Gen Z

Graduates and Early Career employees: they’re the future of your business. If you’ve recruited them in the last 20 years or so, it stands a chance you’ve been recruiting Millennials. But times are changing, and your future superstars are going to be Gen Zers.

So, how do demographic groups affect recruitment?

Well, the start and end of these groups is a bit blurry (you’ll often see different years cited as the beginning of the Gen Z group), but generally it’s agreed to be the mid- to late-nineties. Different demographic groups typically have different priorities, upbringings and aspirations. This means they’ll want different things from their employer and career.

Here is a comparison of the differences between Millennials and Gen Zers according to research:

Millennials Gen Z
· Want to get to the top of the career ladder ASAP 
· Desire to be successful in a business 
· Progress 
· Achieving a work-life balance 
· Focused on team work 
· Optimistic 
· Want to get to the top of the career ladder, but at their own pace
· Wish to own a successful business
· Having flexibility in how they work
· Innovation
· More independent workers
· Realistic

71% of leaders are concerned about how Gen Z will fit in at work, so what do you need to do to make the shift?

Get your managers up to speed

A good manager can improve the performance of employees by up to 26% and triple the likelihood that their direct reports will be high performer.
Scarily, only 8% of organisations are investing in training to prepare managers with the skills to effectively handle Gen Z employees, yet 78% of managers don’t feel prepared for managing Gen Zers!

A good manager should be able to adapt to manage any report. However, a lot of management training revolves around the best ‘generic’ way to manage people – this approach doesn’t work for every employee!
Research shows that:

  • 33% of Gen Z employees have been annoyed by their manager’s unclear communications
  • 33% also dislike their managers style around praise, taking credit and how trustworthy they found them
  • 20% thought their managers didn’t give them enough face-to-face contact

The best management training doesn’t focus on a single way to manage, it helps managers to understand how they come across as a manager, and how to adapt their style when necessary. Not only will this be valuable for managing Gen Zers, it will have huge benefits for all managers.

Programmes such as our Empowered Leaders Programme use blended learning to focus on the behaviour, skills and knowledge that will develop effective management and leadership capability, rather than just using classroom sessions and hypothetical learning.

Solve challenges before they become a problem

Managers are already speculating about the challenges Gen Z employees will bring including their:

  • Need for instant gratification (39%)
  • Resistance to authority (30%)
  • Poor face-to-face communication skills (26%)
  • Expectation for quick promotion (24%)
  • Conflict between generations (20%)

When you read this list, the challenges are all based around soft-skills and behaviour. If these are challenges you’re worried about, why not put something in place to overcome them?

Programmes like our Aspiring Leaders Programme and Emerging Leaders Programme focus on developing your employees in these areas, increasing self-awareness, communication and business-related knowledge and skills.

Give your new employees what they ask for

Another benefit of using a development programme is that it answers an employee’s need for development and ongoing learning!

Gen Z’s top career priority is a stable career path, with 89% of Gen Zers saying this is important or very important to them. Alongside this, 23% of Gen Z candidates say that development opportunities are a top attraction point for a company and role.

This is a win-win situation; your employees want to be developed and given the skills to progress within your business. On top of that, your business will see huge benefits to developing your early career talent, including better results, faster progression to optimum productivity and better retention rates – in fact, 29% of Gen Z employees said they would stay at a job for more than 3 years if it had an empowering work culture.

With the influx of Gen Z into the working world, how are you preparing your workforce?

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