In this day and age, having a multigenerational workforce is commonplace, but managing various generations can be challenging. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to managing such a diverse workforce.
Everything from technology and education to the economy and parenting styles affects how the youngest generation operates in the workplace. Employers often wrongly believe that the same management style can effectively apply to all young employees, from Gen Y to Generation Z, but this is not the case.
Most are aware that older generations have a much different mentality than that of younger generations, but there are, in fact, also major distinguishing factors between the younger generations as well.
To execute effective leadership, leaders need to understand the varying learning styles and expectations of all their employees.
The co-founder and CEO of Tallo, a platform that links young talent with career advancement opportunities, stated that approaching Millennials and Generation Z employees as a collective group is a common and significant mistake business leaders make.
In reality, leaders should no more liken Gen Zers to millennials than they would liken baby boomers to Gen Xers. As the new generation enters the workforce, it is essential that business leaders learn to recognize the differences and similarities between Generation Y and Gen Z employees.
Also referred to as Digital Natives, Generation Z was born between approximately 1996 and 2012, so members of this generation fall within the age range of ten and 26. Generation Z is also the most populous generation and is fast becoming the most influential generation as well.
As of today, you have likely noticed the Gen Z workforce manifesting in entry-level positions and internships. As Gen Z employees will become all the more prominent in the coming years, HR teams and managers have to start considering how to work with their youngest employees and what they will expect from employers.
As Gen Z employees are slowly joining the workforce, managers and leaders need to learn how to create a work environment that attracts Gen Zers and promotes employee engagement despite the generational differences in the organization.
Gen X employees value social interactions to a great extent. In fact, according to a generation survey by Yello, over 50% of Gen Zers prefers talking to family, friend, and peers in person rather than via digital means.
However, they are still “digital natives,” so managers need to ensure a healthy hybrid of in-person and digital communication for the youngest generation.
Here are a few tips on how to keep Gen Z employees engaged and optimistic about their work lives:
A Gen Z employee is sure to stay engaged and committed if their screen time is interrupted by sporadic in-person interactions. To ensure clear communication, implement accessible scheduling software to easily arrange online and in-person meetings.
Whereas Millennials are more focused on career development and productive advancements, Gen Z employees are highly motivated by monetary benefits and job security.
Many Gen Zers value financial security much more than other generations, as watching their parents struggle through the difficult financial times following the 2008 recession made them aware of the dangers of debt and financial lack.
Gen Z’s expectations regarding employee benefits and job perks are high, so if you want these young people to stay engaged in the organization, this should be a priority.
Below are some tips on how to keep Gen Z employees engaged and satisfied in the workplace:
Millennials were the first generation to challenge traditional workplace conventions by demanding more flexibility, and Gen Zers are taking this a step further.
If you want to avoid a high employee turnover and attract Digital Natives to your organization, ensure your managers follow these guidelines:
Whereas millennials are notorious job hoppers, Generation Z desires job stability, which is good news for organizations that want to invest in their workforce and reap the benefits of their efforts.
So although Gen Zers aren’t adamant about climbing the corporate ladder, they still want to feel like they’re growing and advancing professionally.
If Gen Zers notice that there are no career advancement opportunities where they are, they are likely to walk away. Internal mobility is a priority for Gen Z employees, so organizations need to ensure their employees feel respected and valued enough to invest in.
Even new employees will expect a promotion within their first year of employment, so managers need to keep the following in mind:
One of the most important things to consider when you manage Gen Z employees is that they value diversity and inclusion above all else. For them, nothing is more important than knowing an organization works with people from different cultures and educational backgrounds that offer various skills.
Gen Zers automatically find an organization more attractive if it is diverse and has an inclusive and accepting company culture.
Gen Zs and technology go hand in hand. The newest generation never knew a time when the internet and social media weren’t part of their daily lives, and managers need to acknowledge the importance and influence technology has on their workforce.
Gen Zers expect technology to fit into their lives seamlessly, including their work lives. Therefore, things like slow wifi and outdated platforms will undoubtedly cause some frustration among Gen Z employees.
You need to ensure technology integrates smoothly into the workplace and all its operations to satisfy the need of Gen Z for productivity and interaction.
Below are a few tips on how you can incorporate innovative technology into the workplace:
The Gen Z workforce is a leading advocate of the latest tools and stacks to increase productivity, so embracing such innovations will only drive your organization forward in the ever-changing business world.
The youngest generation is much more geared toward mental health and managing their stress levels, so if you want to manage generation Z employees effectively, you will need to pay a great deal of attention to this aspect of their wellbeing.
The three things that tend to be the most significant sources of stress among Gen Z employees include job stability, money, and the work itself.
Managers who fail to address these issues may be causing lower productivity levels, high healthcare expenses, and an increase in accidents and sick leave.
Managers must consider the following tips to avoid problems relating to stress:
Managers must be proactive in dealing with issues in the workplace to ensure a positive company culture and satisfied employees. If Gen Zers feel that the organization cares for their wellbeing, they’re more likely to be more productive and finish projects more time-efficiently.
One of the greatest concerns among Gen Z employees is ageism. The young people of today are sensitive toward opportunities being given to older generations when they are just as competent to take on new responsibilities.
Gen Zers believe that new responsibilities and promotions must be based on contributions and ideas rather than age or experience.
To ensure your Gen Z employees feel valued and heard, follow these guidelines: