Image by Vladim Kluchnik
According to CNBC Make It, “Millennials and Gen Z currently account for slightly over a third of the workforce.” In the next decade, they expect that figure “to shoot up to 58 percent, making the youthful generations the most dominant in the workplace.” So how can employers help Gen Z workers thrive?
Members of Generation Z are the youngest group in the current workforce. Many Gen Z workers’ first work experience abruptly ended or was postponed altogether when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. To reboot their careers, they’ll lean on companies that feature modern recruitment techniques, flexible work, and opportunities for advancement.
As an employer, you will have to plan how you can best create an inviting and welcoming work environment for Gen Z employees. You’ll also need to think about how you can prepare them for thriving through future uncertainties. To help get these thought processes started, here are four ways businesses can help Gen Z workers thrive in the new workplace normal.
Four Ways Businesses Can Help Gen Z Thrive
Gen Z workers are changing the way companies recruit, retain, manage, and develop their employees. The next generation of workers fosters an entirely different set of values, needs, and priorities than their millennial, Gen Y, or baby boomer cohorts. These include high demand for flexibility, a modern benefits package, and a desire for independent work models, among other values.
To help Gen Z workers thrive in the new workplace normal, here are four things you can do right now:
Implement advanced technology.
Generation Z grew up with technology a part of their everyday lives. The way they connect, communicate, and navigate this world depends on their efficient use of the best technology offered. An employer that provides high-quality technology to Gen Z aids their comfortability, productivity, and enthusiasm for their job duties.
However, it’s best to implement advanced technology while still prioritizing the impact of face-to-face collaboration with other workers. Inc. states that “More than 90 percent of Generation Z prefer to have a human element to their teams, either working solely with innovative co-workers or co-workers and new technologies.”
With the Gen Z workforce priding themselves on being highly tech-savvy, you must meet their technology expectations throughout your company:
- Productivity tools like Google Suite and Trello
- Collaboration tools like Slack and Asana
- Business software like Quickbooks and Hubspot
- New computer monitors and/or portable laptops for remote workers
- Tablets and updated cell phones
- Updated shipping stations
- New and efficient manufacturing equipment
Create flexible work schedules and job descriptions.
Gen Z workers support companies that see the value in flexible work schedules and adaptable job descriptions. When employers don’t confine this young generation of workers to an office, traditional 9-5 schedule, or monotonous job descriptions, their productivity soars.
Companies scattered around the world were experimenting with fully remote work and hybrid schedules before the COVID-19 pandemic. Statewide stay-at-home orders issued across the country fast-tracked a full implementation, and business owners were pleasantly surprised in terms of engagement, work quality, and profitability.
Avoid workplace burnout, absenteeism, and presenteeism by offering the option to work from anywhere in some capacity. Go a step further and provide potential workers the opportunity of freelance, contract, or part-time work should it fit their needs better. You’ll soon see a return on investment in the form of productivity and cost efficiencies.
Understand their values.
When the company they work for understands what they value, Gen Z workers thrive in the new workplace normal. Trust, pay, and culture are currently some of the essential values of Gen Z workers:
- Trust matters because it drives the workforce and company forward
- Pay because they value financial wellness
- And culture because they appreciate a positive, supportive work environment
You should also build a diverse and inclusive workforce to retain Gen Z workers. They value working with people of all ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, economic statuses, and so forth. After all, every aspect of diversity brings a unique element to the team. They’re also attracted to companies actively improving social and environmental challenges like:
- Sustainable business practices
- Fostering positive relationships
- Achieving a sufficient work-life balance
- Ending unconscious bias
- Eliminating discrimination and racism
- Gender inequality
Speak with each of your employees. Find out what’s most important to them. Then restructure job descriptions based on said values to attract more top talent, drive performance, and enhance innovation.
Offer intentional career development.
With a rapidly changing workforce, it’s now considered a requirement to enable workers’ development personally and professionally. While baby boomers put the ball in their company’s court as far as professional development, Gen Z workers feel responsible for their growth and advancement.
They’re enthusiastic about advancing their skill set and receiving feedback that challenges and elevates them. Sixty percent of Generation Z-ers want weekly, if not daily, check-ins from their manager. They want to work for companies that also understand that skills require constant nurturing. And Gen Z migrates toward employers that deliberately focus on effective talent development. So ensure you’re offering employees various training opportunities – in-person and virtually. And give them the option of mentorship, guided self-education, formal training by a company leader, and an occasional direct connection to founders and executives
Are You Ready to Help Gen Z Workers Thrive?
The youngest generation is taking over the workforce at a rapid rate. Want to attract the best of them? Want to help Gen Z workers thrive in our new workplace normal? Offer talent development opportunities, understand their unique values, create flexible work schedules and duties, and implement advanced technology throughout your business.