Closing the Skills Gap for Gen Z Tech Employees

July 3, 2023

Introduction   

People of all generations in the industry have seen their traditional ways of working, closing the skills gap and learning alter from what they once knew, and it hasn’t always been a simple adjustment.    

For one generation, all these changes happened when they’d only begun entering the workforce or were in the process of completing their official education and were ready to start it. Whether we intended it or not, Gen Z has unwittingly evolved into test subjects as we figure out what functions well and doesn’t in a society where remote work and study are the norms.    

While they have undoubtedly picked up several useful computer skills, many have naturally missed the chance to learn other skills while working in traditional offices. 

Additionally, because they have little to no experience in the actual office, Gen Z might pass up chances to interact socially with co-workers and team members. Whether or not employees are aware of it, these situations frequently present significant learning and training opportunities. As a result, Gen Z learners now need to improve in non-tech abilities and close their skills gap.   

Gen Z do not lack the desire to possess any non-technical talents, they are a quick learner. We need to develop the best techniques to close these skills gaps, considering the usual learning styles of Generation Z and the current workforce.   

Two crucial concerns must be addressed to accomplish this:   

  1. What talents does Gen Z lack?  
  2. What concrete actions can L&D professionals take to assist their Gen Z students to bridge that gap?   

According to a recent survey by Dell of over 12,000 members of Generation Z (aged 16 to 23), 52% of Gen Z are more certain than non-technical workers that they possess the talents that employers value. Communication, decision-making, and teamwork abilities are a few examples of non-technical skills.  

Important statistics about Gen Z learning and training abilities 

  • 76% of Gen Z learners believe that learning is the key to a successful career 
  • 69% of Gen Z learners reported that they are making more time to learn in recent years 
  • Gen Z learners watched 50% more hours per learner of learning content in 2020 vs. 2019 
  • Gen Z spends 12% more of their time on LinkedIn Learning building their hard skills when compared to the average learner. 

Top ways to bridge the Gen Z skills gap in the Workplace   

The generational shift in the workforce brings a unique set of challenges. For employers, keeping up with the changing needs of their staff is critical for success. As Generation Z enters the Workplace, employers must address the skills gap to remain competitive. By understanding the needs of this new generation and implementing strategies to close the skills gap, employers can create a productive and successful workplace. This article overviews the top six ways to bridge the Generation Z skill gap. 

  1. Make room for many communications modalities 

The following generations make up your workforce: Baby Boomers (1946–1964), Generation X (1965–1980), Millennials (1980–1995), and Generation Z (1995–present) . Consider how individuals in these times first encountered employment, freedom, and technology. While Gen Z was born after the internet, Gen Y was born after touch displays were invented.  

Make sure you don’t rely on a single means of communication, and everyone has an equal opportunity to learn about and exchange knowledge and close their skills gap. A global pandemic and technology both contributed to the increase in virtual communications. But that also raises the chance that your employees work in silos.  

To make everyone feel comfortable, try to employ various communication techniques. For instance, relying too heavily on Slack diminishes the importance of face-to-face communication. Utilize technology to simplify your work but remember that it has a finite lifespan. It can be more satisfying to meet occasionally over a cup of coffee.  

  1. Establish and maintain cooperative training programs 

Together, we can learn more. Has a group of Baby Boomers or Gen X employees left your company, leaving the team without Millennials to fill their positions? Employers can close the knowledge and skills gap between younger and older staff by providing training opportunities.  

You might allow your staff to join up for training programs to gain their desired talent, or a more senior employee could lead a lunch and learn session to share manager best practises. To help your personnel feel more a part of the team and to close knowledge gaps among them, encourage them to share their knowledge.  

Additionally, you can foster a culture of team learning through your onboarding procedure. Every month, get all your new hires together and go through the same onboarding process. In this manner, irrespective of age, they can establish mutual respect and understanding from the beginning.  

  1. Promote flexibility in all job roles 

At every stage of life, people have different priorities. New hires from Generation Z can be recent graduates determined to succeed. A Millennial might have moved to a different place alone in search of social chances at work. The Gen X generation could have childcare and educational responsibilities.  

Not every one of your employees will feel the same way about their work. You can assist them in increasing productivity and flexibility in their job enjoyment. They can attain some work-life balance, for instance, if they can switch shifts at the last minute.  

After the epidemic, remote work is probably here to stay for office workers. Consider bucking the norm and allowing your staff to work remotely to balance their commitments. Give your employees a say in their schedules if your company does not allow remote work. Request their preferences and support their outside-of-work priorities. Make sure they can quickly express their availability and, if necessary, locate a substitute.  

  1. Steer away from using outdated stereotypes. 

The internet could lead you to assume that Millennials and Generation Z are at odds. Both appear to have superficial judgements about the other’s taste in clothing, interests, and morals. Millennials are too soft, Gen X is meek, Baby Boomers are lousy with technology, and Gen Z is whiny. All generations have given rise to stereotypes.  

People frequently contradict age-related assumptions. Every generation can learn from how others take on new problems, gain experience, and strive to improve the world.  

Do not confine your personnel. Just like you shouldn’t ever assume anything about anybody based on their gender, keep in mind that every single one of your employees has the potential to be successful. Toss preconceptions to the wind and adjust your Workplace, so everyone feels supported.  

Create an open vacation policy if your team feels pressured to work long hours. Create training and volunteer activities if they need fulfilment. If they require more organization, give them specific objectives. Without performing general evaluations, the finest managers can bring out the best in their team members. 

  1. Offer guidance to help them feel more confident. 

Every generation can provide specific information and experiences. A productive workplace encourages cross-generational learning.  

Mentorship should go in all directions for every generation to gain from learning and teaching. Encourage your younger employees to lead Training on new technologies and social trends if the older employees aren’t already familiar with them. Encourage your older employees to share their real-world experiences.  

Your staff will benefit from intergenerational learning by developing into well-rounded subject matter experts. Your workers will become more confident thanks to mentoring programs. While older employees can accept new working methods, younger employees will feel better equipped for leadership.  

  1. Foster a climate of respect for one another. 

We must foster an atmosphere of openness and respect. The fact that they work alongside people who don’t always look like them should make your staff proud. Are there opportunities for your staff to engage honestly outside your regular work operations? Keep in mind that not everyone enjoys staying out late drinking when planning a company outing. Be inclusive in the way you recognize your accomplishments.  

Every employee is expected to respect the values held by their coworkers. By providing the right environment for sharing them, you’ll only be able to comprehend these values. Maintain the highest standards for your team culture while keeping in mind that everyone wants to be recognized and seen regardless of generation.   

Conclusion   

By understanding the skills gap between Generation Z and the skills needed in the Workplace, employers can bridge the gap and create a successful, productive workplace. By investing in Training and education, developing mentorship programs, creating flexible work arrangements, and leveraging technology, employers can ensure that their workforce is ready for future challenges.  

Interested in knowing how we bridge tech skill gaps for Gen Z at Techademy? Explore how to improve talent acquisition and engagement strategy with IIHT Techademy’s unified LXP, Tech LabsSkill Assessments and on-demand Mentoring services. Bridge the talent skills gap. Learn more about it here and book a demo now! 

About The Author

About Techademy

The accelerated pace at which businesses are rushing toward digitization has primarily established that digital skills are an enabler. It has also established the ever-changing nature of digital skills, and created a need for continuous digital upskilling and reskilling to protect the workforce from becoming obsolete.

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