Clash of the Generations: GenZ in the Workforce

Last summer, Generation Z (born in the late 1990’s) entered the workforce, and they’ve already started changing it. By 2020, GenZ will dominate the workforce in every aspect. However, in order to stay competitive and attract the best young talent, employers will need to understand this new demographic. Is your business ready?

Employers will find that GenZ are much more pragmatic and motivated than previous generations. They’ve watched their parents struggle to maintain their homes, life savings and jobs during the 2008 recession. However, watching their parents struggle has allowed them to become more competitive and determined than the Millennials before them.

In addition, these young talents are also more technologically advanced than ever. An estimated 73 million Gen Z’ers in the United States use social media and mobile devices, much more than any other group. But not only is Generation Z more tech savy, they value company culture more than the value salary, unlike previous generations. Companies that are prepared for this new young talent pool will always stay ahead of the curve.

These 5 TIPS will help your company attract the best new talent and stay competitive:

  1. Growth Opportunities
    Using the 2008 economic crisis as a vital experience, GenZers are looking for rapid career advancement and leadership positions. They value companies that offer growth along the way, not just down the road. They want an empowering work culture with constant motivation that allows them the privilege to make important decisions.
    Employers should encourage their employee to build skills with leadership training and further education programs. Creating non-leadership positions with value and prestige is another opportunity to involve valued workers. They will greatly benefit your company and remain loyal while growing in their positions.
  2. Career Perks
    Unlike Millennials, who valued pool tables and video games at their jobs, GenZers are more sensible. They look for career benefits like Health Insurance, Retirement and also a competitive pay. They want a leadership team that is willing to listen to them, and Mentorship programs in which they can acquire knowledge from their peers.
    Invest in competitive benefits and wellness programs to appeal to your new workforce. Be open to sending them to networking events and conferences. They will bring back valuable information and spread the word about your business to potential clients in the process.
  3. Communication with Leadership
    Despite their dependency on technology, GenZers prefer direct communication in the workplace. Growing up, they’ve experienced guidance and interaction from their teachers and coaches, so they want the same frequent and consistent feedback to guide them in the workplace.
    Get rid of the annual evaluations and encourage management to meet with their employees one-on-one on a regular basis. It is important to take the time to listen to the employee’s feedback. Anonymous surveys are also a great and inexpensive tool to gauge how employees feel. Know the issues and address them before valued workers—from any age group—leave in frustration.
  4. Tech-Centricity
    Unlike the generations before them, GenZers are better adapters at learning new programs and procedures. They expect companies to have the latest technology because they view it as efficient and more productive. A company with antiquated hardware and software will be frustrating for them because they know processes can be done faster.
    Invest in newer, user—and mobile—friendly technology. Training sessions to help older employees adapt is essential, and should be available on a regular basis. Make sure your tech support team is knowledgeable and available as well—time lost is money lost. Your employees will appreciate the convenience, and the leadership will appreciate the profits.
  5. Flexible Working Environments
    GenZers value companies with more lenient workplace cultures. They are looking to be comfortable at work, and companies that are rigid are seen as antiquated. Tech behemoths like Google have shown us that the workforce doesn’t have to dress in “Business Attire,” or work strictly 9-5 at a desk to be innovative, efficient or productive.
    Ease back on dress codes and invest in remote workstations and mobile technology. By increasing flexibility, you will help increase productivity. Allowing employees to work from home will also give you access to an untapped pool of remote employees who can greatly benefit your business. The happier the workplace, the longer the employee retention.

GenZ brings a unique viewpoint to work and businesses must adapt in order to stay competitive and attract the best and brightest. Employers are now beginning to appreciate the true effect these emerging employees are having on the workplace. The real challenge to HR and Management lies in understanding what GenZ is looking for, and meeting those needs.

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