Since 2015, Generation Z has been moving into the workforce. And as they do, they’re bringing change. Subsequently, employers are attempting to understand how they can structure their work environments to support them. So, what do Gen Z want from leaders, to keep them happy and productive at work?
From their recent experiences as students, Gen Z are accustomed to frequent feedback and transparent discussion of their next steps. The challenge is meeting this need. Forget annual reviews. Connect with this generation by letting them know when and how you’ll be available. And take the time to offer them praise and suggestions for improvement. Interactions as short as 15 minutes can make employees feel more connected to their organisation and its leadership.
Gen Z is the most highly educated generation. They have the lowest numbers of high-school drop-outs and highest numbers of university graduates. Their members live in a culture of continuous growth and learning. And that interest extends beyond the learning institutions. Subsequently, they want their leaders in the workplace to provide ongoing training and development programs to update and advance their skills. Employers and leaders offering educational opportunities are more likely to attract and keep Gen Z’ers.
Gen Z’ers are individualistic and competitive. They’re more likely to compare their performance to their peers and view their professional careers in win-lose terms. While they’re certainly capable of working in groups, they never lose sight of their individual goals. Many industries and departments do function best within the importance of a team atmosphere. However, leaders are better off finding ways to motivate Gen Z within an autonomous competitive structure.
Technology is second nature to Gen Z’ers. Most of them could work a smartphone before they could walk. Many knew how to use apps before they could tie their shoes. The presence of the internet is a simple fact of life in their world. And they expect and demand information that is always available. Leaders can use this digital skill set to their advantage, by surrounding their Gen Z employees with high-tech environments.
Generation Z may seem demanding and high maintenance, but their potential to grow into excellent employees is even higher. The major attributes they’re looking for in management is honesty and hard work—and they will give the same in return. Moreover, they want responsibility and will look to management for guidance.