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Gen Z: All you need to know about managing the workforce’s youngest generation

Posted by Shivali Anand

April 15, 2022    |     4-minute read (627 words)

According to Ernst & Young research, Generation Z (born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s) is "more aware, self-reliant, pragmatic and driven. They are savvy and demanding customers with tastes and preferences unlike those of any other generation." By 2024, they will account for about a quarter of the global workforce.

Gen Z grew up in a world dominated by social media and mobile phones. They are the first to grow up in a world where they can connect with people right away and learn about everything.

During this generation's time, the economy was tough, the Great Recession hit hard and schools were often exposed to lockdowns. As a result, they have grown far more diligent and pragmatic than their predecessors.

Gen Z has a unique perspective on professions and what it means to be successful in the workplace and life. They are the first generation who have never lived in a world without the internet, and they have no idea what life would be like without it. They'll bring their technical knowledge and technological aspirations to the office. This causes business owners and managers to ponder how to engage this generation while also increasing employee lifetime value.

How can you understand, motivate and lead Gen Zers for the good of your business? Keep reading to find out. To grow and flourish as a leader, focus on the four areas listed below.

1. Inclusion – According to a Pew Research Center report, Gen Z is America's most racially and ethnically diverse generation, and it is on track to become the best-educated generation yet. As a result, businesses must create an environment where everyone feels like they belong. This necessitates a move away from diversity, equity and inclusion as simply fulfilling a legal necessity. Instead, DE&I necessitates an emphasis on building a company attitude that recognizes and respects each employee's uniqueness.

Respect is vital to inclusion. Therefore, you must be aware of how to speak respectfully with employees from all backgrounds and opinions.

2. Communication – Being an effective communicator necessitates a thorough understanding of your target audience. When engaging with Gen Zers, you may need to employ language and approaches that are more familiar to them.

Despite their digital roots, Gen Zers "recognize the promise of technology to improve work experiences, prefer face-to-face interactions with managers and are not only eager to learn from other generations, but also believe they can help older generations be more open-minded," according to research from ServiceNow.

Regular, organized communication and continuous feedback are also crucial to this generation. According to studies, 66% of Gen Zers want input from their bosses every few weeks or more to continue at their current work. As a result, it would be ideal if you were confident and at ease offering regular feedback and career assistance and having difficult talks when necessary.

3. Career discussions – Gen Zers have an intrinsic desire to learn and improve, and they are keenly interested in career progression. As a result, you must have good career discussions with Gen Zers and offer them the necessary measures to advance inside the business.

One approach entails collaborating with these members of your workforce to develop a complete growth plan with training in critical leadership and managerial skills. Because Gen Z workers may lack the necessary soft skills and experience for successful leadership, you should include such training in their growth plan.

Mentoring and coaching can also play an essential part in their growth. Because Gen Zers seek regular feedback, you must demonstrate your commitment to providing it.

4. Recruiting – When it comes to hiring Gen Zers, instead of using your usual principles to identify the proper individuals, build tools, questions and activities that assess cultural fit to eliminate any prejudices or personal preferences.

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