Supercharging Gen Z to Futureproof Your Business

Businesses are constantly under pressure these days, facing more and more demands in an increasingly competitive environment. Long-standing success could be in the hands of current graduate intakes, the majority of whom will have been brought up with Gen Z values, skills and expectations. Irrespective of the business sector in which your organisation operates, you need to be doing all you can not only to attract the top talent, but also to nurture and retain it.

Now more than ever, your business needs to look to learning programmes such as our early careers training, to ensure their workplace readiness, ability to thrive and to foster the Gen Z skills they bring to the organisation. As a talent acquisition professional, no doubt you have a number of important questions that need to be answered.


What problems do businesses face in the current climate?

It’s difficult to imagine a more stressful time for the business world than right now. We know that significant battles are being fought on many fronts, from sustainability demands and cybersecurity threats to talent shortages and economic instability and so much more. Attracting the very best talents is hugely important, as is the need to retain their services, of course. Circumstances that have been highly complex only seem to be getting more so at the moment.

Talent retention can only truly be achieved via your talent engagement pathways, so any organisation that isn’t engaging with their future stars is taking a major – and unnecessary – gamble. Employers must be in a position to offer meaningful work, a pleasant working environment, opportunities for growth and positive work-life balances. Of course, these need to be in addition to competitive salaries, impressive benefits packages and robust mentoring programmes.

We know that many employers are beginning to understand that inductees from Gen Z can bring key skills to the business, including the likes of:


Is Gen Z embracing digital and all it can do?

In our experience, the answer is an emphatic yes! While Gen Z employees will bring plenty of skills and talents into the workplace, perhaps the most important will be their digital savviness. They will have grown up in a world in which technology is an everyday part of life, and will have become adept in the basics of remote working and virtual collaborations before they even became old enough to work. They are unlikely to be intimidated by social media, artificial intelligence, online learning and more, and their potential for growth will invariably be extremely powerful.


Why is it important to show adaptability from the very first day?

We already know that the Gen Z workforce is renowned for being adaptable. This in turn provides the ability to flourish in dynamic, fast-paced working environments. Gen Z tends to include quick learners who are able to embrace new technologies and evolving challenges with relative ease, which is rightly seen as a major asset, as is their openness to learning and development programmes. We’ve detected a noticeable trend towards not only understanding our modules but also towards implementing them at the earliest opportunity.


Are you developing the collaborative skills that my organisation needs?

It’s become apparent in recent times that Gen Z employees excel in collaborative workplace settings, and this is a key factor in DBL’s strategies. There are a number of ways in which the individual – and the whole team – can be improved, in part because many will already be, to a greater or lesser extent:


How can my company help to emphasise the importance of diversity?

Businesses that are keen to not only understand diversity but also to embrace it have a powerful ally in the new breed of Gen Z workers. These individuals have grown up in a more connected, more globalised world, and as a result they value diverse perspectives and all they can bring to the working environment. As a rule, Gen Z has a commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion, and this can foster a whole new workplace culture in the future. Here at DBL, we understand this, and our modules reflect the importance of these qualities in the modern business environment.


Is authenticity and the need to ‘keep it real’ really all that important?

Again, yes. Unlike many of those who came before them, Gen Z workers tend to place high importance on authenticity, and this inevitably leads to a greater proliferation of genuine, transparent interactions. Such individuals enjoy working in locations where they can be honest and open about the challenges they face and the practices they value. For managers and directors, the more authenticity they can foster, the more chance they have of retaining their best talents. We’ve made sure our modules are geared towards improvement, of course, but also place a strong emphasise on their relevance in the workplace settings that all attendees will experience.

Given the pressures facing companies in the current economic climate, it’s easy to see why graduate intakes are expected to hit the ground running. Gen Z newcomers will already possess the skills needed to be proactive, positive and initiative-led, so senior managers and directors will look to the recent arrivals to integrate seamlessly almost from day one. But what can those in charge do to ensure this happens without unseen problems? We at DBL know that the significance of accessing personalised learning and development training must not be underestimated.

Are you giving my teams the tools to get the job done?

Here at DBL, we offer a comprehensive range of learning modules designed to not only make Gen Z ready for the workplace but also to inspire them. These can and should be implemented from an early stage, in order to provide the tools required for a smooth transition into their new roles. The many benefits you can look forward to include:

…and more.

In addition, our learning modules also provide the all-important quality of momentum. In the past, far too many newcomers will have settled into their roles and gradually become bogged down with the sameness of it all. Inspiring Gen Z newcomers will bring many rewards for the company in a short space of time, including a chance for early involvement in major projects. We’ve taken meaningful steps to promote a welcoming, inclusive culture, one that will inevitably give fresh starters the confidence to feel that their input is valued.


