6 Tips for Working with Generation Z
Generation Z, born
between 1995 and 2010
is poised to take over the working world as
of its population considers themselves a part of this generational group. Much like millennials,
and every other generation before them, they will bring their own set of beliefs, experiences,
and life outlooks into their work and their workplace interactions.
Considering that the oldest members of this generation are around 26, it's likely that you have
already started hiring and working with this group.
If you're wondering how to make your interactions with Generation Z effective and how you can
best incorporate them into your project management strategies, take a look at these tips.
Highlight Face-to-Face Communications
Yes, this generation has been introduced to technology at a young age, as most came of age
with smartphones and social media. Nevertheless, while this group embraces technology, they
value offline relationships. According to
gathered by Concordia University Saint Paul, 37% worry that technology is weakening their
interpersonal relationships and the ability to build good people skills.
This group is highly concerned with building solid relationships with people and effectively
interacting with those around them. So, while they are tech-savvy, make sure you prioritize
face-to-face interactions with them. This acknowledgment is especially important in light
of the pandemic.
Many Gen Zers who are new to the workforce have not had the same opportunities to interact
with other professionals at the start of their careers as their millennial counterparts.
If meeting with your Gen Z team members in person isn't possible, be sure to use video
conferencing tools to have those face-to-face interactions.
Have Regular Check-Ins
Many Gen Zs feel they could benefit from being coached and developed by managers. Forty
percent want daily interactions from their boss, and if they don't get that, they'll
think something is wrong, according to a
by the Center for Generational Kinetics. Therefore this group is likely seeking mentorship
and consistent feedback from their managers.
As a result, you may want to institute regular one-on-ones where they can ask questions,
discuss their to-do lists, and ensure they are on the right track.
Additionally, it's probably a great idea to also have regular meetings and conversations
about their performance, areas of growth, and how they can develop any skills they want to build.
Make Training and Development a Priority
While all workers value learning and development, Gen Z is particularly interested in skilling up.
According to LinkedIn Learning
62% of their Gen Z respondents said they would take classes or learn new skills if it would make
them better at their jobs. Also, 59% said they would do it to increase their salaries. This
generation is motivated to continue learning and bring new skills to their jobs.
Therefore, work on providing training and development opportunities for this group. Take
time to find out what skills they want to strengthen and then work to provide the avenues
to do so. This effort could be providing a training and development stipend for the year,
sending them to conferences, or allowing them to shadow other colleagues.
However, while it is vital to offer these avenues, be sure that you connect these opportunities
to an incentive. Ensure there is value in them pursuing training, and clearly explain what that
is. Let them know if it puts them on track for a promotion or increase in salary. This step will
then help them realize how they are moving forward and the goals it can help them reach, making
them more likely to see it through.
For Hiring and Recruitment — Start When They're Still in College
Twenty-six percent of Generation Z college students start their job search before their
junior year, according to a
2019 study by Yellow Recruiting
This stat shows their motivation and conveys that they have a good grasp of what they
want to do pretty early. As a result, if you're going to add this group to your project
teams, you may want to start reaching them early in their college journey. Consider
offering internships or apprenticeships to first and second-year college students.
Also, meet them where they are, look around for college and university-based job fairs,
as these are great ways to meet this group. And if you're looking to seal the deal,
make sure your company has a solid reputation, as almost
62% of Gen Zers
trust referrals from a company's current or former employees, coming before other options
like job boards, career centers, and other hiring events.
Effectively Channel Their Competitive Nature
While millennials were known for their collaborative and altruistic approach to work, Gen Z
is a bit more independent-minded and more likely to embrace competition. Researchers who
spoke with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
that 72% of Gen Z members who responded to their study competed with those doing the same job.
This group also indicated that they were more likely to work independently.
While frequent occurrences of unchecked competition can breed a toxic work environment,
it can promote healthy productivity if channeled effectively. A great way to implement this
is by simply acknowledging good work. Have a time during the month where you highlight
exceptional work and provide rewards to those who have exceeded expectations.
This step could include mentioning their contributions during a meeting, highlighting what
they've done and their impact in a team blog, offering gift cards for outstanding work,
and discussing paths to promotion. Find ways to channel their competitive approach effectively,
and you could motivate them — and others — to optimize their productivity.
Let Them Carve Out Their Career Path
More than any other generation before them, Gen Z has been able to customize experiences.
For example, most have never grown up without the option to create their music playlists,
characters in video games, and television viewing schedules through the emergence of streaming.
Well, the opportunity to set their course in leisure-based experiences is likely going to make
its way into the workplace.
According to researchers
who spoke to SHRM, 62% of Gen Zers would rather customize their career plan rather than have
the organization dictate it for them. Gen Z wants more control over their careers, and it
could help them stick around if you identify ways to allow them to do this effectively.
For example, this may look like creating a career path document with them or discussing the
skills they want to develop and then putting together a plan for them to gain this experience
to benefit them and the team.
You may have a Gen Z team member who handles one part of a project, but they also want to take
on leadership duties. You could look at the career document you worked on with them and see
which duties you could delegate to them to help them progress along their career path.
Gen Z is Not a Continuation of Millennials
Using the same strategies you used with millennials with Gen Z may be tempting, but that
wouldn't be the best move as this generation is different from their older counterparts
when they started their first jobs.
While millennials had the perception of being more concerned about making a difference
with their job, even more so than making a high salary in some cases, Gen Z is more pragmatic.
Salary, job benefits
and job security are the top concerns for this group. Also, while the way a company uses
technology is vital to them, they do crave offline relationships.
Lastly, this group will be
the most diverse cohort ever
so it's crucial that you find ways to recognize this generation's cultural differences
and attributes by implementing thoughtful and beneficial diversity, equity, and inclusion
The more you acknowledge and prepare for their unique characteristics, the easier it'll be
to help them reach their full potential and be a benefit to your project team.
61 million Gen Zers are about to enter the US workforce and radically change it forever,
Gen Z Is Shaping a New Era of Learning: Here’s What you Should Know,
Generation Z in the Workforce,
Introducing the First Graduating Class of Generation Z,
Move Over, Millennials; Generation Z Is Here,
On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know About Gen Z So Far,
Understanding Generation Z in the workplace,