Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is the newest generation to enter the workforce. As a generation, they are unique from their predecessors in many ways. Sociologists suggest that Gen Z grew up in a world of rapid technological advancements, political and social upheaval, and economic uncertainty. These factors have shaped the values, priorities, and attitudes of this generation, making them a unique addition to the workforce.
As employers seek to recruit and retain Gen Z workers, they should keep in mind the following:
Offer Career Development Opportunities
According to a 2021 survey by LinkedIn, Gen Z workers prioritize career development opportunities more than any other factor when considering a job offer. This means that employers should offer clear career paths and opportunities for professional growth.
One of the ways employers can offer career development opportunities is by offering training programs that help Gen Z workers develop new skills, which help employees gain new skills that advance their careers, and employers benefit from having employees with more diverse skill sets that contribute to company growth.
Mentorship is another way employers can provide career development opportunities. Pairing Gen Z workers with experienced mentors within the company can help them learn about the company culture, develop new skills, and navigate the workplace, giving Gen Z workers the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in their careers.
Gen Z also wants to be given the chance to lead and take on responsibilities. Employers can provide leadership opportunities by assigning projects, leading team meetings, or participating in cross-functional teams.
Gen Z workers value flexibility in their work arrangements, with a preference for remote work options. A 2020 survey by Deloitte found that 94% of Gen Z workers prefer to work from home at least some of the time.
This preference for remote work options is not only due to the convenience and comfort of working from home but also because it provides a better work-life balance, lower commuting costs, and increased productivity. Providing greater flexibility improve employee satisfaction and increases productivity and reduces turnover rates.
Additionally, by allowing employees to work remotely, employers can expand their pool of potential candidates beyond their local area, giving them access to a wider talent pool. Employers can consider implementing tools and technologies that facilitate remote work, such as project management software, video conferencing tools, and communication platforms. These tools can help teams stay connected and productive, regardless of their physical location.
It’s important to note that while Gen Z workers value flexibility, they also value a sense of community and connection with their colleagues. To ensure that remote work arrangements don’t lead to isolation and disconnection, employers can schedule regular virtual team meetings and social events to maintain a sense of camaraderie among team members.
Create a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
Gen Z workers are the most diverse generation in history, and they value diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. A 2021 survey by Glassdoor found that 76% of Gen Z workers consider a company’s diversity and inclusion policies when deciding where to work. To attract and retain Gen Z workers, employers should create a diverse and inclusive workplace by hiring a diverse workforce, promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, and fostering a culture of inclusivity.
Promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives can help create a more welcoming workplace for Gen Z workers. This can include providing training on unconscious bias and cultural competency, implementing diversity and inclusion metrics, and creating employee resource groups for underrepresented communities.
Fostering a culture of inclusivity is also essential in retaining Gen Z workers. Employers can do this by encouraging open communication, promoting empathy and understanding, and providing a safe space for employees to express their opinions and ideas. It is also important to create an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and supported in their personal and professional lives.
Studies have shown that companies with diverse teams outperform their competitors and are more successful in the long term.
Gen Z workers are digital natives and are comfortable with technology. A 2020 survey by Robert Half found that 60% of Gen Z workers prefer to communicate with colleagues via instant messaging, compared to 46% of Millennials and 13% of Baby Boomers. Employers can leverage technology to attract and retain Gen Z workers by:
Provide Feedback and Recognition
Providing regular feedback and recognition to Gen Z workers is important for their job satisfaction and retention. Gen Z workers want to know how they are performing and how they can improve, and they also want to feel appreciated and recognized for their contributions.
To provide effective feedback and recognition, employers can start by setting clear expectations and goals for their employees. This will provide a benchmark for success and give Gen Z workers a sense of direction. Employers should also provide timely feedback, both positive and constructive, to help Gen Z workers improve and grow in their roles.
Recognition is also important for Gen Z workers, who want to feel valued and appreciated. Employers can recognize achievements publicly, whether through company-wide announcements, awards ceremonies, or social media shoutouts. This not only provides recognition for the individual, but it also creates a culture of recognition within the workplace.
Gen Z represents a unique and valuable addition to the workforce. They have distinct values, preferences, and priorities that organizations and employers must understand to attract and retain them. To leverage the skills and potential of this generation, employers need to create more inclusive, flexible, and technology-driven workplaces that offer career development opportunities and provide regular feedback and recognition. Employers that successfully adapt to the needs of Gen Z workers will be well-positioned for long-term success.