Although the Internet is full of discussions about the Millennial worker, as a leader, it is important to understand the distinctions between Millennials and the next generation entering the workforce: Generation Z. Although this generation is just beginning to grow up, any company looking to hire recent graduates or students should keep in mind that this generation has different needs and desires.
The most crucial thing to note about Generation Z is they are the most tech-savvy generation yet. They will thrive in roles that allow them to utilize technology in their day-to-day tasks, and they can be a great resource for companies looking to upgrade their digitization. Additionally, new digital programs and skills are easy for this generation to learn, so you can anticipate less time spent troubleshooting.
On the other hand, Generation Z may struggle more with face-to-face interactions, customer service, and teamwork. Carve out time to get employees used to these skills, and don’t be afraid to place them on a team project. The only way they will get better is by overcoming challenges, so encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone.
In today’s digital landscape, it is not uncommon to see companies criticised for a policy or decision. Generation Z employees will want to be aware of the ethics and decision-making process at their workplaces, too. Although companies that have been around for some time may operate on a need-to-know basis, that method usually causes Gen Zers to feel they are not respected. The more open you can be about high-level decisions, and the more you are willing to answer questions, the more you will satisfy your staff.
Generation Z may have grown up in an age of encouragement, but false praise is noticeable to them. While it is a good idea to be encouraging, let go of the script and focus on genuine thanks and praise. Make sure you say things you mean, not just what you think you should say.
Promotions and Opportunities
As with Millennials, Generation Z is likely to move between jobs and companies much faster than previous generations. Be prepared to give promotions to employees who show promise, even if it is earlier than you usually would. If that is not possible, explore additional opportunities and responsibilities that can help employees remain excited to come in. This may include placing them on more team projects, giving them clients with more importance, or even creating a hybrid role that they can gradually grow into.
Although Millennials get more recognition, Generation Z has vastly different priorities, so it is crucial to understand the things you can do to appeal to them. However, Gen Z is an individualistic generation, so while the above points are a great place to start, make sure to spend one-on-one time learning about your employees’ preferences, strengths, and weaknesses.