Generation Z unveiled Generation Z unveiled

Generation Z unveiled
30 Sep 2017

Big changes are afoot in the workplace as many Baby Boomers retire and Millennials move into management roles for the first time. But just as we have got used to having Millennials, or Generation Y, around, along comes Generation Z, whose members were born between 1994 and 2010.

Big changes are afoot in the workplace as many Baby Boomers retire and Millennials move into management roles for the first time. But just as we have got used to having Millennials, or Generation Y, around, along comes Generation Z, whose members were born between 1994 and 2010.

According to a global study by HR consulting firm Randstad, when it comes to the work environment, more than half of Gen Z actually prefer to have face-to-face contact with managers, regular feedback and to collaborate with colleagues. Honesty is the best policy

Both Generation Z and Millennials also consider the most important leadership quality to be honest, while knowing how to mentor and provide support are also highly valued traits.

Although honest feedback from managers is expected by all generations, younger employees appear to respond best to regular and instant feedback, which includes input from colleagues - a situation that is perhaps unsurprising given the pivotal role that social media and mobile technology, which both provide instant feedback, play in their lives.

But the research likewise found that, much like their Millennial colleagues, Gen Z workers are also very entrepreneurial and, while collaboration is important to them, workplace flexibility, training and development, the ability to share new ideas and contribute to the future success of the organisation are vital too.

“When it comes to the work environment, more than half of Gen Z actually prefer to have face-to-face contact with managers, regular feedback and to collaborate with colleagues.”

More likely to challenge traditional ways of doing things at work than others, this generation also appears more restless and, therefore, responds well to regular feedback and mentoring.

The importance of purpose

But the fact that having ‘purpose’ and ‘values’ are high up on the priority list too also means that organisations will need to be more authentic if they want to attract Gen Z talent. A mere box-ticking exercise or random selection of ‘cut-and-paste’ values will not be enough for people for whom social awareness is a big part of their lives.

Unsurprisingly then, Gen Z is not all about the money. While salary is important, having opportunities for advancement and undertaking meaningful work are important as well, just as they are for Millennials. As a result, key things for employers to emphasise to these age groups are career progression opportunities and the organisation’s culture and values, which include encouraging collaboration and co-creating business success.

Interestingly though and flying in the face of claims that younger workers are all dying to embrace portfolio working, 49% of Generation Z expect to work in their current industry for their whole career, which is worth bearing in mind when considering people development strategies.

Employers today may well find themselves in the tricky position of having to juggle the needs of up to four generations of employees in the same workplace. While each generation will look for different things during different phases of their career, an effective employee engagement strategy boils down to giving people what they want - as long as it fits with the needs of the organisation too, of course.

Make employee engagement one of the key performance indicators for management to ensure they are accountable for engagement or participation rates in their teams.

Gather instant feedback regularly: Use online surveys to gather instant and regular feedback from employees of all ages, but also offer other means of communication such as one-to-one meetings and group discussions. Be flexible enough to cater for everyone’s tastes.

Encourage honest and direct feedback: Foster an environment of positive communication within your team and build it into your core values.

 

- By John Ryder, founder and CEO, Hive.HR

John Ryder is the founder and CEO of Hive.HR, which provides an employee engagement platform to help organisations support engagement using an ‘always-on’ approach.

Big changes are afoot in the workplace as many Baby Boomers retire and Millennials move into management roles for the first time. But just as we have got used to having Millennials, or Generation Y, around, along comes Generation Z, whose members were born between 1994 and 2010.

Big changes are afoot in the workplace as many Baby Boomers retire and Millennials move into management roles for the first time. But just as we have got used to having Millennials, or Generation Y, around, along comes Generation Z, whose members were born between 1994 and 2010.

According to a global study by HR consulting firm Randstad, when it comes to the work environment, more than half of Gen Z actually prefer to have face-to-face contact with managers, regular feedback and to collaborate with colleagues. Honesty is the best policy

Both Generation Z and Millennials also consider the most important leadership quality to be honest, while knowing how to mentor and provide support are also highly valued traits.

Although honest feedback from managers is expected by all generations, younger employees appear to respond best to regular and instant feedback, which includes input from colleagues - a situation that is perhaps unsurprising given the pivotal role that social media and mobile technology, which both provide instant feedback, play in their lives.

But the research likewise found that, much like their Millennial colleagues, Gen Z workers are also very entrepreneurial and, while collaboration is important to them, workplace flexibility, training and development, the ability to share new ideas and contribute to the future success of the organisation are vital too.

“When it comes to the work environment, more than half of Gen Z actually prefer to have face-to-face contact with managers, regular feedback and to collaborate with colleagues.”

More likely to challenge traditional ways of doing things at work than others, this generation also appears more restless and, therefore, responds well to regular feedback and mentoring.

The importance of purpose

But the fact that having ‘purpose’ and ‘values’ are high up on the priority list too also means that organisations will need to be more authentic if they want to attract Gen Z talent. A mere box-ticking exercise or random selection of ‘cut-and-paste’ values will not be enough for people for whom social awareness is a big part of their lives.

Unsurprisingly then, Gen Z is not all about the money. While salary is important, having opportunities for advancement and undertaking meaningful work are important as well, just as they are for Millennials. As a result, key things for employers to emphasise to these age groups are career progression opportunities and the organisation’s culture and values, which include encouraging collaboration and co-creating business success.

Interestingly though and flying in the face of claims that younger workers are all dying to embrace portfolio working, 49% of Generation Z expect to work in their current industry for their whole career, which is worth bearing in mind when considering people development strategies.

Employers today may well find themselves in the tricky position of having to juggle the needs of up to four generations of employees in the same workplace. While each generation will look for different things during different phases of their career, an effective employee engagement strategy boils down to giving people what they want - as long as it fits with the needs of the organisation too, of course.

Make employee engagement one of the key performance indicators for management to ensure they are accountable for engagement or participation rates in their teams.

Gather instant feedback regularly: Use online surveys to gather instant and regular feedback from employees of all ages, but also offer other means of communication such as one-to-one meetings and group discussions. Be flexible enough to cater for everyone’s tastes.

Encourage honest and direct feedback: Foster an environment of positive communication within your team and build it into your core values.

 

- By John Ryder, founder and CEO, Hive.HR

John Ryder is the founder and CEO of Hive.HR, which provides an employee engagement platform to help organisations support engagement using an ‘always-on’ approach.

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