A Leader's Guide to Successfully Managing Gen Z

4 min read
Feb 12, 2020

Each generation of workers offers a unique perspective on what’s important in the workplace. For members of Gen Z, who were born between 1996 and 2010 and make up the latest generation to enter the workforce, this perspective has challenged some organizations.

To attract and retain fresh talent at your organization, you’ll need to prepare for upcoming change in the workplace, consider what matters most to the new wave of Gen Z employees, and make appropriate shifts in processes and company culture.

So how can you attract, support, and successfully manage Gen Z employees at your organization?


Tips for attracting, retaining, and managing Gen Z talent:

  • Provide a workplace in which they will find value
  • Foster collaboration
  • Offer frequent feedback
  • Allow for multiple channels of communication
  • Help them establish work/life balance

In this post, we’ll go over each of the above tips and examine Gen Z workforce trends so you can learn how to welcome the latest generation of workers.

Provide a workplace in which Gen Z will find value

Some employers assume that Gen Z workers have the same workplace wants and needs as millennials, but that isn’t necessarily the case — Gen Z workforce statistics suggest that the two generations have different values, and Gen Z career expectations differ from those of millennials.

First, let’s clear up any confusion around age ranges. Millennials are generally defined as those who were born between 1981 and 1996, while Gen Z was born after 1996 and before 2010. That means that in 2020, millennials are between the ages of 24 and 39, and Gen Z-ers are 23 or younger.

With those age ranges in mind, here are the main differences in millennial and Gen Z workplace motivators:

Gen Z-ers want more stability and consistency, and are more motivated by financial security than millennials. Research indicates that Gen Z employees are motivated by financial rewards and opportunities for career advancement, while millennials place more value on work that does good for society.

Though 84% of Gen Z-ers agree that they’d like to do purposeful work for a company in which they believe, they find more value in financial stability.

In other words, Gen Z isn’t motivated by company culture alone. To achieve lower turnover rates, combine a great company culture with financial rewards and opportunities for growth.

Foster collaboration

Gen Z-ers grew up in the digital age with collaborative classroom structures, hands-on teaching methods, and inherently collaborative technology such as social media and Google Drive. They’re used to working as part of a team, with effective tools and streamlined processes to help them do so. 

To attract Gen Z employees and keep them engaged, make sure collaboration is woven into the fabric of your organization. A collaborative company culture:

  • Increases productivity by combining talent and resources
  • Helps build trust and facilitate positive relationships
  • Gives employees an opportunity to learn from one another
  • Helps employees develop conflict resolution, decision making, communication, and other skills

Setting up a collaborative work environment means setting up Gen Z employees — and your organization — for success.

Offer frequent feedback

According to the 2018 State of Gen Z™ report, over 65% of Gen Z say they need frequent feedback from their supervisor to stay at their job. 60% of them want multiple check-ins from their managers each week.

Frequent one-on-ones with supervisors and annual/quarterly reviews are great opportunities to give Gen Z workers the feedback they crave. Make it a priority to communicate with employees about their performance and help them develop new skills. 

Allow for multiple channels of communication

Gen Z-ers are incredibly comfortable with digital channels for conversations that don’t require face-to-face communication, and expect employers to utilize platforms like Slack, Skype, and Zoom where appropriate.

However, they also want that personal connection with their coworkers and managers, and value the social aspect of going to work and interacting with others. Allow for multiple communication channels so your Gen Z employees can experience the full spectrum.

Help them establish work/life balance

Unlike generations before, Gen Z has seen mental health issues destigmatized and taken seriously. Discussing and working to improve mental health is the new norm, so a healthy, positive environment is an important factor for them when considering employers. 

Gen Z-ers are more likely than other generations to report mental health concerns. In fact, Mind Share Partners' Mental Health at Work 2019 Report found that 75% of Gen Z-ers had left roles for mental health reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily.

To keep high stress levels from affecting productivity at your organization, encourage a healthy work/life balance.

There are a number of ways you can implement helpful changes: flexible hours, work from home days, longer or more frequent breaks, more vacation days, mental health days, yoga classes, and more can all create a work environment that supports mental wellness.

The most important thing to remember as you welcome Gen Z workers into your organization is that every generation (and every individual) is different. 

Don’t just assume that you’re giving your Gen Z employees everything they want and need — stay in the loop with frequent employee satisfaction surveys to learn exactly how you can support employees of all generations. 

See how TINYpulse can transform employee engagement and boost retention at your organization. Book a free demo.

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