You’ve finally adjusted to the work culture of millennials, and now, the first wave of Gen Z has graduated from college. Fasten your seatbelt and be prepared for Gen-Zers in the workplace.
Generation Z is comprised of young adults born between 1997 to 2010. They grew up during the bad times—the aftermath of 9/11, the succeeding terrorist attacks, the Iraq war, and the Great Recession. They witnessed people around them lose their jobs, their homes, and their savings. These experiences are ingrained in them.
Gen-Z was born and raised at a time when the internet is already a great part of everyday life. They were kids when cellular phones became popular, and they’re used to being connected. Technology is not a new concept to them; they’re natives of the digital world. It’s something they’re simply used to.
What does this mean for you? As an HR professional or recruiting consultant, you need to contextualize your strategies to help the new Gen Z employees love your company. Here’s what you can do.
1. Allow them to own their work
Growing up with the power of the internet greatly encouraged independent thinking in these digital natives. These young adults want to feel that they own themselves and what they do.
When you let Gen-Z own their work, you’re not just teaching them how to do the job right. You’re encouraging them to think for themselves and develop their own critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Ultimately, you’re helping them become more successful in your company. It’s a win-win situation.
2. Offer feedback
Find a healthy balance between letting your Gen-Z employees learn on their own and being involved in their work. Provide consistent feedback to guide them accordingly.
Gen-Zers don’t like being micromanaged. Rather, they crave open communication. Arrange regular feedback sessions so that you can let them know that you’re concerned about their general welfare and career growth.
3. Provide new learnings and career growth opportunities
Stability is important to Generation Z employees. By offering training and development opportunities, you are assuring them not just of continuous learning in your company, but also of career growth. This is a great way to get them engaged with your company.
Additionally, generation Z employees like learning. They want to make sure that investing years in a company will contribute to their knowledge, harness their skills, and propel them forward.
4. Communicate with them face-to-face
Gen-Zers are used to texting and messaging as a means of communication. However, growing up with smartphones doesn’t mean that they don’t value human connection. In fact, they crave face-to-face communication. According to recent studies, 51% of Gen-Zers prefer in-person communication over text messaging or emails.
When giving instructions or providing feedback, make sure to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Take the time to talk to these young professionals and listen to their ideas and input.
5. Provide work flexibility
This new generation subscribes to the adage of “work smart, not hard.” Having grown up in a fast-paced, technologically-driven era, Gen-Zers don’t believe in putting in long hours if they don’t need to. In fact, flexible working hours are at the top of their employee benefits list, so give them the flexibility to choose how they put their time in.
6. Leverage technology in the workplace
For Gen-Zers, technology isn’t a privilege. It’s merely a utility to get from point A to point B. Therefore, make sure that your workflows are centered around technological advancements.
If you’re not updated with the latest software or hardware, expect your Gen-Z employees to be disengaged with your company.
7. Give them meaningful benefits
Recent surveys show that financial rewards greatly motivate Gen-Zers. They know what it’s like to have very little financial resources and they want to make sure that they won’t have to go through that again. Furthermore, a survey showed that drowning in college debt is the top concern of 66% of Gen-Zers.
Providing them meaningful benefits such as health care, educational assistance, and loans will make them feel more secure at your company. Ping-pong tables and game rooms may work for millennials, but this younger generation wants more than just a fun workplace.
The younger generation Z just graduated, and they’re hitting the job boards, as they want to secure a stable job at a great company immediately. Be there for them and make sure you have strategies in place that will surely make them love working for you and with you.
Generation Z graduates want to make a difference in the world, not just in the workplace, so let them. When Gen-Zers are given free reign, they aren’t just capable of thinking outside the box, but also reinventing it.
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