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Developing Young Workforce: How To Manage The Gen Z Employee

As the workforce continues to change, so too does the way in which we need to manage our employees. And that means dealing with Generation Z – the generation born between the mid-1990s and 2010s. At first glance, they may seem like a lot of trouble – but in reality, they’re actually a huge asset to any workplace. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring what Generation Z is all about and how you can best manage them in your workplace. We’ll also provide insights into their work ethic. So if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve in terms of employee management, make sure to read on!

What does a multi-generational workplace look like?

Workplaces are constantly evolving, and so is the workforce. Today’s workforce comprises generations – millennials, gen-Xers, baby boomers, and Gen-Zers. No matter what name you give them, these generations have unique strengths and weaknesses. A successful workforce that harmoniously works together benefits from a passionate, motivated, and engaged workforce from all generations.

A multi-generational workforce spans multiple generations. Now, a new generation of employees is entering the workplace to make them even more diverse. It includes employees born after the baby boomers, Generation X-ers, millennials, or those in their twenties and early thirties but also have elders working within their organization.

The benefits of having a multi-generational workforce are numerous: it allows for innovation and creativity to be integrated into the workplace more quickly; it helps to build bridges between different generations; it often challenges implicit norms and assumptions about what is “normal” for each age group; it fosters better communication and understanding among team members because they understand how perspective shapes reality.

Who are the gen z employees?

Gen Z is the generation of millennials (born between 1995-2005) who are currently in their teenage years and entering adulthood. As a generation, they have unique challenges and opportunities that will shape the future. 

What is the generation z’s work ethic?

The millennial generation is now firmly in the workforce, and Generation Z is quickly gaining ground. These young workers are known for their independent and self-motivated work ethic and their penchant for using technology in the workplace. To manage a workforce of Generation Z employees, it’s essential to provide opportunities for growth and development. Additionally, it’s crucial to create an environment that is fun and exciting so the employees stay engaged and motivated. If you’re looking to tap into the potential of Generation Z, keep these critical points in mind.

Emphasis on communication

Gen Z values communication highly and sees it as a critical component of all their relationships. They believe effective communication is essential for building trust, resolving conflicts, and cultivating positive relationships. In fact, they see good communication skills as essential skills you can develop in your life.

Moreover, gen Z employees focus on ensuring that they are enabling a safe environment for everyone through their actions. Managers should ensure they are dealing with toxic and difficult conversations effectively. As a generation that has grown up among technology, they are aware of the constant availability that workplaces have begun to expect and try to break such harmful trends.

Welcoming technology

Gen Z employees are technology-savvy and comfortable working in a digital world. They are familiar with social media, smartphones, and other communication technologies. Because of this, gen z employees tend to be very responsive to new technologies that might be introduced into the workplace. Managers should focus on using new technologies effectively to avoid alienating their workers. Additionally, gen z employees demand feedback promptly, so managers need to ensure they have systems in place for providing feedback quickly and efficiently. As a result, gen Z employees are comfortable working with remote and hybrid teams too.

Looking forward to change

Gen z employees are open to new ideas and willing to experiment. They believe that if they can be flexible, their employers will be too. As a result, managers need to ensure that their workplace offers the learning and growth opportunities that gen Z seeks. In contrast to the previous generations in the workplace, gen Z welcomes change and adapts to thrive in new circumstances. They are more open to new ideas and innovations, which can drive productivity.

Seeking flexibility

As a generation raised on social media, gen z employees are used to working in a flexible environment. They want the freedom to work as per their terms. They are used to working remotely, rotating shifts, and being able to work from home on occasion. Providing remote working options, flexible work schedules, and on-demand access to resources are just some ways managers need to welcome the new generation to the workplace.

This trend is likely to continue as younger generations become adults and expect more from their jobs than simply being confined within rigid boundaries imposed by older generations. Generation Z is also generally disruptive when it comes to workplace norms and practices. For instance, they are typically not content with traditional career paths that involve a set number of years with one company before moving on to another.

