The workforce is evolving with every generation, and while the Millennials have captured most of the attention, it is time to make way for Generation Z. In fact, by the year 2020, research predicts Generation Z will make up 40 percent of the working and consumer population in the United States.
Navigating the waters of workplace communication can be a difficult thing, especially with multiple generations now forging the way. Add in the ever-changing dynamic of technology, and there is real potential for communication and culture gaps. So what is the best way to combat this ongoing dilemma?
Just like with any successful marketing strategy, begin by getting to know your audience. Here are some suggestions to help your company offer a positive and rewarding work environment from the perspective of a Gen Z’er – inspired by Aretha Franklin (and no, I did not have to Google the lyrics).
R- Recognition. Do not buy into the stigma that our generation is lazy and irresponsible. Recognize that Gen Z’ers can be some of your greatest assets – they are willing to work hard and prove themselves as long as their dedication to the job is rewarded through recognition, such as a hand-written thank you note, bonus or title promotion.
E- Education. Generation Z is known for taking ownership of their future and understand that skill sets are ever-changing – especially in the workforce. Is your company offering new learning opportunities, the latest technology and training programs to inspire growth? Take notes from these eager professionals and you might learn something along the way.
S- Security. Not video cameras, readers or the Cloud, but other forms of security – you know, the reason you go to work every day, like salary and benefits, which play a major role in Generation Z’s motivation. At the end of the day, they are willing to work longer hours if it means more take-home (work-life balance takes a back seat to skill development). Retaining top talent can be challenging, so be sure your company offers a competitive salary and benefits package. PayScale is a great starting point for comparison.
P- Planning. Gen Z’ers are focused on the future and always looking for the next challenge. Make sure your company has a clear path to success and career growth or Gen Z’ers will not stick around, especially in this market.
E- Engagement. While Generation Z is mostly independent, you may be surprised to find that they want to hear from you. Lack of communication can instill doubt regarding job performance and broaden the communication gap. Gen Z’ers want daily interactions with their boss – give regular face-to-face feedback, schedule team meetings and encourage new opportunities for collaboration.
C- Contribution. Gen Z’ers are digital natives and catch on to new technology quickly. Companies can expect immediate contributions from this group, as less time is spent learning new technologies, processes and procedures. Information should be readily available to Gen Z’ers in order to reap the rewards of these fast-paced professionals.
T-Transcend. Go beyond the stereotypes and challenge your company to transcend the boundaries of workplace communication. See for yourself the positivity and dedication Gen Z’ers can bring to your team. They are just entering the workforce, and the possibilities are endless.
Above all, remember to respect your team members. Whether they are your peer or a new hire off the Gen Z bus, it takes respect from your team to get things done.
Hannah McDermott is marketing coordinator for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.