2022 is proving to be a big year in business education for graduates and early talent.
Born after the mid-90s and raised in the 2000s, this new ‘Generation Z’ workforce already accounts for 20 percent of working adults. Do you understand what their approach to learning looks like? It looks very different to what we have seen before. Gen Zers are lifelong learners. With this in mind, the time has come to start thinking about graduate training requirements for them. They expect training to be flexible so that they can access it as and when they need to. Learning and creating a culture of agility and continuous development is a massive competitive advantage for companies.
Professional development for career progression
The value of professional development for career progression cannot be underestimated. For graduates deciding where to begin their careers or who to work for, they will be looking for not just the traditional job security and what the company culture is. But what formal professional development and corporate training programs the organisation offers all their employees and how that might benefit them.
Kevin Delaney, VP of L&D at LinkedIn, commented last year “People have recognised that learning is no longer a nice to have; it’s a must-have because learning is essential for success. In this changing world, we need to keep growing just to keep up, and for many of the challenges that we are all facing, learning is the answer.”
Generation Z – trends
Gen Zers are the first generation of true digital natives. From their early years in childhood, they have been consistently exposed to the internet, growing up with smartphones, social networks and messaging apps. They are exposed daily to a significant amount of content and are constantly learning with much of this being done online. Companies offering corporate training programs for college graduates and early talent will become highly desirable for this generation when commencing their careers.
With hybrid workplaces here to stay, this means that there has been a shift in a trend away from instructor-led training to blended online learning. The results from LinkedIn Learning’s 5th Annual Workplace Learning Report showed 73% of L&D professionals expect to spend less on instructor-led training and 79% expect to spend more on online learning.
Other results showed Generation Z learners watched 50% more hours per learner of learning content in 2020 vs. 2019 and 76% of Generation Z learners believe learning is the key to a successful career.
They have made a commitment to lifelong learning and companies that offer management trainee programs and other graduate training programs will attract and retain the top talent.
Generation Z see diversity as a positive asset
Gen Zers are the most ethnically and racially diverse generation and they see diversity as a positive asset. The results of a study by Emarketer showed that about 6 in 10 Gen Zers say they prefer seeing ads that have diverse families or groups in them. They are also more likely to support brands that are proactive in addressing racial issues and they seek assurance from those brands that discrimination will not be tolerated. 96% of Gen Zers take the time to read ratings and are heavily influenced by reviews.
This generation is more likely to be selective when it comes to which companies and organisations they work for. They will expect to see diversity in the workplace and they will want to learn and understand what the company culture is like. Organisational culture should be a reflection of its leaders’ culture, ethics and consciousness. The impact of these values transfers throughout teams impacting performance. Company culture is a determining factor of success or failure during times of transformation and change.
In this new world of work, now is the time for leaders to take stock and invest in building an enviable workplace culture. One that gets rave reviews from all its employees and has graduates and early talent lining up to work for them.
How to apply “Nano-Learning” to corporate training?
Nano-learning is fast becoming the way of the future – learning a new skill in bite-sized condensed information in an online, entertaining and engaging way. TikTok is a social network that does this brilliantly by creating a platform that gives people the ability to convey a message in an incredibly short space of time as seen in this example below from Cleo Abrah a video producer at Vox who has worked for the organisation’s Netflix show Explained.
Did you know that nano-learning is now being applied to corporate training? Viral TikTok content usually starts strong – igniting an emotion within the audience with humour, visual intrigue, a cool dance move or a quick fact – that immediately engages the audience.
This method is being applied to corporate communications training via tools such as bite-sized text messages, short burst video content or podcast snippets. Short, sharp bursts of content that reach their point quickly to immediately engage the audience.
Understanding the different outcomes you want to achieve with your communication is key. For example, do you want to inspire, console, motivate, encourage, reassure, or evoke other emotions? Our communications training method has been used to teach early talent how to do this – so they don’t run the risk of being irrelevant. Early Talent Success Partner at SAP Bernadett Fodor said our training was “the most impactful training they had received during the entire sales academy program”.
Learning this method early in their careers is invaluable for graduates allowing them time and opportunities to practice and hone those skills throughout their employment.
VR training programs & artificial intelligence
Previously commonplace for people who had careers as pilots, surgeons or search and rescue personnel, organisations globally who offer VR training programs to graduates will be investing in their future. Graduates thrive in this immersive and engaging environment as it aligns with their hunger for continuous learning and comfort with technology.
A business school in France has a goal to reduce its program-related carbon emissions by 25% in 2022. They will achieve this by eliminating all long-haul international travel for students attending their international field trips and will instead train locally or in nearby European countries using VR headsets to join international conferences and networking events.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) impact every area of human activity in 2022 including corporate training and education. As businesses embrace this digital technology, automation will reduce error, manage data and free up humans to do intelligent, strategic tasks. Learning software powered by self-learning algorithms and automation provides a personalised form of education to users, that tailors the learning journey to their previous experience, skill level and interests. Reducing overwhelm when faced with so many online course options!
Human-centric skills well worth investing in
Graduates starting out in their career benefit enormously from undertaking our online Mastering Communication Program, which is 100% online, filled with short videos and practical exercises that echo the trends we have discussed today. Communication is at the core of human-centric skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving – life skills that are unlikely to be automated any time soon! Investing in developing these skills early will allow Gen Z to flourish and sore up the career ladder far quicker than past generations.
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.