The oldest members of Generation Z have begun entering the workforce, some with college degrees in-hand and big hopes for their careers. While Gen Z is incredibly tech-savvy, something that aligns them with Millennials, the generation before them, there are also some key differences between these two groups.
While Millennials value flexibility, Gen Z puts the utmost importance on job security. They watched siblings and cousins struggle during the recession, particularly while battling the trappings of student loan debt. As a result, finding a place that they can count on is often their main goal when choosing employers.
If you want to manage Gen Z employees successfully, it’s wise to respect their need for a sense of security. If you want to know what actions can help you do that, here are some tips.
Let Them Play a Role in the Company’s Success
Like Millennials, Gen Z can appreciate a degree of autonomy. However, if you can connect that to a project that bolsters the company’s success, you can also address their need for a feeling of security.
When you let a Gen Z employee take full ownership of a project, you’re giving them trust. Plus, by showing how it connects to the company’s broader goals, you’re highlighting their value to the organization as a whole.
The approach recognizes the importance of their contributions, albeit a bit indirectly. However, the impact is significant, as it lets them know that their employer sees them as an asset that can drive success even when not directly overseen at every moment.
Widening their responsibilities can also create a similar outcome. As they take on more, they aren’t just acquiring new skills; they get to extend their influence. This can make them feel more secure as they become an increasingly essential contributor, highlighting how integral they are to the team and the business overall.
Communicate Early, Often, and in a Variety of Ways
Frequent communication and transparency often go hand-in-hand. By having regular conversations with Gen Z workers, they’ll feel better informed. This inherently gives them a sense of security, as it doesn’t seem like their employer is hiding anything from them.
However, it’s also wise to use a variety of approaches. For example, you may want to hold a weekly video call for remote Gen Z workers, allowing you to create stronger bonds while getting progress updates and offering feedback. For critical pieces of information, messages on a collaboration platform or texts may be the better choice.
Many companies rely on perks to keep employees engaged. While this may have worked fairly well with Millennials, particularly if they were given flexible schedules and work arrangements, Gen Z doesn’t view perks as suitable replacements for higher pay.
Many Gen Z professionals remember Millennials struggling to handle student loan debt in the wake of the recession, and they don’t want to end up in that place. Financial security is a priority, so they won’t accept lower pay in exchange for more perks.
The only exception may be perks with clear monetary value. For example, student loan repayment assistance could be a reasonable stand-in for salary increases for Gen Z employees with their own education debts to repay. If you want to try something else, like free lunches, you’re not going to be as enticing as an employer to these young pros.
Ultimately, Gen Z has a lot in common with Millennials. The main difference is their drive for security, something they’ve acquired by watching the fall out of the last recession. By addressing that need, you increase your odds of speaking to Gen Z’s priorities, allowing you to manage them more effectively.
Bayside Solutions is Here to Help
If you’d like to learn more, the staff at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today.