There has been a lot of talk in recent years about Millennials in the workforce. Endless research looks at how this generation has changed and shaped the way companies operate, and how it has contributed to the rise of the gig economy. There is also plenty of data detailing the Millennials’ work values and suggesting the best ways to recruit them. All of this is vital information, as it is predicted that by 2025, this generation will consist of about 75% of the global workforce.
However, as we speak, people who were born after 1996 are also becoming a powerful force in the employment landscape. It is expected that by 2021, Gen Z will account for one-fifth of the workforce. Generation Z recruiting brings with it a different set of challenges, as these candidates and potential employees view their career paths differently than the previous generation. They also possess a different set of values and skills. For example, the Gen Z workplace expectations coincide with their upbringing in the digital age. Their ideal office must include the latest technologies and always being connected with the fastest Internet.
This workforce is also driven by a fear of another recession. Unlike the Millennials, who may seek out more benefits and personal development, Gen Zers prefer a steady paycheck. Having gone through the #MeToo movement, the Generation Z communication skills are highly developed, and they expect nothing less from their employer, demanding diversity, tolerance, and authenticity. With all of that in mind, here are a few tips on how to adjust your workspace accordingly and how to retain Generation Z longer.
Make These Adjustments to Accommodate Generation Z in the Workplace
1. Create a Mixture of Value and Compensation
As mentioned, the Gen Z workplace expectations are slightly different from those of the Millennials. While they are still looking to engage in work that they like and value, they also wish to do so with a good salary and an upward projection. This is no surprise, as in recent decades we’ve seen that salaries remain pretty much the same, while health care costs in the US rise and Gen Zers are struggling to keep up.
However, this doesn’t mean that Gen Zers seek out a long-lasting career in one place, like the Boomers. Research shows that these young employees are likely to change as many as 10 jobs between the ages of 18 and 34. So if you’re wondering how to retain Generation Z, you should think of a way to create financial incentives, as well as an inviting and inclusive company culture.
2. Tech is Everything
Gen Zers are the first generation to be digital natives. This means they need to make a big adjustment to the working environment we’re used to. Just think of this statistic for a start: 26% of Gen Z report that they intend to work in two countries, and 19% wish to work in three countries. Not only will you be forced to get acquainted with hiring a remote team, but your technology will also need to be able to sustain that type of work.
On top of that, this generation is used to being connected all day, every day. If you want your workspace to run smoothly and your employees to be engaged, you’ll have to provide them with the newest means of communication beyond Slack, Skype, and Hangouts. We’re talking about wearables, robotics, virtual reality, as well as employee apps.
3. Manage Stress Levels
Another research states that 37% of Gen Z feel stifled in their development because of stress. It was named “the health epidemic of the 21st century,” causing a high percentage of work-related accidents, as well as costing employers a fortune in employees claiming sick days. If you want to know how to retain Generation Z, start by providing your employees with more vacation days, longer breaks and flexible work hours, allowing them to better manage their stress levels.
4. Create a Healthy Competition
While Millennials are known for their ambition to create a collaborative work environment, brainstorm and conquer the world together, Generation Z in the workplace presents a much more independent approach. They like to prove to the world that they can get things done by themselves, without any help, and come up on top.
You can take advantage of this approach by creating a sense of competition between your young employees. Put teams against each other to encourage them to work harder. The Gen Z love of tech can also come in handy here by incorporating gamification into the competition and getting your employees to race towards better performance in a fun, digital environment.
All of these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, as this generation is still new to the workforce. As time goes by, we’ll learn more about their habits and what makes them tick, and will need to make further adjustments to ensure we make the most out of their potential.