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Gen Z Enters the Workforce: How Healthcare Can Adapt Training Programs for the Next Generation

February 13, 2024
February 13, 2024

As healthcare continues to evolve at breakneck speed, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for leaders. HealthStream's annual white paper, authored by industry expert Robin Rose, MHA, identifies the top ten trends poised to reshape the landscape in the coming year. This blog series delves into each trend.

Gen Z Enters the Workforce: How Healthcare Can Adapt Training Programs for the Next Generation

For years, healthcare training focused on the needs of Millennials, the dominant generation in the workforce. However, a new generation is now entering the workforce: Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2010. Though only a few years separate them from Millennials, rapid technological advancements have significantly shaped their learning preferences.

Here's what makes Gen Z learners unique:

  1. Hands-on experience over passive teaching: Contrary to their screen-dependent image, Gen Z thrives in active learning environments that emphasize hands-on application. They learn best by interacting with others and applying their knowledge to real-world situations. Mistakes are seen as valuable opportunities for growth.
  2. On-demand learning and microlearning: No generation has had easier access to information than Gen Z. They expect instant answers and prefer learning on-demand, often through video content. Short, bite-sized "microlearning" and visually engaging videos are ideal for self-directed learning and cater to their preference for visual information.
  3. Collaborative learning: Despite stereotypes, Gen Z values collaboration and thrives in interactive environment, whether online or offline. They readily embrace technology to communicate and share knowledge, making collaboration an integral part of their learning journey. These preferences demand a shift in how healthcare training is structured and have implications for organizations aiming to attract and retain Gen Z talent:
  • Mobile-first training: Gen Z expects mobile accessibility for all learning materials, including LMSs, video libraries, and digital tools. Training content must be easily accessible and user-friendly on smartphones, where they spend most of their time.
  • Searchable video knowledge base: Gen Z wants quick answers and prefers video over text. Companies are creating short, YouTube-style "microlearning" videos that explain procedures and answer common questions.
  • Experiential learning: Gen Z wants to apply their knowledge and demonstrate understanding. Healthcare organizations will need to incorporating role-playing, simulations, and collaborative activities into training programs to provide an interactive learning experience.
  • Informal social learning: Gen Z embraces knowledge sharing and readily utilizes video to explain concepts. Encourage informal learning by allowing employees to create their own video tutorials and share knowledge with colleagues.

In 2024 and beyond, expect to see increased adoption of these strategies as businesses strive to engage and retain Gen Z employees. By understanding their learning preferences and providing modern, interactive training programs, healthcare organizations can effectively onboard and empower their youngest generation of talent.

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