Don’t fall for the misconception that because Gen Z employees are younger, they will be satisfied with anything as long as it is packaged in a fun way. These employees are driven and ambitious and will expect more than fun team building activities – yes, even the destination ones – to stay truly motivated.
Gen Z’s needs in the workplace are different from those of generations before them. For starters, in the developed world, a number of them have quite literally had a mobile device even before they could speak. This changes their expectations about how they receive and give information. Simply applying the same old systems in the workplace will not yield the best results. As Gen Z increasingly enters the workforce, it is important to get an understanding of their needs and motivators.
Let’s discuss 5 expectations your Gen Z employees might have.
Gen Z respect and gravitate towards authenticity and openness. This is mirrored in their shopping habits. They choose to go for brands that are more open about their processes and teams and, when it comes to online shopping, they will buy from a ‘real person’ as opposed to celebrities whose opinions they perceive as inauthentic because they are being paid.
Transparency, will show Gen Z employees how their specific efforts work to drive the company towards its main goals. This is important as it emphasizes a sense of purpose in a generation that is not comfortable simply taking orders without knowing the Why behind them. In addition to improving trust and communication, clueing them in on the company’s direction and workings will earn you more loyal and engaged employees.
Flexibility at work
According to research, flexibility and personal freedom are non-negotiable to Gen Z employees. They will chafe at the collar in a too strict environment and this will affect productivity.
The flexibility can be exhibited through schedules that allow employees to work from home or to have a work day at home. Another option is to have flexible arrival and departure times. This gives employees more freedom while allowing you to get the required number of hours from them without sticking to the traditional 9 to 5 model.
Flexibility can also be exhibited through allowing and encouraging your Gen Z staff to innovate. They are prone to wanting to find new ways to do things as opposed to doing things the way they have always been done. Employers should give them room to innovate, to make mistakes and learn from them-as long as they are able to deliver.
A fair wage
Gen Z are very financially savvy. Surveys show that a good salary is very important to this generation. They are wary of being in debt and studies show that they save more than their predecessors. They also look for bargains and research buys, all in a bid to save some cash. Some experts attribute this to the fact that Gen Z the world over, from Africa to America have seen the tough financial times their siblings and parents have gone through and have learnt some lessons from them.
In the workplace, Gen Z will be looking to work in places that can offer them a wage to match their skills. And while this might not always be possible, they are eager to learn and rise up the ranks into positions where they will be able to earn a better salary. In the absence of the salary they want, an employer can offer job perks and allowances that enable their employees to bring down personal expenses and allow them to put money away.
Having grown up in the real digital area, they know no other way to exist. Gen Z employees will thrive in a workplace with automated processes and up to date tech and software. They are expecting video trainings and AI integration into their work; anything less than that will lead them to look for a job that can offer this. The icing on the cake would be for the employers to take their suggestions on which direction to take technologically into consideration.
This love for technology ties into their need for flexibility. The right tools deliver flexibility, allowing Gen Z to work anywhere.
However, employers should not neglect equipping them with people skills to go with the technology tools provided. This is especially crucial if they are in customer facing jobs, whether these customers are online or not.
According to Deloitte.com, social consciousness is very high on the list of priorities for Gen Z employees. They consider themselves global citizens and thus feel a need to be involved in making the world a better place. Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate, young climate activists typify this desire by this generation.
The Gen Z workforce will be attracted to organisations that are making a difference in their communities and globally and whose mandate involves doing some good. However, simply having a social responsibility arm will be a big motivator. Your organisation could select a charity to support or be involved in voluntary work.
They are also motivated by seeing this social responsibility reflected in the workspace, whether it is by being energy efficient or taking recycling seriously.
Knowing that the company they work for is working to fight hunger, disease or climate change will boost morale and endear Gen Z employees to their employers.
On the whole, Gen Z employees work hard, are self-motivated and look forward to bright futures. This makes them assets in the work place. If employers are able to augment this natural inkling with some of these policies, they can expect their Gen Z employees to thrive and deliver.