It seemed like yesterday when you were trying to figure out how to manage Millennials, and now a new generation is slowly entering the workforce as well.
People who belong in Generation Z were born in 1997 to 2012, according to a report called “Defining Generations: Where Millenials End and Generation Z Begins” by the Pew Research Center. This means that the eldest Generation Z member is about 22 years old right now. Before crafting your strategy, here’s what you need to know about this new generation and how to make a workplace that fits them.
Ditch Some of the Analog Stuff
The authors of the report stated that this generation was born in an already stable digital age, unlike Millennials, who witnessed the initial technological boom of the ’90s. This means that Gen Z employees are likely to adopt an “always on” attitude when it comes to their tech, so don’t be surprised if your new employee takes notes on their smartphone instead of a sheet of paper. You should also make quick upgrades when it comes to your computer equipment and software.
A recent study by Dell Technologies called “The Gen Z effect” showed that over 80% of Gen Z employees want to work with the latest technology. Use collaboration tools and cloud storage solutions for your productivity suites. These allow for access from anywhere, as remote work continues to rise in popularity.
How does this help you manage your new generation of employees? It helps you speak their language and keep up with their way of working. It’s time to ditch the predisposition that they’re entitled and accept the fact that they’re leading our workplaces to brighter futures with technology.
Design a Social Workspace
Despite their “always on” attitude when it comes to social media, people in Generation Z are the loneliest, according to the 2018 edition of the “Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index.” They had a score of 48.3 in the loneliness index, followed by Millennials with 45.3, Gen X with 45.1, Baby Boomers with 42.4, and the “Greatest Generation” (ages 72 and up) with 38.6. The company collaborated with market research firm Ipsos to survey over 20,000 Americans aged 18 years and older. The UCLA Loneliness Scale was used to measure their loneliness.
In a press release, one of the researchers said that social media use alone could not solve the problem. The report stated that people who had constant and meaningful face-to-face interactions had lower scores on the loneliness scale than those who seldom interacted with others in person.
This means that your workplace should get rid of the walls and cubicles. Give your office a communal design where people can interact with each other easily. Encourage activities where they collaborate with others personally. Let them air their grievances in one-on-one sessions and listen to them carefully. If they have any legal complaints against the company or another worker, solve it through employee mediation. You’ll get better results from them when they’re mentally healthy.
Don’t Let Them Burn Out
Millennials are now known as the “burnout generation” because of a well-written article from Anne Helen Petersen of Buzzfeed. In it, she described the economic and social stresses that millennials continue to face like having little to no work-life balance, having to skip meals for productivity, and having no money for healthcare.
The Gen Z is just as stressed, according to a study from the American Psychological Association (APA), “Stress in America™ Generation Z.” It showed that over 81% of Gen Z adults stress about money, 77% of them are stressed about work, and over 75% of them have health-related stress.
To avoid burnout, give them the feedback they need to advance their skills, and ultimately, their careers. Encourage mental health days. Ensure that they use their vacation time to get the appropriate amount of rest. Be a boss that serves your employees and keep the door open if they want to talk about parts of the work they find difficult. It’s all about work-life balance and creating meaningful experiences in the office.
The next generation has a lot to offer in the workplace with their multitasking skills and technological aptitude. Apart from upgrading your office’s equipment, you also need to update your company policies to have a more human approach to work. While these may be major shifts for your company to make, these growing pains are necessary to keep your Gen Z employees happy and healthy.