Digital Transformation in HR

Why You Need to Adapt Workplace Learning for Gen Z

May 9th, 2023 – SkillCycle

A group of multi-racial & multi age people sit around a table in a conference room, talking animatedly to one another

In this article:

  • How Gen Z has shaped our view of careers and work
  • 5 benefits of adapting your learning strategies to how Gen Z learns
  • Why supporting different learning styles is critical to success
  • How leveraging tech can help you prepare for the future


The tide is changing, and a new generation is coming to an office near you. In fact, your company may already have a number of these employees working in essential roles. 

We’re talking about Gen Z. Why should HR leaders be paying attention? If you haven’t made adjustments based on the behaviors and preferences of this generation, you may already be missing out on their potential or at risk of losing them entirely.

These aren’t predictions you can worry about later. These workers are already showing certain tendencies regarding their engagement at work and whether they’ll quit their jobs if they’re unhappy. And, over half of these workers are disengaged at work, reports Gallup

Gen Z is poised to become a significant portion of the world’s population. This generation, born from 1997 onward, is the youngest generation in the workforce. Globally, they’re about to take over. It’s estimated that by 2025, they’ll make up a quarter of the population of the Asia-Pacific region, according to McKinsey.

How Gen Z has shaped our view of careers and work

Gen Z employees are often called digital natives due to their early exposure to the internet and social networks. They’ve grown up with technology woven into most areas of their lives. 

They may be more tech-savvy than other groups, and many adapt quickly to new digital tools and technology, which can benefit your organization when it comes to successfully adopting tech. However, the flip side is that they’ll expect you to provide the tools they’ll need to succeed. 

Gen Z’s preferences for learning at work also differ from previous generations. They’re likely to value opportunities to develop their skills in the workplace, especially when the learning feels relevant to their work. 

Finding a workplace that supports their growth isn’t just a passing fancy for Gen Z. This generation cares enough to act if their company doesn’t meet their needs—and a lack of career development has long been a driver of employees leaving their jobs

These workers want work to occupy a slightly different role in their lives than other generations. While their careers are important to them, they tend to value work-life balance and want to feel a sense of purpose.

5 benefits of adapting your learning strategies to how Gen Z learns

Understanding how your employees learn and implementing systems that meet those learning needs can help you prepare to meet the needs of your current and future workforce. 

As a bonus, making these adjustments proactively can drive other positive outcomes in your organization.


1. Better engagement

You can increase employee engagement by creating personalized learning pathways developed from employee career goals and interests. These increased levels of engagement can drive higher productivity and company performance. 

2. More efficient use of resources

Providing learning opportunities relevant to job roles and learning styles helps employees gain skills and knowledge applicable to the work they do each day, ensuring time and resources aren’t spent on training that will go unused.

3. Better talent retention

Understanding how meaningful learning and development opportunities are to Gen Z can help employers keep their people from leaving the company for new opportunities. People want to feel their employers are invested in their long-term success.

4. Real-time results to motivate employees

Feedback in real-time can help employees feel more connected to their learning path and inspire stronger connections to their goals. As a result, they’re more likely to see the rewards of their new skills and benefit from increased confidence. 

5. Improved organizational decisions

Better insights into critical skills needed within the company and progress toward filling those gaps can help you make better decisions about what skills are needed and who is best to acquire them.

Why supporting different learning styles is critical to success

Gen Z workers have seen rapid advancements already in their lifetime. What does this mean for employers? To attract Gen Z to your organization, you’ll need to evolve at a speed that matches their external environment, says Deloitte.

Companies do well when all employees are allowed to grow and develop in their roles, with nobody left behind. To ensure your organization’s success, offering learning opportunities that meet all learners where they are is vital. 

When your learning experiences can support different learning styles and ensure all employees have access to skill development, you’ll see better results company-wide. 

In most cases, ongoing learning that allows employees to gain new skills and knowledge that can be immediately applied to their work is the most effective. This method helps ensure the new knowledge is relevant to their job and allows them to build confidence and see how the new skills can help them feel more confident and perform better. 

Recognizing these qualities can help you create learning and development strategies that unlock potential and drive up engagement with these workers. But, even more imperative, understanding what makes this generation of workers tick can help you retain promising employees instead of losing them to your competition.

Leveraging tech to drive a digital transformation in HR & People Ops

Traditional learning programs won’t meet the needs of the employees, who will soon make up the largest portion of the workforce. These training programs won’t offer the robust learning experiences needed for people with different learning styles to thrive. 

The result? Disengaged workers, decreased performance, and costly turnover. However, employing tools and strategies that help learners succeed no matter their learning style can drive better outcomes across the organization. And yes, implementing this strategy does work.

Digital transformation in HR and people ops is needed to shift the focus to what learners need and how best to help them acquire relevant skills. It can connect learning to critical business outcomes, increasing buy-in from more levels of the company and smoothing the path to successful talent development among your team members. 

A learning platform built to accommodate how people learn, meet their needs, and encourage them to outperform can be a powerful tool to increase access, equitable learning opportunities, and company-wide ROI. When learning and development opportunities are open to all employees, you can create an environment where each employee is engaged in learning and can apply these new skills and knowledge to the work they do at your company each day. 

Learn more about SkillCycle’s talent and performance platform that supports teams with new ways to learn and grow within their worklife.


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