For a long time, Millennials have been at the heart of intergenerational workplace talk. The oldest of these workers are now in their mid-30s and, in a lot of ways, they’ve gotten a bad rap. But skilled managers have been able to meet Millennials where they are and appreciate what they bring to the table.
Now a new generation is entering the workforce: Gen Z. Born between 1995 and 2015, the oldest of these workers are in their mid-20s. Armed with lessons learned from managing Millennials, workplace leaders would do well to take a moment and consider how to engage Gen Z and integrate their skills and personalities into a growing workforce as you reopen and start hiring.
Right now, it would be smart to get your head and heart aligned with what it takes to attract and manage people from diverse experiences and walks of life. Don’t wait until the only applicants you have are Gen Z. Here are five strategies to help you connect with younger workers.
1) Get the tech right…
One trait that marks Gen Z is the fact that most of them grew up on technology. Unlike their older Millennial counterparts, members of Gen Z do not remember a time without the Internet. Many of them don’t remember a time without social media. They are true online natives, and they’ve been using computers since before grade school.
To attract these Gen Z workers, make sure your online presence is on point. Your website and social media content must hit all the right notes to avoid appearing out of touch. The workplace should also incorporate cutting-edge technology to keep Gen Z workers engaged.
2) …But tech isn’t everything
While Gen Z places value on technology and online interactions and have been immersed in tech all their lives, they also know and appreciate the value of face-to-face interactions. They’ve realized there is something special about talking in person, which they miss out on from everything happening online. So build in personal interactions to appeal to this aspect of Gen Z workers. Meetings, brainstorming sessions, and one-on-one check-ins are all vital to effectively integrating and managing Gen Z employees.
3) Let them take ownership
Gen Z is also marked by a DIY, entrepreneurial spirit. Since many of them remember the Great Recession and the myriad startups and gig economy that followed, they’re willing to work hard, take initiative, and build something new. Put that drive to work for your organization by letting Gen Z workers take ownership of projects. Give them an end goal and see where their ingenuity and tenacity take you.