Gen Z is now entering the workplace, but, to make the most of this new talent, it’s important to understand the issues (from dealing with mental health problems to a tendency to job hop) this generation faces in the office. So, we’re going to look at how you can get your office ready for Gen Z by implementing strategies that improve your employer branding and employee engagement (with a little help from Pypa HR and Pypa Hire).
Generation Z (known as “Gen Z”) is the generation after Millennials. Though there’s a lot of argument over exact generational boundaries, Gen Z is born between approximately 1995 and 2010, whereas Millennials are born between approximately 1980 and 1995. Obviously, not all of Gen Z are working yet (some of them are only 11, after all), but the generation is becoming an increasing demographic in the workplace, and they are expected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025.
While it’s easy to generalize, all generations have their unique employment challenges, and Gen Z is no exception. Gen Z has grown up with continuous recessions that have caused economic hardship, as well as a rapidly changing technological and social environment. To make matters worse, many of them have come into the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s have a look at the challenges Gen Z face in the workplace and the issues that matter to them:
Fortunately, all of these problems have solutions:
Members of Gen Z, like everyone else, need a supportive work environment to do their best work. This is not as hard as it looks, as many of Gen Z’s needs are things that you should be implementing anyway for employee wellbeing and employer branding. Here’s some tips for how you as an employer can support your Gen Z employees in the workplace:
Gen Z will not accept tokenistic attempts at diversity. In fact, many members of the generation won’t even apply to a company that doesn’t take DEI seriously (and doesn’t already have diversity in its ranks), so this is just another reason to have anti-discrimination hiring measures in place.
Gen Z are digital natives who’ve grown up with smartphones, tablets, and wifi. So, it’s important to make sure your workplace is technologically up to date (and has fast wifi) when trying to attract Gen Z employees. This may mean implementing new technologies like automated time tracking and payroll, as well as providing the latest in comfort amenities like standing desks.
Surprisingly, Gen Z likes face-to-face conversations and prefers a hybrid, not fully remote, workplace. Their preference for hybrid work structures is often caused by not having a suitable office space, but also because they prefer face-to-face conversations. This doesn’t mean that Gen Z always needs to work from the office though: there are other solutions such as paying for your employees to use a coworking space.
Another thing to consider is that Gen Z employees may not work the best in an open office because of all the distractions (which puts their multitasking into overdrive), so consider providing private office space alongside more social options.
Benefits are important for Gen Z. This is especially true for healthcare and mental health care, which Gen Z cares about more than earlier generations. However, other benefits are also welcome and Gen Z also responds well to perks like a pet-friendly workplace and free food (though these shouldn’t be provided in lieu of actual benefits). Remember, it’s easy to keep track of benefits with the help of human resources software like Pypa HR.
Recognition of good work and a strong internal mobility strategy are the keys to stopping Gen Z employees from jumping ship. If Gen Z employees are making progress in their career and able to access pay rises, promotions, and meaningful feedback, they’re more likely to stay with your company.
Gen Z’s tendency to assertiveness and competition may mean they’re willing to take on leadership roles. It also means that they’re likely to be interested in and benefit from mentorship and coaching.
Mentorship and coaching can help Gen Z get over some of their difficulties with work such as anxiety over multitasking or performance. When done face-to-face, it also fulfills their need for in-person interactions.
Gen Z are interested in further training and education opportunities, so providing these is a great idea (and training modules can easily be loaded into HR software like Pypa HR). In places where higher education is not free, Gen Z may also be looking for ways to keep their education costs down which, if you can provide, will make your company a very attractive employment option.
Gen Z have the potential to bring value to your company, but, as with any generation, you have to take their unique employment challenges into consideration. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can support your Gen Z employees, from offering mental health benefits to implementing a hybrid workplace, and these are initiatives that will help all your employees. Looking to upgrade your hiring and HR software for a new generation?—Register for the Betas of Pypa HR and Pypa Hire today!
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