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Generation Z In The Workplace: A Guide for Managers

Jan 29, 2021

You have probably known for years that younger generations want to make an impact at work. They want to work at a company with a strong purpose—to be a part of something greater than themselves.

These same desires hold true for Generation Z, the newest generation to enter the professional workplace. They want their work to be meaningful, but they also value—among other things—career advancement and development, work-life balance, face-to-face interactions, and technology. 

Although the date ranges vary slightly depending on the source, members of Generation Z were born between approximately 1996 and 2020—meaning the oldest members of the generation are just now joining the workforce. To help you think more strategically about Generation Z in the workplace, here are 5 tips to prepare you for the future and help you stay ahead of the transformation.

5 tips for managers as Gen Z enters the workforce

1. Leverage modern technology

Members of Gen Z are no strangers to technology—and they view it as a tool, not a toy. Gen Z-ers can comfortably learn and quickly pick up on high-level technology and software that are vital to their role. They will likely be disappointed if your company is not leveraging the latest tools and technology available.

Because they were born during the Internet boom, they also expect collaboration tools like Slack and Google Suite. So be sure to take into account the tools and technology your company uses. Start determining the tools and technology that will attract this newer generation—and help them do their best work.

2. Set expectations and give feedback

While Generation Z is the first fully digital generation, they still need and value human interaction at work. Look for ways to provide the tech while also encouraging team connections (i.e., communication within the team, as well as communication between management and employees).

Gen Z-ers want to know that their time and effort have genuine meaning to the bottom line, and they value frequency and measurability of feedback. As a manager or boss, expectation-setting and routine, structured feedback will help your younger team members feel supported and connected to their work.

3. Encourage transparency and promote good relationships

Because Gen Z-ers have been exposed to news media and social media for practically their entire lives, they are often skeptical in nature. This means they are skeptical of being taken advantage of at work and they don't let their emotions interfere as much as previous generations.

Gen Z is also driven by security, so authenticity and transparency are crucial. Simply put, Generation Z in workplace wants to be kept in the loop.

4. Provide flexibility and a stable work-life balance

Much like millennials, work-life balance and flexibility are extremely important to Gen Z-ers. From community service days to wellness programs to sick and mental health days , younger workers crave a  strong company culture that goes beyond traditional benefits and team-building activities. 

As an employer, you can take the necessary steps to prevent or reduce workplace burnout—for example:

  • setting up flex time
  • sending out surveys to gauge employee engagement
  • finding out (formally or informally) how employees feel about their work environment. 

Even small changes can make a world of difference to your team's morale and productivity.

5. Invest in employee training and development

Generation Z in the workplace is competitive—they value skill development and self-improvement. They take responsibility for their career and are willing to put in the extra hours if they are going to be rewarded for it.

Investing in training not only increases employee engagement and productivity, it also allows you to nurture employees into leaders. According to Harvard Business Review, training and upskilling promotes top talent and helps retain them—all the more reason to invest in the development of your Gen Z employees, and other generations as well.

Is your company ready for Generation Z in the workplace?

There's no doubt that Generation Z will disrupt—and ultimately change—the future of the workplace in new ways. Are you ready? To start creating a more engaging culture, reach out to me today! Together we'll determine how I can best help you, your team and your company. 

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