Generation-Z are the first generation to be born in an internet-ready world. They remember little about the pre-social media universe. They spend a staggering 10.6 hours a day consuming online content. Owning a smartphone from a young age is considered a right of passage.
In the US, 61 million Gen-Zeders are about to enter the workforce and change it forever.
What kind of eLearning will this generation demand? How can you tailor your Learning Management System to meet the needs of Generation-Z?
Before we investigate further, who exactly are these young bucks exactly?
What Year Did Generation-Z Start?
Generation-Z are the age group born between 1995 and 2012. They’re also referred to as: iGen, Gen-Tech, Next-Gen, Gen-Wii and Digital Natives.
As well as their natural knack for technology, Generation-Z are said to be:
- Entrepreneurial – 72% of students want to start their own business. They are fiercely independent and have a strong desire to soak up businesses mechanics.
- Multitaskers – Juggling Snapchat and Instagram while FaceTiming and dabbling in graphic design on Adobe, all at the same time!
- Motivated by Job Security – The recession of 2008 was the biggest since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Growing up in such uncertainty is a major factor as to why this age-group aspire to job security.
Let’s investigate how you can ensure your LMS appeals to the younger generations…
1. Customise to Suit Them!
Businesses have changed dramatically since the first births of Gen-Z (1995). To stand out in saturated marketplaces, companies have turned to custom-built products. From personalisation to offering ample choice; we have come to expect products to meet our needs, instead of adapting to meet theirs.
Generation-Z has therefore grown up in a world where brands adapt to their demands.
Coca-Cola exhibited a successful example of personalisation with the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign in 2011. Although a world away, this thirst for personalisation should spill over into the learning technologies industry.
As it happens, you can personalise our fantastic Academy LMS to suit your brand guidelines.
If you ask yourself ‘What makes a good learning management system?’ you’ll find that customisation comes out pretty much on top. Our LMS is customisable in a manner of awesome ways. Some of which include:
- Branding – Tailor your LMS platform to reflect your company’s brand look and feel. All of your workforces will subconsciously appreciate this. Beware: as they’ve come to expect it, the Gen-Zeders will find an unbranded system unwelcoming.
- Profile Image – Each learner can upload their own profile picture. Having ownership of their platform will give them an investment in their learning.
- Clubs/Levels – Each ‘Club’ (a focused discussion group) and level can be renamed to reflect the industry and company culture. Make your workforce feel at home with casual and fun titles. Ask your colleagues for their ideas. Do a poll. Make them feel devoted to the cause!
2. Make it Mobile Friendly
What percentage of Generation-Z own a smartphone? 98%, to be exact! mobile optimisation is now essential. If your platform is not developed with mobile use in mind, then you can kiss goodbye to your Gen-Zeders! (As well as your search engine rankings!).
Non-optimised (or non-responsive) sites won’t scale down to match the size of your device.
If a site does not adjust its structure and presentation to suit a mobile device, then it’s likely to deeply frustrate your learners. Nobody likes being forced to scroll from side to side to find pages and buttons.
Non-optimised sites are now in the same vault of shame as the animated GIFS and visitor counts that swamped websites in the 1990s!
Generation-Z have come to expect optimisation as a standard.
3. Make it Social
Created in 1997, one of the first recognised social media sites was Six Degrees. As the first of Gen-Z were born in 1995, social media has been a prominent aspect of life and communication for the majority of their lives.
Social media is the benchmark by which younger generations communicate. From Instagram to Snapchat, to Twitter and Facebook. YouTube is considered a social media platform in its own right too.
If you can implement features from social media to your LMSs, then you’ll be appealing to the Digital Natives that are flocking into your business.
Learning Management Systems execute Social Learning in a manner of newfangled ways. These include:
- Social media styled walls
- Discussion groups (what we call ‘Clubs’)
- Expert FAQ’s.
- Instant messaging
You can also supercharge your Gen-Z appeal by investing in video-conferencing. Facebook have offered this for years with FaceTime. You can also stream live videos like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook do. The learning is instant and personal as well as something Generation-Z are accustomed to.
If businesses haven’t already, they’ll have to adapt to the influx of Gen-Z. For example, training your Gen-Zeders with short videos will be more effective than text-heavy files.
Keep this tech-savvy age group on your side by personalising their learning experiences, ensuring mobile optimisation, and implementing social learning. If you pull that off, you’ll have effectively future-proofed your learning!