Born in 1993 and after, Generation Z may only make up 7 percent of today’s North American workforce, but this generation will continue to make their way into the working world for the next twenty years or more.
They are the most culturally-diverse generation. They were raised in an online world that ignored most social, economic, and racial boundaries. They grew up with touchscreens, not computers. They were raised in a time of recession, terrorism, and complexity. And all together, they present a unique challenge in the workforce.
Generation Z at Work: Managing a Staff of Gen Z
Most of the youngest generation of employees have attention spans of about eight seconds, with approximately 11 percent of them having been diagnosed with ADHD. In combination with their young age, this means that most of them don’t understand the meaning of long-term employment. They act as free agents, seeking opportunities to appeal to them in the moment. But there are some things you can do to not only attract Gen Z workers, but to retain them:
Gen Z Wants Online Interaction
Allowing some social media interaction is necessary to keep them happy, but also to make them feel like they’re engaging with the business, the industry, and potential customers. An outright ban is a huge affront, but allowing some interaction during downtime or between shifts could be beneficial.
Gen Z Needs Flexibility
By emphasizing flexibility in the workplace, their desire for a work-life balance is met. They don’t want to be called to work meetings on their personal time, just like managers don’t want personal lives interfering with work.
Gen Z Wants Guidance, Not Structure
Have older, more experienced workers act as mentors for Generation Z, showing them the ropes of how to do tasks in their roles, and also the proper way to act in the work atmosphere.
Gen Z Needs Feedback
More exactly, they need quick feedback. Once completing a task, they look for someone to advise them on whether or not they’ve done it correctly, what they can do better in the future, and they want to hear that they’ve done a job well.
Gen Z Looks For an Informal Environment
The appeal of a casual work environment is that it makes them feel comfortable. They might even perform better with less stress of a formal work environment.
Management Methods That Work
You don’t have to speak their language, but you have to know how they’re absorbing your message.
- Communicate visually – through tablets or smartphones
- Keep it short – use snackable content
- Feed curiosity and tap into an entrepreneurial spirit
- Empower them with control over preference settings
- Connect with collaboration and live-streaming technology
- Inspire them with social causes
- Educate and build experience
Generation Z has a fear of missing out, so make sure that your operation offers them an opportunity they would be afraid to miss.