Born after 2001, Gen Z comprises 32% of the global population. Most of them will be 22 this year and would be part of the talent pool in the workforce. Gen Z have lived in a digital world and have been brought up with electronic gadgets around them. These are the tech-savvy people who have radically proved themselves to be different, in terms of their perspective, approach to work, ethics, and more. These are individuals who rely heavily on the internet when it comes to work, research, and communication.
In a session ”Power Panel: The New Rules – Are Your Hiring Managers Ready For Gen Z & Gen Alpha?” At HR Tech 2022 Singapore, the speakers discussed trends and changing approaches of employees as leaders are forced to update their strategies to adapt and innovate.
Some of the common key observations of Gen Z and Gen Alpha:
|Gen Z||Gen Alpha|
|Not collaborative||Tech-savvy individuals|
|Believe in an individual approach||Exemplary multi-taskers|
|Shorter attention span|
When the individuals are from a new generation, the work culture takes a turn. Hiring managers will need to adopt a different approach to curate ideas on how to attract, engage and retain employees. With Gen Z and Gen Alpha taking over the job market, here are some key points to keep in mind.
How To Attract, Engage And Retain Gen Z And Gen Alpha?
1. Emphasize on Opportunities and Growth
The value of a company can be dependent on multiple factors. Be it the culture, or the opportunity. Apart from the perks like creative spaces, resting areas, cafes, and gyms at the workplace, think about providing a platform to advance on skill building. Most Gen Z and Gen Alpha are curious to learn and upskill. Talking about career paths and guiding them through can help them envision long-term relationships with your company.
While the speaker at the session included a conversation about adding stability and variety to opportunities for the new generation, you can see the importance of constant upskilling.
2. Focus on the Flexibility of Work
Half of Gen Z say flexibility is a priority when choosing a job. A good way to attract them is to offer remote work flexibility and let them have control of their work schedules. It was noted that Gen Z values independent working and freedom. A hybrid work model can also be added as a flexibility perk here, where employees are only needed to come back to the office a few days a week.
As individuals, they thrive best on work that allows them to have full ownership and clarity on what the job entails. With the above points mentioned, it’s important to mention them during the hiring interview to attract and retain new-age employees.
3. Recognize Hard Work and Provide Feedback
Even with the opportunities and open work culture that you offer, recognition for hard work is a must. According to research by SHRM, 79% of the employees said that an increase in recognition rewards would make them more loyal to their employer. Be it Gen Z, Gen Alpha, or Millennials, employees are found to be more loyal to employers who recognize and reward their efforts.
Most individuals at a workplace choose to find motivation in being valued. To boost engagement, a good way is to adopt a constant feedback system. Annual performance reviews are not enough, 60% of Gen Z wants several 5-min check-ins throughout the week. According to Achievers, 44% of employees who were unhappy with the company’s feedback system searched for a new job, whereas 28% of the surveyed employees who found their company great at giving feedback, chose to stay. Keep in mind that Gen Z don’t enjoy constant disruption, however, constructive criticism is appreciated.
4. Highlight Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
The healthy open-mindedness that shapes the attitude of Gen Z and Gen Alpha led them to gravitate towards a diverse working culture. According to EY’s survey, when working in a team, 63% of the employees feel it is most important to work with people with diverse education and skill levels; and 83% think that having people of different locations and origins is the most important element to a team. Shape a better hiring strategy to include people from various cultures, communities, and countries, as you focus on diverse working cultures.
It is important to be sincere. If your company has an Employee Resource Group (ERG), getting their input on the employer’s branding campaign can help keep you on the right track. Being open and honest about where you need to improve and how you’re doing it can be more compelling as compared to just mentioning what you’re doing right. Doing so will steer your company in the right direction.
5. Keep Working Hours Reasonable with Less Micromanagement
Gen Z’s are mostly not thrilled with the idea of putting in a lot of hours into work. Their idea of work includes keeping it to the point. The new generation of employees is not really fond of upper management. So, as an employee, if you enjoy the idea of micromanagement, you’ll definitely get on their nerves.
A workplace where senior employees are bullying junior employees is not acceptable. This brings about a toxic work environment that Gen Z is not interested to be part of. They will perceive the company as an unsafe space to be in and are more inclined to leave. Try to overcome these barriers and you will be assured that Gen Z would want to stay in the company.
6. Focus on Culture Fit
Most Gen Z desire uniqueness and to stand out from the rest. They look for something as simple as a personalized playlist, clothing, and even education, with one-of-a-kind courses or programs. Hiring managers can expect to see more job applications coming from a range of degrees, making it hard to do a direct comparison between candidates.
Instead, companies should focus more on knowing Gen Z better through video resumes and in-person meetings for a better culture fit, and less on their paper qualifications and experiences.
7. One-on-One Conversation with Room for Collaboration
The best way to communicate with Gen Z is to be straightforward and have one-to-one conversations, and this applies when giving feedback. Gen Z values their time and productivity. If you have any questions, address them on the spot so that both parties can convene and move on with their tasks.
Gen Z is known to be independent and individualistic workers, however, they are still able to collaborate as a team. The best approach is to let them have ownership of the assigned tasks and space to brainstorm ideas and share them with the team.
The future of companies is preparing millennial managers for the coming wave of talents from both Gen Z and Gen Alpha. They are the ones who will make their mark in the market with new ideas, excellent efforts, and innovative workspace ethics.
It’s crucial for millennial managers to understand the working style of the younger generation, to avoid any challenges and use that to their advantage instead. Let the above key points help you with attracting, engaging, and retaining Gen Z in the long run.