It’s always a bit shocking to realise that someone who seemed to be a toddler only yesterday is heading off to university or entering the world of work. But for Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Not only are Gen Z beginning to enter the world of work, according to a report by Deloitte they’re doing so with a bang.
Their approach to work and their commitment to their own personal values are helping businesses to modernise their working environment, to become more socially responsible, and to be more supportive of the individuals who work for them.
But if you want your business to remain ahead of the curve and attract new talent from this exciting cohort, you’ll need to be prepared to practise what they preach.
Here are some of Gen Z’s top priorities, and some practical tips on how you can adopt them into your business.
Gen Z are the most diverse generation in history, and it’s important that you reflect a commitment to inclusivity in your company culture to allow everyone equal access to opportunities and a sense of belonging. It is just as important to support neurodiversity as it is to support differences in gender, race, and sexual preference.
A good first step towards this is to create a company policy or statement on diversity, equity and inclusion. You could enlist the help of a consultant to help you create something that is manageable for the size of your business and that will be effective. Then, decide on some initial steps that you will take as a business to fulfil your commitment. For example, you might decide to add a step to your recruitment process or set up a mentoring system.
Finally, make sure you communicate your policy and action plan to your employees. It should also be visible on your company website so that prospective new hires can see it.
Flexibility is another of Gen Z’s top concerns when it comes to choosing the right role, although this doesn’t just mean remote working.
Gen Z are keen to have the option to choose when and where they work; indeed, according to the Times 86% said this was one of the deciding factors for them when choosing whether or not to accept a role.
In the same report, though, it was found that Gen Z are more likely than previous generations to want to come into the office. So, while home working is certainly an important factor in offering flexibility, it shouldn’t be your only consideration.
The first step to being able to offer your staff more flexibility is to consult them on what flexibility means to them. What would help them to be more productive and feel more comfortable while working?
Then, invest in systems and infrastructure to support this, such as cloud-based project management tools, so that the arrangements can be beneficial for your staff as well as for your business.
Gen Z are committed to their personal morals and will avoid industries or businesses that they consider to be unethical. Instead, they’re looking to work for companies that are having a positive impact on the world around us.
As Deloitte reports: “Gen Z no longer forms opinions of a company solely based on the quality of their products/services but also now on their ethics, practices and social impact. To win the hearts of Gen Z, companies and employers will need to highlight their efforts to be good global citizens”.
So, to attract a motivated workforce committed to supporting your organisation, it’s important to put plenty of thought into your company values so that they align with those of your existing and prospective employees.
Just like your commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity mentioned above, make sure this is accompanied by a set of actions that you will take to demonstrate how you embody these values in your work.
Gen Z is craving financial security, having watched millennial peers struggle through the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash and experiencing the introduction of much higher tuition fees in 2012.
While each of the aforementioned factors have a large influence on Gen Z’s decision-making regarding jobs, salary remains the most important one. They also seem more willing to relocate or work antisocial hours than previous generations if it means securing a more stable and lucrative income.
When creating new roles or hiring new recruits into existing roles, check how competitive the salary is compared to the wider industry and be transparent about the salary in the job advert.
How else could you support your employees’ financial wellbeing? Access to mentoring or a financial planner could be another way to stand out from the crowd to a generation keen to ensure they don’t fall victim to the rising cost of living.
If you’d like to create a stable environment for your employees, having the right kind of cover in place is vital. The right protection can ensure your business can weather any unexpected storm, providing security and stability for your team.