by Chris Dyer ChrisDyer.com
Today, more generation Z employees are finishing school and ready to hop on to the job market. Some may be already in the workforce and looking for better opportunities with other organizations. The job market, the way people desire to work, and their career values have changed from generation to generation, and Gen Z employees are no different. As more and more gen Z employees come into the workforce, they will continue to have a growing impact on the workplace and organizational culture.
If your organization is looking to hire fresh talent or bring in some top grads onto your team, then you’re probably going to be bringing on gen Z employees. With generation Z being the newest generational edition to the workforce, it’s important for your organization to understand how to best welcome and support them.
In this post, we will discuss what to expect when welcoming them into your organization and integrating them seamlessly.
Place Emphasis on Organizational Values and the “Why”
Generation Z employees coming into the workplace don’t just care about a job that matches their interests, skills, and desired income. They want to be a part of an organization that aligns with their values and has meaning behind the work they do on a daily basis.
Gen Z employees emphasize making a fulfilling career they’re passionate about and positively impacting the work they do. Nearly three-quarters of Gen-Z think the work they do should have a greater purpose beyond just financial stability.
Helping fulfill this for your Gen Z employees starts with an emphasis on the company’s values and the deeper “why” behind the work various roles do. Instill these organizational values and purpose-driven work with your Gen Z employees from day one. Continue to model them and invite them to engage and contribute to the company’s core values and mission.
Display an Organizational Culture of Acceptance
Generation Z values a more accepting society that doesn’t leave out the workplace. Most gen Z employees are already used to being immersed in diverse groups. This generation is usually more accepting of differences and embracing others’ individuality compared to older generations.
Many Gen Z employees advocate for more individual acceptance in the workplace and value being a part of an organization that will support their employees’ individuality. 86% of generation Z believes that everyone should have the freedom to be who they want to be, which goes for in the workplace.
Modeling an organizational culture of equality and individual acceptance helps ensure your new generation Z employees feel accepted and satisfied with the company values aligning to their own.
Support Generation Z Employees’ Independent Work Ethic
Most generation Z employees are no strangers to remote, hybrid, or more independent work environments. Even if they are fresh out of college, most university students have taken classes that were hybrid or fully online. Most of Generation Z are already experienced with managing their time and workload independently.
This independent generation is very self-sufficient and used to solving problems, getting things done, and managing their tasks or work without the need to be micro-managed. Provide opportunities for face-to-face communication and small group collaboration while also giving your generation Z employees the options for privacy, space, and individual work.
Give them space and make it a priority to consider each individual’s preferred work style and ways they’re best managed. This will go a long way in helping support their individual work and productivity styles and set them up for success in your organization.
Be Committed to Employee Growth and Advancement Opportunities
Generation Z employees are looking for roles that will give them the experiences and skills for growth and advancement in organizations. 60% of generation Z aspire to grow to a management role. 75% of generation Z think they should receive a promotion after their first year in a position or with an organization.
Have a clear career advancement path available to educate your new generation Z employees on when bringing them on board to have a clear plan to work towards. This also shows ambitious generation Z employees that your organization cares about your employees’ development and career advancement. Also, be sure to highlight any kind of professional development and corporate coaching your organization provides that supports employees learning and achieving their career goals.
Welcoming in more generation Z employees may also change how your organization provides learning and professional development opportunities. Generation Z employees have grown up in the era of being able to learn anything from a Google search or watching a Youtube tutorial.
Providing more on-demand, self-serve learning content is an excellent way to provide your generation Z employees with the option to take charge of their professional development and career path. The one-size-fits-all approach for development, promotions, and raises will no longer work with incoming generation Z employees.
Provide High-Quality Onboarding
When you are bringing on generation Z employees to your organization, you can set them up for productivity and job success with a high-quality onboarding process. It can take a while for employees to feel like they’ve hit their sweet spot in their job. It’s essential to make them feel supported during this time for employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity.
Make sure to prioritize even the mundane onboarding tasks such as choosing benefits, technology, equipment set up, etc. This shows your generation Z employees that the organization cares about their employees and their satisfaction. One thing many generation Z employees value in an organization is a company that genuinely cares about their employees, their success, and their well-being outside of their job.
Take Generation Z Employees Seriously and Don’t Feed Into Stereotypes
All generations have been grouped into certain stereotypes. Generation Z has often been labeled as always having their heads down, being glued to their phone, having short attention spans, and being addicted to multitasking. Instead of holding these stereotypes to new generation Z employees, remember that everyone is an individual. Generation Z was brought up in the age of technology, the internet, and social media. Their unique upbringing provides many benefits and fresh perspectives to your organization.
Generation Z employees value having their ideas heard and making contributions in the workplace. When welcoming new generation Z employees, make sure to foster their eagerness, innovation, creativity, and what they can bring to the table. Not only is it beneficial for the company as a whole, but it’s also helpful for their professional development.
Create an Engaging Experience From Day One
As stated earlier, generation Z highly values healthy organizational culture, aligned values, and an employer that values their employees and shows it. Creating a unique and engaging experience not just on day one but also every day is golden for welcoming and retaining talented Z employees.
Create a day-to-day work experience that keeps them focused and engaged in their tasks and the “why” behind the work. Providing them with opportunities to do work and collaborate with others in a way that feels purposeful allows them to use their ideas and creativity.
Providing them with opportunities to use their ideas and turn them into tangible things is a great way to help generation Z employees stay engaged. Just like gen Z employees want to do work that is purposeful, they also want to feel like they’re making an impact within their role.
Provide a Flexible Work Space
Generation Z doesn’t feel the need to adhere to the strict structure of the traditional 9-5 workspace and values for time and space fluidity. Most of Generation Z are more than willing to work nights or weekends if need be. Gen Z employees value flexible work hours as a benefit of working for an organization as well as flexibility with work location.
In today’s post-COVID 19 work world, most gen Z employees entered the workforce right before remote and hybrid work became more widespread at the beginning of the pandemic. Some may be just now entering the workforce where most companies are still working remotely or at least providing a hybrid work option.
Generation Z values their work-personal life balance more than older generations. Having flexible work options is attractive to them and helps them feel more supported and cared for by their employers.
How to Welcome Generation Z Employees to Your Organization: The Bottom Line
With more generation Z employees starting to come into the workplace now, employers need to prioritize welcoming Gen Z employees to their organization in a supportive way. Generation Z is coming into the workforce with different expectations and values than older generations. It’s essential as an organization to value these different expectations and values to keep the high-level talent coming out of this generation and have happy and productive employees.
Chris Dyer-CEO, International Keynote Speaker, and Best-Selling Author Chris Dyer is the founder and CEO of PeopleG2, a fully remote organization. PeopleG2 is routinely ranked one of the best places to work and has been listed as one of Inc.'s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies 5 times. As a Leadership speaker, his goal is to inspire audiences with a straightforward delivery, insightful candor, and engaging humor. His talks leave audiences permanently transformed, offering innovative perspectives on leadership to improve company culture and empower organizations to discover new success. Countless companies have unlocked productivity, performance, and profits by implementing the strategies from Chris' talks, webinars, and books. Speaking of books, his first The Power of Company Culture (Forward by Mark Goulston) was a best-seller, and his second book (also a best seller) Remote Work includes a forward by Marshall Goldsmith. Chris enjoys contributing to the leadership conversation and has been featured by leading media outlets such as the BBC, NBC, Telegraph, The Sun, INC, and Forbes.