Best practices for creating personalized e-learning experiences
Have you hired young and promising Gen Z employees, but are you struggling to find the best way to train them? You are not alone. This generation appears to be driven by a unique set of motivators, and as millions of them prepare to enter the market, discovering how to make connections is becoming a top priority for businesses. If you want to know how to create personalized eLearning experiences for your Gen Z employees, check out the following solid tips.
7 ways to connect with your Gen Z employees
1. Rely on visual material
Gen Z has been surrounded by screens practically since they were born. So if you want to create a truly immersive eLearning experience, you’ll need to use image-based training material. But don’t be fooled into thinking that a PowerPoint presentation with bold and colorful images will get you far with Gen Z. When designing a training program, you must focus primarily on video. Most Gen Z employees would much rather watch a short instructional video than read a set of instructions. So make sure you make your content visual and maybe even invest in a learning management system that makes it easy to find, store, and categorize.
2. Make it flexible
Younger employees have a less rigid approach when it comes to learning. In particular, they usually do not respond well to training that takes place at a set time and place. On the contrary, they appreciate the opportunity to receive training at a time that suits their busy schedule. Additionally, it is unwise to assign them training that is not directly related to their role or responsibility. Gen Z is very keen on learning, but only when it adds value to their lives. So create a library of courses and support your employees in choosing which skills they need to improve depending on their goals.
3. Encourage self-direction
A key element of personalized learning and something you need to keep in mind when creating such e-learning experiences is to remind instructors to take a back seat and give employees control over their learning journey. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to guide and not dictate what type of training your employees need to receive. In addition, however, you can implement flexible deadlines so that everyone can follow their preferred learning pace. This increased sense of responsibility and self-management leads to motivated employees who are personally invested in their progress and performance.
4. Use Microlearning
There is a universal truth about Gen Zers: their attention spans are relatively short. It is a result of the overly digitized world they grew up in and the fast and captivating stimuli it offered them. Consequently, unless your training material is biting and direct, don’t expect to hold their interest for more than a few seconds. For maximum results, focus on 2-3 minute educational videos or modules composed of a limited number of concise images. Utilizing microlearning will not only keep your employees engaged, but also allow them to advance their training whenever they have free time; for example during commuting or lunch breaks.
5. Encourage social learning
It goes without saying that Generation Z values communication and collaboration. In addition, they always turn to some online community (such as Quora or YouTube) to find information about their questions. Encourage their tendency to stay connected with forums, chats, and group discussions. Gen Z employees are always happy to share their knowledge, supporting the collective development of your workforce. Don’t forget to also work on face-to-face interaction, which can be more challenging for Gen Zers. Implement mentoring or cross-training programs to facilitate relationship building and improve communication skills.
6. Focus on ease of use
If your personalized eLearning is aimed at younger employees, you may want to evaluate your current equipment and user interface. In an age of touchscreens and intuitive navigation, clunky and outdated training systems will quickly frustrate and alienate your employees. To avoid this problem, focus on the user experience and invest in modern LMSs that require minimal direction and are easy to use. Additionally, pay close attention to how you store and categorize resources so that students can find and access them easily.
7. Adapt to mobile learning
Gen Z is used to using their smartphones for everything from entertainment to shopping and staying informed. It stands to reason that they will expect their educational courses to be easily accessible on a mobile device. In fact, having to use a computer can be the reason they lose interest in the course altogether. Therefore, when choosing a training system, make sure that it can effectively format your material to fit both larger and smaller screens.
It’s a fact that the presence of Gen Z employees is transforming corporate training as we know it. This younger generation is accustomed to customized experiences and personalization in many aspects of their lives. As a result, businesses are looking for ways to create training that truly engages them and helps them reach their maximum potential. To get the most out of your Gen Z workforce, follow these best practices to create engaging eLearning experiences.