Are you ready for the newest group of employees? Employees from Generation Z are flooding the workforce. They enjoy learning and want to grow professionally. To recruit and retain these workers, small business owners should focus on providing good communications and online training. Here are five tips to help you succeed.
1. Know what Generation Z employees value – Born between 1996 and 2012, members of Generation Z comprise about 2.52 billion of the population. (In comparison, there are 1.72 billion Millennials.) Don’t make a mistake in thinking that they are “post-Millennials.” The majority of Gen Zers have distinct values and attitudes different from Millennials. Some demographic experts say that Generation Z is a knock-off of the Baby Boomer generation. Here are a few of their attributes:
* comfortable with technology because they grew up in a digital world
* hard workers – they want to succeed
* independent – like to work on their own; 77 percent of Gen Zers ages 14 to 21 earn their own spending money through freelance work, part-time jobs, or earned allowance
* prefer face-to-face communications (vs. using email or slack)
* concerned about debt; already saving for retirement
* may forego attending college and pursue self-teaching opportunities, or attend a college they afford while working part-time
* spend many hours watching instructional YouTube videos
* not concerned about brands
2. Teach communication skills – In a national survey with Gen Zers, 57 percent identified communication as one of the top skills they need to succeed. Nearly 45 percent said they needed improvement in this area.
Growing up, Gen Zers spent hours on digital devices, texting in short phrases, and communicating with pictures and emojis. Business owners can teach young workers effective communication skills they can use to succeed at work and in life through one-on-one discussions and online training. Interestingly, Gen Zers are thrilled with opportunities to connect with people. They need to develop better communication skills, so they feel more confident in sharing their ideas. By investing in Gen Zers, small businesses can mold and shape these workers into excellent sales representatives.
3. Provide continuous training – Gen Zers welcome training. They recognize that they don’t know it all and want to grow and learn. Use online training software tools, like Traineaze, to help Gen Zers develop new knowledge and skills. They want to watch online training programs anytime, anywhere and from any digital device.
Be real and authentic when creating the training programs. Make modules interesting by using videos, audio, and graphics. Ask other employees to assist in developing the training. In addition to using different faces in the material, you can tap into the knowledge and expertise of other workers. They will feel valued, and you will get a break.
Most of all, keep training modules short. Gen Zers prefer information that is direct and void of frills or excessive details. Remember that they grew up watching YouTube videos. Learn how to use microlearning techniques to develop training materials.
4. Tap into their technology expertise – Gen Zers are extremely comfortable with technology. After all, Facebook was introduced when the oldest members were age 8. YouTube became live a year later. Invite Gen Z workers to explore ways to use technology to grow your company. They love solving problems.
Watch Gen Zers work and give constant feedback. (Surveys show Gen Zers want to connect with business owners or team leaders several times a day. Nearly 60 percent said they want check-ins with their managers frequently throughout the week.)
5. Create a fun and flexible workplace – Gen Zers want work-life balance. A national survey revealed that Gen Zers look for jobs that provide a fun work environment (47 percent) and a flexible work schedule (44 percent). These responses ranked higher than paid time off and promotion opportunities.
Learn more characteristics of Generation Z.