The Z's are coming! Quick! Do something! But what are we going to do??
Welcoming the arrival of the Millennial generation in the workplace seemed like a change management task and a half back in the late 00's and there are still never-ending, ongoing articles on how everything has to change to attract and retain them. Today you would be under the impression that all employers are now panicking and rushing to accommodate Generation Z and their every need to best nurture them into their company, likerescuing a baby sparrow that has dropped out of the nest. The click-bait wording in headlines like '10 Ways to Prepare For Generation Z in the Workplace’ and 'Watch out millennials! Gen Z'ers are entering the workplace' and 'Gen Z is about to hit the workforce—here's what they want in a job', are fear inducing for most mortal employers. It is simple, those companies that do not move with the times are going to lose young talent hand over fist but isn’t that the same for any aspect of a business – adapt or die?
Now, we are in an age where each generation is being labelled and placed in a one size fits all box, and there is a visible push to differentiate your workplace to make it stand out to each generation. There is the Baby Boomer generation born 1946 to 1964 who are starting to exit into retirement now and barely given an HR thought, the 'Lost' X Generation born 1965-1976, the Y (Millennial) Generation born 1977 to 1995 – with the lowest levels of empathy since records began and Generation Z born from 1995 and who are unable to focus on one thing for too long, and whose graduates are entering the workplace right now. There is a lot of comment on changing your workplace to accommodate the generation Z's, as if they might be an alien species that have just landed on planet Earth and teleported into your office. But it doesn’t mean panicking and having to change everything in your workplace all at once.
So, what are these Gen Z’s looking for in an employer? Many studies say that Gen Z are attracted to companies that offer them great experiences, mentoring and where they can progress fast. Not a bad start, since a lot of corporates improved these areas with the arrival of the demanding Millennials. But I can tell you from my own survey, young workers want to be paid fairly too! Some articles I have read are prioritising other values over money, as incentives, stating stats and figures to give the impression that Gen Z are not interested in money. What a load of rubbish! This is the generation, one’s without a trust fund anyway, that will struggle to get out of their parents’ home for lack of rent money, let alone think about the future prospects of mortgages and family. So, we can add money to the great experiences, mentoring, feedback and progression and then of course the fast trending 'citizenship'. If your company has not got a good 'corporate citizen' approach, aka updated 'corporate social responsibility programme', ready and in place for those in the Z generation, watch out, your Z's will want to set it up! More worryingly, for those looking for committed employees, is that over half of this generation love the idea of running their own business! Start looking after your clients right now! But really there isn’t too much to think about, be a good citizen employer, pay a decent wage, provide inspiring learning environments, career paths and interesting work and you will succeed. But what if you aren’t one of those, what if you are a manufacturing company with a factory full of routine repetitive work that apparently Z's don’t want to do, who will be hired in your succession planning then? Don’t worry the AI robots are coming fast! But, more on that another time.
There is no need to panic and worry that you can’t attract these go-getters, at Talent Optics we enjoy helping clients attract Z's, these people are the future of the workplace and are eager to get going in life. Branding, messaging and communication have a big part to play with attracting this generation, as they will investigate every inch of your external corporate persona before deciding if you are good enough to work for, and it might seem daunting but all you need do is spend a little time with us and, with our expert bespoke strategy and Gen Z communications team, we will make it easy for you to welcome in these bright multi-tasking wiz-Z's in no time!