, so leaders should prioritize communicating in authentic ways with this cohort.

2. Fostering Diversity & Inclusion:
        Gen Z is the most diverse generation in the nation’s history, according to research by Deloitte (read more here). This, in turn, means that diversity is even more important to them than previous generations. Diversity no longer just means race or gender, but now must expand to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Members of Gen Z will look up a company and only consider companies whose values align with their own. Think about how your company is fostering inclusion. How are you promoting diversity? Who is interviewing your candidates?

3. Coaching & Mentoring
        The ability to mentor is one of the trait’s Gen Z employees value most in a leader. While this group is generally independent, and entrepreneurial, they appreciate having
guidance along their path. They look for diverse entrepreneurial opportunities with the safety of stable employment. They, in turn, will be more loyal to companies who provide them with those opportunities.

4. Career Exploration
The early time in one’s career is for exploring options and discovering their interest and strengths. Their future career paths will be defined by constant reskilling, as they move into new roles. According to the 2019 Millennial Survey from Deloitte, 25% of Gen Z believes employers should be responsible for preparing workers for technological changes. Putting in the effort now to provide career exploration and training will foster loyalty and prevent job-hopping.

5. Business Writing
        Having grown up online Gen Z is most familiar with social media posts and texts, and not as familiar with the conventions of writing in a business setting. Emoji’s, abbreviations, and lack of punctuation, while commonplace online, are considered unprofessional in business settings. A survey by Udemy’s 2019 Workplace Boundaries Report (read here) found that 37% of employees believe their coworkers are too informal on chat messages. Offering business communication and writing courses may help young employees adapt to the writing style of the work environment.

6.  Focus & Productivity
        Gen Z has grown up with the luxury of finding the answer to any question, in just seconds, by simply pulling their phone out of their pocket. The problem is that the device that is always glued to them is also a source of entertainment and distraction. The Udemy 2018 Workplace Distraction Report found that 69% of younger workers admitted to having issues with their concentration, from checking their phone. The good news is that 70% of employers believe that training can help negate these distractions.

In conclusion, this digital generation is unlike any before them. Embracing new mentoring styles, and will help you pull the most out of this generation, who is already transforming the workplace. For more information, read the full original article here.


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