Gen Z Employees Prefer Peer Learning Over AI


Even though the vast majority of corporate learning organizations — around 89% of them — are already using generative AI, most workers are apprehensive about the technology’s impact. That’s according to research conducted by Executive Networks on behalf of NovoEd, an e-learning provider. 

The study found that 42% of Gen Z employees  would rather update their skills and capabilities by learning from their peers, not AI. In fact, AI ranked lower than YouTube (36%), friends and family (30%) and their company’s HR team (23%).

“Individuals crave community participation in times of uncertainty and are drawn to learning experiences that encourage and stimulate connection,” the company said.

In addition, the study found that more than half of Gen Z workers (56%) and half of Millennials say they are likely to leave an employer if they don’t feel the organization is investing in their development. Six out of 10 workers said that career development was a key factor in selecting an employer.

So, organizations must not only support their employees’ development, but also be aware of their learning preferences to stay competitive in today’s market, the report said. And, the company noted, as workplace demographics and work environments shift, learners are bringing expectations from the on-demand, personalized media they use in their consumer lives to the workplace.

Learning and Development Programs

In response to the survey, NovoEd recommended cohort-based learning as an option to replace or supplement AI for better employee retention. The company defined cohort-based learning as “team- and community-based learning that includes experiential practice, application, feedback, expertise and structured peer-to-peer learning.”

“Companies must expand their audience and approach to learning to engage a larger pool of potential talent,” said Executive Networks Executive Vice President Jeanne Meister. “Extending opportunities for cohort-based learning and pathways to career development for an organization’s full ecosystem also creates natural opportunities for connection with important stakeholders and deepens relationships that matter with employees, customers, partners, and communities.”

Image: iStock

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