Adapting to a New Generation of Trainees


For several years now organizations across the globe have been shifting their approach on hiring, training and workplace cultures to adapt to the Millennial generation of employees. But there is a new generation that many of us have lumped into the Millennial category although many studies have revealed they are much different, Generation Z.

The new grads now entering your workforce are among the first of about 67 million people, born between 1995 and 2010, who comprise Generation Z. Different from Millennials who came of age at the same time as the Internet, social media and smartphones, Gen Z was born into a world where connected technologies were no longer new but normal.

With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, Gen Z is beginning to fill huge gaps in the workforce. As such, employers are already planning how to adapt training and development for this new generation of workers to keep pace in today’s work environments.

Gen Z Learns By Doing

Gen Z students are anything but passive learners. A recent report from Barnes & Noble College shows that Gen Z predominantly learns by doing and prefers active learning environments. They are more connected than previous generations and incredibly social, as well.

Studies show that Gen Z puts a high value on face-to-face interaction and group learning, both on and offline. According to Pearson, 57 percent of Gen Zers prefers in-person learning with other training participants. Another study found that 60 percent of them are happy to share their knowledge with others online, whether it’s a forum like Microsoft Teams or within a classroom setting. Blended training models that combine online discussions and in-class collaboration play to Gen Z’s social nature and have proven to be effective models for engagement during professional development.

Although Gen Z loves to learn, they will not engage with your training and development programs unless they are flexible, collaborative and give individuals the ability to practice and prove what they have learned. Rest assured that the Manufacturer & Business Association has incorporated all of these ingredients into its training programs to make them as effective as possible for all generations. To learn more, contact the Training Department at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660, or visit

Tracy Daggett, PHR, is the manager of Professional Development Training Services at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact him at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or