In what way are your learning modules both rewarding and enjoyable?

The more structure there is to a learning programme, the more understanding your new hires will have of their chosen roles and expectations. DBL’s learning modules are designed to be informative, of course, but also enjoyable. They help new intakes to understand the importance of clear communication within a supportive environment, all within a framework geared towards personal growth and soft skills refinement, both of which are necessary for the workplace. This is of critical importance in the current working environment, especially in light of 2023 research undertaken by Breathe HR, which showed that over 47% of SME employees feel that their personal development isn’t taken seriously enough. This figure is likely to be higher in many larger corporations around the world. Additionally, our own research shows that some graduates lack resilience and confidence, and their communication skills require further development for ongoing success.

The future potential of Gen Z employees really shouldn’t be underestimated. They represent a generation of young men and women that’s more open to self-improvement than any previous group. We feel strongly that empowering them in the workplace and trusting them to embrace the opportunities that are open to them can help to ensure future organisational success and growth for many years to come. This is the first generation of men and women that has been strongly shaped by the twin powerhouses of digital upbringings and diverse experiences, so business leaders need to make the most of their talents.


Why would the views of the consumer influence the learning programmes I choose?

As a general rule, the buying public is demanding more in the way of social justice and corporate responsibility from the business world, and Gen Z could be key to accommodating this.

These are young people who have been brought up in a world in which sustainability, ethics and inclusivity are key to appealing to the consumer in the 2020s and beyond. In 2023, a joint study by McKinsey and NielsenIQ revealed that more than 60% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a product that featured sustainable packaging, a clear indicator of the need for businesses to reconsider their ethical standpoints. Is your business aligned with the implications of this?

Our team hears more and more about the need to futureproof businesses these days, and it’s easy to see why. Corporations that only have an eye on the immediate tend to decline in the long run, so it’s vital for every company to see and embrace the bigger picture. In recent times, we’ve already seen that Gen Z employees are proving to be individuals who can provide fresh ideas that resonate with a broader, more socially conscious audience. Their collaborative nature and tendency towards transparent communication can bring immediate improvements in team dynamics, and can generate a more innovative mindset among the organisation.

How can I prepare the right people in the right way?

Knowing that Gen Z can be key to a company’s future is one thing, making sure you do all you can to help these people develop is another. HR Managers and Directors need to be certain that they are giving new intakes the tools to get the job done, and this can be something of a game-changer. Robust onboarding programmes such as those provided by our inspirational team of specialists are vital, as is ready access to professional development resources. Collaborative online resources help to facilitate teamwork, of course, but they don’t have the immediate impact of personalised learning modules specifically geared towards personal empowerment.

In the past, too many companies aimed their training modules at industry-specific requirements without giving too much thought to personal development, but this has changed for the better recently. This represents an awareness that improving people is key to improving the business as a whole. In 2022, an exhaustive study by PricewaterhouseCoopers highlighted eleven separate elements that can enhance the employee experience, including autonomy, development, training, wellbeing and diversity.


Can wise investments in professional development lead to meaningful success?

For those organisations that have invested wisely in the development of Gen Z via DBL’s innovative programmes, there’s every chance of success in the coming years. These individuals will be in a position to provide powerful and meaningful contributions that can have an impact on your business for many years. Companies can potentially adopt new systems and processes that will lead to changes in consumer perceptions in no time. Significant investment in Gen Z, it has to be said, is far more than a current trend that will one day start to peter out. The business landscape is forever changing; is your company ready for this?

DBL has been at the forefront of learning and development programme delivery for a number of years, and we continue to set the benchmark for the whole sector. Our learning programmes are designed to enhance employee soft skills, nurture already-existing talent, boost productivity and ensure long-term growth. By developing graduate intakes internally, alongside crucial input from DBL, companies can fill skill gaps, reduce staff turnover and increase job satisfaction. Your company can take steps right now to help retain the loyalty of exceptionally talented team members for many years to come.


The time to do something meaningful is…. NOW!

To find out more about DBL and the programmes we offer, all you have to do is get in touch with the team today. This is your chance to enhance your company’s reputation and to attract top talent that will make a genuine and tangible difference. The market is rapidly changing, so this isn’t the time to stand still. Whether your company has been investing in development for many years or has not used learning providers at all in the past, our friendly specialists would like to hear from you.

We hope to be speaking with you very soon.

Share this post
Development Beyond Learning

Related articles

View all articles

Global Learning and Development (L&D) leader Development Beyond Learning (DBL) challenges the remaining 2% of businesses to remove the barriers that limit Gen Z's workplace performance

Discover how to transform internships into valuable opportunities for rapid skill development by maximising the potential of limited time and supportive learning environments.