Believe it or not, Generation Z (Gen Z) has already started to make their way into the workforce. With 2.25 billion Gen Z’ers worldwide, they have now outnumbered Millennials and will be taking the workplace by storm over the next several years. We’re talking about a generation who’s never grown up without technology—the internet, smart phones and social media have been at their disposal since their earliest years.
With every new generation entering the workforce there are bound to be cultural shifts, old processes challenged and new ones being introduced. This is no different with the incoming Gen Z young professionals. As a business owner, the best way to make this transition more seamless is to know what to expect going into this evolution.
Genuinely welcome them onto your team
Just as we discussed is our post 5 Tips for Hiring Your Next Marketing Manager, it’s critical to integrate Gen Z into the workplace immediately—in a genuine way, of course. Professionals from this generation are team players and value collaboration (more on that later), so incorporating more time for team-building and bonding, both during and before or after work hours, will allow Gen Z to feel welcome and motivated to work.
Be prepared to explain the “why” behind projects and tasks
Gen Z are motivated to perform well in the work environment, but are particularly motivated when presented with a clearly defined why. As explained by Joanne Markow of GreenMason in Forbes, providing context to projects and tasks so that they not only understand the importance for the company, but also the importance of their specific contributions to each project and task.
Commit to employee development and diversity, inclusion and equity policies
A sincere commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace has become more and more important as the years go on, and that’s no different with Gen Z. According to NPR, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation yet, and they’re not afraid to speak up and challenge their employers with these practices. Making your policies and commitment well-known to your employees and stakeholders will be highly attractive to this generation.
Beyond diversity, inclusion and equity, Gen Z’ers will be on the lookout for employers who value and invest back in their employees with continuing education and training opportunities. Help foster growth in these young professionals’ strengths and help them improve upon their weaknesses to make them feel like you’re truly committed to their success as they progress in their careers.
Foster a collaborative work environment
Despite being connected to their devices for more than 10 hours a day, Gen Z still craves face-time in the workplace. As natural social butterflies, Gen Z highly values creative collaboration and being a team player—working with others to learn, grow, flex their creative muscles and create an overall engaging experience at work. This is especially important for those moving into creative fields like advertising, marketing and design.
Listen and take their ideas seriously
Gen Z takes pride in their ideas and wants to make valuable contributions in the workplace. According to Ken Gosnell of CEO Experience as discussed in Forbes, Gen Z is likely to be the first generation to really bring artificial intelligence (AI) and technology into the workplace, but on the flip side, they will also be the generation to drive more face-to-face communication. Beyond this, Gen Z is very eager to contribute to their teams. Allowing them to contribute and even learn from their failures will be most beneficial to their professional development.