Gen Z employees are the current generation and graduates entering the workplace. As future leaders in business, they require a unique managing approach. Having said this, more than ever before, Gen Z employees need mentorship and access to leaders and managers who will coach them. They will, ask questions, many questions, but also provide a different perspective when needed. It is vital to create an environment where they have access to leadership so that they feel heard and understood. In this blog, we discuss how best to engage and motivate them, as well as strategies for training and developing these graduates into future leaders.
So who exactly are Gen Z’s?
Gen Z’s are the most recent demographic after the Millennials. They are the generation born between 1997 and 2012 and are the first generation not to know a world without the internet and social media. This makes them pretty unique in many ways;
- They grew up with smartphones and social media, and as a result, they are extremely comfortable with digital tools and platforms. This comfort level gives them a distinct advantage when it comes to learning new technologies and using them effectively.
- Gen Z’s have a strong focus on social issues. They are acutely aware of the world around them and they want to make a difference. They are often drawn to jobs that allow them to use their skills to make a positive impact on society.
- Growth opportunities are of high priority when they decide to apply for a particular job.
How to lead Gen Z employees
Gen Z’s are comfortable with change and adapts quickly to new environments. They're also great multitaskers and yet have a shorter attention span than older generations. Try these tips to effectively lead your Gen Z employees:
- Be clear and concise when communicating. Gen Z employees and graduates prefer short, direct messages that get to the point.
- Use technology to your advantage. Utilize apps and social media platforms to engage with your team and keep them updated on projects.
- Encourage collaboration. Since they're used to working in groups, Gen Z’s actually thrive when given opportunities to collaborate with others.
- They like structure and clear direction yet do not enjoy being micro-managed. They are self-managed and thrive when this freedom is bestowed upon them.
- Flexibility is key. This generation values work-life integration, so try to be flexible with hours and work from home when possible.
Simon Sinek accurately explains how Gen Z’s deal with stress. This video is worth watching.
In summary, it is important to take the time and get to know your Gen Z employees on a personal level. What motivates them? What are their goals? This would apply to all employees too. Create a work environment that is conducive to collaboration and creativity to get the most out of your team members. In addition, encourage your Gen Z graduates to take initiative and be proactive in their roles. Always remember to recognise and reward their successes, both big and small.