If you were born between 1996 to the early 2000s, then you’re a Generation Z baby! And you’re taking the workforce by storm. In the United States alone, there are 65 million Gen Z individuals and by 2020, 40% of the Gen Z population will make up the working and consumer population.
What does all this mean and why should you even care? Gen Z is about to surpass their Millennial cohorts and they are dramatically different. Their priorities, needs and values are not like the traditional workforce you’re used to. So it’s time you prepared yourself and your business to welcome and understand them.
What does Gen Z care about?
A stable work-life balance
Work-life balance is way more important than the salary for the gen z workforce. In fact, 38% of Gen Z considers work-life balance as their number one factor in choosing an employer. From mental-health days to employee assistance programs to community activities and more, companies must encourage a healthy way of life and robust well-being. This means going beyond the bounds of traditional benefits and ensuring a strong company culture.
For the gen z workforce, it’s crystal clear that creating a community, a family, is the cherry on top. Through a communications app, you allow your team to interact with one another in real-time and this helps to build a positive company culture.
They want positive relationships
Going off the last point, it’s no surprise that the gen z workforce wants “human interaction at work”. Don’t only think of them as the digital generation! 90% of Generation Z want a human element when it comes to their job role and interactions with their coworkers.
Generation Z doesn’t only want to interact via a screen but rather crave a collaborative and team-friendly work environment. Rainmaker also noted that “Mutual respect, gratitude, and recognition between coworkers and leadership” was key and “41% reiterated the value of the human element.”
Make sure you have an effective blend of technology and the human element.
Gen Z want transparency
Most Gen Z-ers are cynical and that’s mainly due to the news media and social media; because of these channels, Gen Z-ers have been exposed to corruption, dishonestly and negativity. And because of this, they’re more skeptical in nature as they don’t want to be taken advantage of in the workplace. Many don’t allow their emotions to interfere with their workday either.
Authenticity and transparency are crucial for generation z in the workplace. They want to be kept in the loop and want top-down communication via their mobile phones. Your content or video doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to be real.
Tell them what to expect at work
By now, you can probably predict that Gen Z wants to be invested in their daily work and to really know that their time and effort has genuine meaning to the bottom line. But, that’s not so easy as they enter the workforce, especially according to a study by Gallup’s State of the American Workforce:
- Six in 10 people know what’s expected of them in their job role
- Four in 10 feel that their job is important, have a caring manager, or have the chance to do their best every day
- Three in 10 agree that there is a team member who encourages their career development.
Based on this, it’s crystal clear that companies must change if they’re going to meet the expectations of generation z in the workplace. By initiating practices that deliver the company’s mission, catering programs that help your team achieve their goals and making it easy for your employees to share their options, ideas and feedback; generation z in the workplace best understands what’s expected of them.
Additionally, create a platform that allows for two-way communication and easy access to resources and information. This level of leadership ensures that your team has a greater understanding of work expectations and ensures transparency as well.
They want feedback
Usually, the employee performance evaluation happens annually but when you have generation z in the workplace, that just won’t do. 60% of Generation Z-ers want weekly, if not daily, check-ins from their manager.
Managers must deliver feedback that is frequent and measurable so ensure that you address specific points. Together, create action plans and consider using a training app to track performance and communicate.
Now we appreciate that it can be burdensome for managers to deliver daily or weekly feedback, but it’s important that you remain supportive. Send a short email or text so your team feels connected and on track to deliver. Assign a mentor so your employees always has someone to turn to if you’re not available.
They’re tech savvy
The gen z workforce are highly tech-savvy when starting their job role, nearly all are social media experts and can comfortably learn high-level programs that are vital to their job role. If you don’t have up to date technology at your workplace, you’ll find that the generation z in the workplace will be greatly disappointed.
Incorporate programs like:
- Productivity tools: Microsoft Office, Google Suite, etc.
- Collaboration tools: Connecteam, Slack, etc.
- Business intelligence: Salesforce, Tableau, etc.
Read more about workforce management solutions here.
