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How to Increase Engagement Among Gen Z Employees

Congratulations – you’ve spent the last five years or so getting to know and working with the Millennial generation. You’ve let them work remotely, prioritized work-life balance, and given them opportunities for growth and leadership.

 

You’ve become hip (but not too hip), and you have an engaged workforce to show for it. But while you’ve done a great job managing the Millennials, a new generation has come of age: Generation Z.

 

Gen Z is a force to be reckoned with. They have billions in spending power and greatly outnumber their Millennial siblings. As employers and managers, it is essential that we know how to best engage this new superpower.

 

What are the defining characteristics of this generation? And how can you fully engage them? We have a few suggestions.

Free ebook download!: How to Increase Employee Engagement   

Members of Generation Z are…

 

Digital Natives

Members of Generation Z, born from 1996-2010, barely remember a time before the internet, smartphones, or social media. This generation is always on the move, communicating with emojis and Snapchat videos.

 

How to engage: Meet this generation where they’re at – online and social platforms are comfortable mediums. Maybe this means creating an anonymous online forum (instead of the traditional suggestion box), hosting online meetings, or working wherever there’s WiFi.

 

Straightforward

In this mobile age, Gen Z employees are used to the constant stream of information. They digest all these messages by minimizing fluff and getting to the meat of an issue – it's a big reason why Twitter and it's 280-character limit has flourished.

 

How to engage: Make sure your emails are concise and to the point – no need for the tip-toeing many Millennials prefer. Be straightforward with your expectations, identify company and personal goals, and your Gen Z employees will know exactly what to deliver. 

 

Entrepreneurs

 

After seeing many businesses such as Facebook and Uber become overnight successes, Gen Zers are inspired to do the same. Even if a Gen Z employee is working in a non-entrepreneurial role, it is very likely that he or she has aspirations to do hit the ground running and make an immediate impact.

 

How to engage: Give your employees the opportunity to build and have ownership of a project. They thrive on this responsibility and are excited to learn skills that they may need down the road.

 

Pragmatic

 

Generation Z was shaped by the economic hardship of the 2000 and 2008 recessions and a post-9/11 foreign policy. They are constantly looking forward and crave security. Gen Zers want good pay, secure benefits, and a relatively stable place to grow and gain experience.


How to engage: A secure employee is a productive employee. Celebrate work anniversaries, seek out personal interactions, and invest in continuing education – let your Gen Z member know that you’re in this for the long haul.

 

Self-Educators

 

Generation Z has seen multiple technologies come and go, and because of this, they are used to learning new skills quickly. They rely on websites and YouTube for tutorials, often exploring and learning by themselves.

 

How to engage: Make sure you give your employees enough autonomy and space to get the job done in their own way. With this group, there is less need to deliver black and white, step-by-step instructions from a project’s start to finish – the Gen Z employee will find innovative and creative ways to get the job done, and they’ll do it well.

 

Personal Brand Aware

 

Gen Zers are cognizant of how their older siblings paid the consequences for oversharing on social media. Generation Z tends to their personal brands carefully and sees this as an avenue for self-growth and career development.

 

How to engage: This group is on the lookout for ways to cultivate their brands, so give them a platform: blogs, vlogs, and networking events are great places to engage Generation Z and promote your own company.

 

Authentic

 

In a rebellion against the overly curated profiles and manufactured likes, Generation Z tends to live more in the here and now. They value “real talk” and want to be in an environment where they can be their full selves.

 

How to engage: Make sure your office is one that welcomes diversity. Invest and show interest in your employees’ non-work interests and abilities. Take the time to share personal stories, about both successes and failures.

 

Use your employee data to engage employees of every generation. Click below to see how a customized survey can help you engage and retain boomers, Gen Zers, and everyone in between.

 

Gen Z represents a different generation than any that came before it, but these tips will help you engage and delight them. For more guidelines on how to engage employees, download our free ebook, How to Increase Employee Engagement.

 

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