As members of Generation Z grow older, it’s important to think about how they’ll fit in at work. Creating a Gen Z employee engagement strategy is a great first step to making space for these employees. Today, we will talk about the dos and don’ts of making Gen Z feel like part of your work family.
Generation Z Basics
If we want to understand the dos and don’ts of Gen Z employee engagement, we have to understand the basics of who Gen Z is.
There has been quite a bit of research into who Gen Z is, but keep in mind that these ideas are subject to change. Many members of Gen Z are still in school and shaping their personal beliefs as we speak. For example, many Gen Z-ers are growing up during a global pandemic, which is sure to change how they think about the world. We couldn’t have predicted they’d go through this challenging time even a few years back.
Here are some fast facts so you understand the group we are talking about:
- Generation Z started with those born in 1997. This means that the oldest Gen Z members are just 24 years old.
- Gen Z is one of the most diverse generations to date in the United States.
- They grew up when computers and technology were more widely available, especially for the youngest members of Gen Z.
- Gen Z is well-educated as they are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to go to college than previous generations.
Gen Z Employee Engagement Dos and Don’ts
With the basics out of the way, let’s talk about some of the ways that you can engage this next generation of employees:
Do: Create a Transparent Workplace
Generation Z enjoys transparency from brands they frequent. It’s not a stretch to guess that Gen Z employees want their workplaces to be equally honest. Transparency is essential because it helps employees trust the organizations they spend so much of their time and energy on.
Here are some ways to create transparency at work:
- Start an internal newsletter to let employees know what’s happening in the company.
- Create a weekly team meeting to discuss company issues and solutions.
- Build a dashboard using your sales software to keep employees in the loop about numbers.
Don’t: Forget About Diversity & Inclusion
As discussed earlier, Gen Z will be one of the most diverse generations to date, especially in the United States. You shouldn’t forget about creating a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. Read up on some resources to become a better ally or think about empowering managers to drive diversity/inclusion. Both of these ideas will help drive your Gen Z employee engagement program.
Do: Create Mentorships to Improve Gen Z Leadership
Many Baby Boomers will be retiring (or reaching retirement age) soon. We have to prepare younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z for this workplace transition. Mentorship programs can be a fantastic way to engage Gen Z employees while helping pass down some of the knowledge older employees have gained.
As new employees join your organization, pair them up with a more seasoned buddy (preferably someone outside their department.) It’s so important for younger adults to have a breadth of friendships within the organization.
Don’t: Let Your Employees Go Too Long Without Feedback
Feedback is an integral part of the employee experience. Young employees need even more feedback because they don’t have a lot of experience. Your feedback can guide their career trajectories and ensure they are on the right path.
Make sure you put a reminder on your calendar to give feedback to your Gen Z employees often so they understand what an asset they are to your organization.
Do: Focus On Providing Great Financial Incentives
Let’s face it: many Gen Z staff members are entering the workforce during an unprecedented time. There has been so much going on in the world with layoffs and unemployment. Getting a job in this economy is great, and we have a duty as employers to be fair to our employees.
Providing financial incentives like health insurance, tuition reimbursement, student loan payoffs, help with moving expenses, etc., can really help your younger employees feel appreciated.
Don’t: Keep Employees in a Box at Work
Gen Z employees are just getting started with their careers, so don’t put them in a box. Moving up the corporate ladder might not be possible for Gen Z employees right now, but they can always make lateral career moves.
Let Gen Z workers explore and test the bounds of your organization. Moving to a different department, creating a unique role that includes all of their interests, or staying put/moving up or down in their current department are all equally possible moves for any worker.
Do: Build a Workplace Based on Values
Values drive organizational success. Most organizations have a set of values that inform the work they do. Gen Z needs to see that from you. Work on establishing a set of values that guide what you do at your company. Make sure that employees understand and live by the same set of values the organization holds dear. Before you know it, you’ll have a workplace where younger generations can thrive.
Don’t: Skimp on Technology
Last but not least, don’t skimp on technology. Generation Z grew up using technology almost every day. Many members of this group grew up with tablets, laptops, and phones nearby. Make sure that technology is a part of everything from hiring to firing.
For example, you could use a tool like Workrowd to create workplace communities and connect employees across your organization. Workplace communities are essential to keeping your employees connected around common objectives and interests.
Conclusion: You Can Keep Gen Z Engaged
Gen Z employee engagement isn’t as challenging as you think. Genuine care and appreciation for these bright and diverse individuals can speak volumes to new hires. By following the dos and don’ts highlighted in today’s article, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great place to work.
Are you interested in seeing if Workrowd can help you with your Gen Z employee engagement strategy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out.