Manage Gen Z with Connecteam
Connecteam is your tool to manage generation z more effectively with employee engagement, employee development, and building working relationships. You can streamline communication, give your employees a platform to be heard, boost engagement, strengthen the company culture, align employees with company policies, streamline daily operations, build professional skills and so much more.
Help lower their high stress levels
Mind Share Partners conducted a study to examine how mental health issues can affect employees. They learned that, “60% of people have experienced symptoms of mental health issues in the past year.”
But more alarmingly, “Half of millennial (defined in this survey as 23-38 years old) and 75% of Gen-Zer (18-22 years old) respondents have left a job, both voluntarily and involuntarily, partially due to mental health reasons. (To put that in perspective, only 20% of the total survey respondents reported doing the same.)”
Additionally, Generation Z is four times more likely to experience anxiety. According to the World Health Organization, “Stress is the health epidemic of the 21st century.” How so? Well, to start, it costs the United States economy some $300 billion and stress causes fatigue, headaches, muscle tension and dizziness.
“Unchecked stress can result in a number of productivity-sapping outcomes, from diminished work quality to absenteeism to co-worker clashes,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych.
Additionally, 52% of employees call in sick due to stress and up to 80% of on the job accidents are caused by stress-related fatigue.
So what can you do to ensure your gen z workforce is at the top of their game? Offer flexibility, more vacation days, company outings, longer breaks, employee assistance programs, train managers to recognize the signs and openly talk about the resources available. All of these will impact your company and employees in the long-term.
Failure is an opportunity
Usually, if a project or task doesn’t pan out, that’s it. At least you tried but it’s over. However, the gen z workforce doesn’t think that way. Instead, they view failure as an opportunity to grow.
According to a recent survey, “80% of Gen Z think that embracing failure on a project will help them to be more innovative and 17% believe that it will make them more comfortable to take on new risks.”
By understanding that generation z in the workplace are more fearless and crave opportunities to learn and grow, you can create an environment that helps them thrive.
The bottom line…
If there’s one thing the gen z workforce knows, it’s the internet-connected world – they were basically born with a smartphone in their hands! As a result, you need to get with the times otherwise, your gen z workforce won’t be engaged or happy in their job role or the company. Technology, like Connecteam’s employee app, will play a huge role in internal communication.
“Most millennials remember a time when fax machines and landline phones were commonly used and AOL dial-up was the only way to access the internet, but their incoming Gen Z colleagues only know of these things from history books and movies. Bottom line – this new generation of workers expects technology to touch every facet of their life and companies should embrace this sooner than later,” said Jeff Corbin
With Connecteam, you can easily build and maintain relationships while streamlining internal communication, especially for the generation z in the workplace.
Foster open communication:
Start a one-on-one chat, send a targeted group message (choose if you want social capabilities to boost engagement with likes and comments), send a feedback survey on any matter, incorporate the suggestion box so employees have a platform to be heard and more. Creating a work environment that values communication, and is on a Gen Z level, to boost morale and productivity.
Create an efficient on-boarding process:
Set the tone the moment a new hires steps foot in your company. With Connecteam, you can send a company-wide update that includes a picture and fun facts and let everyone respond to fully welcome them. In addition, all the training material is available on the app so they can learn at their own pace and can simply refer to materials whenever needed, like the employee handbook, company policies, safety procedures and so on. Monitor progress via the app and send a notification if they miss a chapter.
Ensure employee engagement from day one:
Use the app to establish engagement from the very first day. Send surveys on a regular basis so you know how your employees are feeling, what concerns they have, and where their satisfaction levels stand. The gen z workforce wants feedback and transparency, this is how you do it from the get go. With the suggestion box, employees can share their opinions and ideas whenever an idea strikes.
We recognize that Gen Z will happily download an employee app that enables them to receive company news and updates, access resources, provide ideas and feedback, interact with management and coworkers, and more.
Connecteam's employee app is tailored for Gen Z
With Connecteam’s employee management app, you can best prepare your gen z workforce in the click of a button. From streamlining communication to better on-boarding and training, to boosting engagement and productivity, and so much more. Start now with the free plan!Start for free