Gen Z adults are primarily motivated to learn if the benefits are financially worth it, according to a LinkedIn survey of more than 2,000 members of Gen Z.
With 61 million members, the survey asserts that Gen Z “is the first cohort of workers that grew up with the internet, and are used to dynamic and social communication from an early age.” The oldest members of Gen Z are 22 and are just entering the workforce.
Gen Z learners consider learning important if it can help them improve their skills and make more money. Sixty-two percent want to learn to improve their job performance, 59 percent want to learn in order to make more money, and 46 percent are motivated to learn in order to get a promotion.
These workforce members know the skills needed for success in today’s job market are different from skills needed in past generations (76 percent), and 91 percent of L&D leaders agree with this skill evolution.
Gen Z members aren’t under the illusion that their jobs will remain the same in the future, either–59 percent believe their job will not exist in the same form in 20 years.
They know they’ll need new skills, and “as native internet users, [they] are used to fast-moving technology and immediate gratification … as such, L&D and HR leaders may want to consider investing in micro-learning, known for quickly closing skill and knowledge gaps, to fit into the busy lives of Gen Z,” according to the survey.
A majority (58 percent) would like to learn new skills, but don’t feel they have the time to do so, and 43 percent prefer a fully self-directed and independent approach to learning.
Gen Z workers and L&D leaders don’t see eye-to-eye on soft and hard skills: 62 percent of Gen Z believe hard skills are changing faster than ever and are more important than soft skills. Conversely, L&D leaders believe soft skills are more important, and 61 percent believe Gen Z will need extra support for the development of soft skills to navigate a changing world of work.
It is key that L&D leaders recognize the changing ways in which Gen Z workers prefer to learn. In fact, many are already preparing for their pronounced presence in the workforce:
- 98 percent agree that Gen Z learning preferences will differ from previous generations
- 74 percent plan to make changes to their L&D program to accommodate Gen Z workers
- 84 percent say they’re confident they know what Gen Z will need, including doubling down on soft skills–especially communication, teamwork, and time management