Each time a new generation enters the job market, the previous generations question their ability, their behaviours, their methods, the technology they use, and their culture. Employers and managers should know what to expect by getting themselves ready to welcome the new generation called Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) into the workplace, in order to understand and manage their various traits to better integrate them with the rest of the workforce and ultimately enhance the company’s success.
The eldest of the GenZ’s are around 20-24 and are now entering the labour market. Although this generation shares many of the Millennial traits, they bring unique characteristics and behaviours to the workplace. This group was born in an era of rapid developments, quick evolving technologies, and out-of-the-box innovations. Generation Z will change the workplace.
7 Ways to get the workplace ready for GenZ’s arrival:
- Develop and provide opportunities for career growth. These youngsters want to feel like they have a connection with you as the employer. They want to feel like you care about them and have a vested interest in them. Show them you are committed to their professional growth by developing their skills and providing learning opportunities. The more you teach them, the more you build their loyalty lessening the chances of them job-hopping.
- Build on their Entrepreneurial spirit. A strong characteristic of GenZ youngsters is their need for independence. They want to be judged on their own work rather than that of their teams. They are easier risk-takers than Millennials. Allow for room to tackle projects that they have a passion for. Allow them to take ownership of their own work. If they fail, they will probably see it as a chance to innovate and learn.
- Get Tech Ready. Update your technology. Remember, you are preparing for a generation born into a technologically advanced era. They don’t know a world without internet, Google, Social Media and instant gratification. They will expect that you give them the tools and resources instantly to excel in their jobs.
- Create a competitive work environment. It is important to note that the majority of your workforce still comprises of Millennials, who enjoy collaborative teamwork. You must, however, find a way to make room for the GenZ youngsters as they are independent and extremely competitive by nature. To get them working together and collaborating, try to create internal competitions by use of gamification tech software.
- Manage their stress levels. Generation Z are more likely to experience anxiety and stress given the fast-paced times we live in. You as the employer can offer a work-life-balance solution. Provide more flexibility, wellness programmes, regular and longer breaks, more vacation time etc.
- Give proper and regular feedback. Although Generation Z do not want to be micro-managed, they want to know that what they do matters in the bigger picture. They are not only there for a pay-check at the end of the month. They want to know that they are making a difference. It is important that managers do regular check-ins and guide them. Provide them with mentorship and constantly coach them. Regular feedback will help keep them on track and focused.
- Be a transparent company. The new generation Z that will enter the workplace will expect even more from their employers. They do not only expect their employer to provide proper benefits and further their skills but also expect transparency from their employers mainly because they grew up surrounded by fake news, corruption, the negativity of social media etc. They want their employers to be honest and authentic. They do not want to be taken advantage of.
Generation Z will revolutionise the workplace and the best way employers can prepare for their arrival is by knowing what to expect and by understanding these youngsters. They bring with them a clear-cut twist to the current work environment. The focus should be to get all the generations to collaborate and encourage positive relationships among all workers.
The Mindspa Institute offers a workshop called The XYZ Generation – our new employees, our new customers. This workshop will help employees and managers alike understand how to join forces to make the workplace of the 21st Century function at an optimal level favourable to all parties involved.