A recent report released by Millennial Branding and Randstad found that Gen Z — the generation right after millennials — will bring even more entrepreneurial spirit, open-mindedness and less money motivation to the workforce.
Within this generation, there is a clear trend toward desiring more independent work environments with strong support and mentorship systems in place to help them forge a strong career path.
Taking a deep dive into the report, we've identified ten tangible tips that recruiters and employers can follow in order to motivate, inspire and retain the employees from this generation, who will likely be entering the workforce in the next couple of years. Below are a few key takeaways.
- Provide in-person interactions. Despite what many believe to be true, according to this study, 53% of Gen Z respondents prefer in-person communication over tools like instant messaging and video conferencing. While it’s prudent to offer a mix of communication methods during the recruiting process, make sure you offer face-time post-hire.
- Think about work-space differently. The option of setting up shop in a co working space that operates independently of an employer is appealing to 27% of Gen Z. The study shows these potential employees have a slight preference for a home office (19%), but they ultimately just want to work with great people who encourage their best work. Additionally, facility location is important to 36% of Gen Z, and 3% have a greater interest in the ability to personalize their own work space.Source: THESTOCKS.IM
- Set realistic expectations. Gen Z has witnessed the struggles that Gen Y had to overcome during the recession, so they are entering the workforce more prepared and equipped to succeed — with less of an entitled mentality. It’s important to be upfront about what’s expected of them — they can handle it.
- Focus on honest leadership. Half, or 52%, of Gen Z states that honesty is the most important quality for a good leader. Next in importance is a solid vision (34%) followed by good communication skills (32%). A company that has a non-transparent culture will not bode well for this generation; companies that want to retain top talent will have to start adjusting their culture to be more honest and transparent immediately.
- Provide a tech-savvy environment. This generation can quickly adapt to new technology in order to work more effectively, so it’s critical to provide a culture that is open to working new ways with new technologies. Also, it may be time to rethink the most common forms of communication in the workplace today: Slightly more than one-third of respondents ranked instant messaging as the biggest work distraction, followed by Facebook at 33% and email at 13%.
- Allow for a work environment of strict focus. Despite being known as the generation of multi-taskers who grew up with multiple devices in their hands at all times, around half of study respondents said they don't necessarily enjoy this. Employers who want to appeal to Gen Z should provide employees the option to set aside time to work on one project and devote focus to it.
- Plan for a slower pace. Aside from having the ability to focus more closely on one task, Gen Z'ers also express a desire to slow down the pace of work. While 68% of the older Gen Y said they liked working in a fast-paced environment, only 59% of Gen Z said they prefer it. It’s going to be critical for employers to find a way to balance fast-paced Gen Z workers with those who like to have some extra time for additional thought and refinement.
- Build genuine loyalty. Gen Z expects to switch employers at least four times throughout their career.
Gen Z expects to switch employers at least four times throughout their career.However, understanding what motivates them can help companies build more loyalty with this group. The most important factors for Gen Z includes opportunities for advancement (34%), followed by more money (27%) and meaningful work (23%). Lowest on the list is having a good boss and working for a fast-growing company.
- Let them be hands-on. According to the study, 76% of Gen Z has a strong preference for being hands-on with projects. The best way for them to learn and build that loyalty to a company is by feeling they are truly able to make a difference. Give them the opportunity to get in on the ground and do what they signed up for: Just make sure someone is there to catch their mistakes and carefully guide them through the process.
- Take them seriously. Managers must take note: 61% of Gen Z has a strong desire for managers to listen to their ideas and value their opinions. However, a smaller percentage of Gen Z (46%) require managers to allow them to work independently. This may be because they are just getting started and are looking for mentorship — but it is critical to hear them out and help them understand what makes a good idea and what makes a bad one.
There will be no lack of motivation within this group; they have seen and experienced a lot in their young — and digitally driven — lives. So although they are primed to perform in the workforce, as a recruiter and employer, it will be important to introduce a healthy balance of inspiration, guidance and optimism into the workplace to appeal to this future workforce.