If you’re worrying about engaging your millennial workers, I’m afraid you’re way behind!
The oldest millennials (1980-1994) are now 40 and well into their careers. They're likely managing a team or even running their own businesses. Either way they're likely to be worrying about how to keep their Gen Z team-mates and employees engaged.
'Gen Z' is the newest generation to be named. Born in the mid-90's and the oldest are now in their 20's. They're highly digitally aware, having been born and raised with the internet and social media... and they're playing a more prominent role in today's workforce.
As with each generation before, they bring a fresh wave of engagement challenges. Here we look at why engagement of your Gen Z's is so important and what they might be expecting from their employers to keep them engaged.
A Tough Start
Gen Z have had a tough start to their careers - the odds are not in their favour. Some of the circumstances impacting this generation include;
- Covid 19 - The world stopped and global economies crashed. The full impact is yet to be understood, but the job loss statistics seem to suggest that young people are being disproportionately impacted by job losses. Their educations have also been severely disrupted.
- Brexit - Political upheaval and uncertainty since 2016 making decisions about future career choices much harder
- University fee cap - This increased in 2016 to £9,000 per year, making university financially inaccessible for many students. This has forced alternative career choices from the point of leaving full time education
- Apprenticeship Framework failure - Launched by the government in 2014, it was unfinished and created confusion. Even in 2020, employers are still catching up and working out the best way to use the scheme. The number of apprenticeship places offered by employers dropped dramatically, reducing options for Gen Zs entering the workforce.
Getting It Right
But regardless of the challenges this generation faces, they are the future potential of your organisation. And if nurtured correctly they will be key to your future innovation, growth and success.
As “digital natives”, they don’t remember a time before the internet existed. They are connected via social media like no other generation before them and lockdowns have made this more intense.
If you can engage this generation and get it right for them, they’ll tell their friends. Get it wrong, they’ll tell their friends and all of social media!
So how do you get it right for them? What is it that Gen Z is looking for from an incredible workplace experience? Drawing on McKinsey’s work on Gen Zs;
- Great Tech - Old or out of date technology will turn them off sharpish. They like to be connected, mobile, social and well informed.
- Authentic Values - Integrity is key for this group, their search for the truth extends to all corners of their lives, they want to be themselves and they want businesses to have the same level of transparency and authenticity.
- Sense of purpose - They care deeply about what it is your business does, what your mission and vision is. They want leadership they can get behind.
- Diversity & Inclusivity - Gen Z's are naturally diverse and inclusive and will be immediately turned off in an environment that doesn’t support that ethos.
- Safety & Stability - With so much uncertainty early in their careers, this should come as no surprise! Whilst the temptation of freelancing might be appealing to millennials, Gen Z value a stable income and employer more and they’ve come to realise that as a rarer thing than the generation before them.
So get out of your comfort zone and build a generation of talented Gen Z'ers into your business. This generation have so much yet to offer to the workplace and the future of our economy so make sure that your business is bringing out the best in them - they deserve it!
For engagement strategy and support with the Gen Z , contact Victoria Bond at Ten Space - firstname.lastname@example.org