Focus on well-being

Generation z employees focus more on their well-being and happiness than previous generations. They want to balance work and personal lives, take time off when needed, and feel rewarded for their hard work. To that end, employers must provide ample opportunities for employees to balance work with their personal lives. It includes creating a culture of feedback and appreciation which gen Z values highly. Furthermore, gen Z employees appreciate concern towards mental health and shun unhealthy workplace habits.

What challenges does generation z present?

The generation z workforce is huge, and it will significantly impact the future of business. They are independent and demanding, and legacy companies need to adapt or face extinction. To manage this generation, teams must create a productive, innovative, and dynamic environment. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to managing a workforce of generation z – it’ll require creativity, hard work, and constant evaluation. However, by understanding the challenges that generation z presents and implementing solutions tailored to their needs, teams can ensure that they’re ahead of the curve and poised for success in the years to come.

High autonomy demand

Generation z employees are highly autonomous and value independence above all else. They want to be able to make their own decisions, work in a fast-paced environment, and take control of their career paths. To that end, employers must create an environment where employees feel empowered and can work autonomously. Otherwise, the new generation of employees feels bogged down by a constant flow of repetitive work where they are only a cog in the machine. These employees seek autonomy and the choice to take decisions that create real-world repercussions. Their desire to craft impact stays at the top.

Constantly seeking excitement

Generation z employees are constantly seeking new and exciting opportunities. They want their work to be stimulating, challenging, and full of growth potential. Legacy companies that stagnate or don’t keep up with the latest trends can quickly lose young workers who seek excitement in their work lives. Employers must create an environment where employees feel they’re making a real difference and their input is valued. Furthermore, company culture – from leadership down to individual team members – must emphasize innovation and creativity above all else. If generation z employees see that these values permeate throughout the team, it will encourage them to stay with the company for longer.

However, this creates a challenge as well. A significant number of managers are predisposed to understand the gen z employee as a hyperactive and inattentive kid. In their constant search for novelty boosted by an entrepreneurial spirit, gen z becomes hard to retain for teams.

Unconventional approach to work

Workers of generation z come from a generation where the conventional approach to work does not cut it. Employees want interesting, challenging jobs full of potential for personal growth. It means teams must ensure their processes aren’t too rigid or formulaic. Moreover, gen z employees do not want to be bound by norms that rule the workplace. They are constantly at loggerheads with managers from old generations who are loyal to their systems designed years ago. Gen z’s fight to redefine work as a part of their life instead of the pivot challenges and confuses managers.

Looking for opportunities

Generation z employees are always on the lookout for new opportunities and challenges. They want to work in environments that allow them to use their creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. Teams that fail to provide ample opportunity for employee growth find it hard to retain these employees, who are not scared to switch careers and jobs. Gen z’s propensity towards constantly learning new skills and exploring can seem distracting to managers who want their teams to focus only on work. Managers often find it challenging to engage these workers. If they do not find the work meaningful, it would be tricky for managers to get it done effectively by a gen z employee.

How to manage generation z in the workplace?

The Gen Z employee is a unique and special type of worker. The biggest challenge for managers will be balancing work with personal time and avoiding micro-managing employees. To ensure a harmonious work environment that helps in developing a young workforce, a few things that managers can do include:

Communication is key

Managers need to be communicative with their gen z employees. It includes frank and open communication about expectations, feedback, and new initiatives. Managers should also allow time for gen z employees to share any concerns or ideas they may have. In doing so, both parties can work together to create a positive working environment that facilitates creative thinking and growth. A trusting relationship with managers is important in creating an effective workspace where workers feel motivated and empowered to take risks.

Focus on feedback

An essential part of any manager’s job is to provide feedback. Feedback should be timely, meaningful, and actionable for gen z. You should also tailor it to the individual and their work situation. In order for gen z employees to improve their skills, they need consistent and relevant feedback on how they are doing. At times, this can be challenging for managers who are not habitual to regular feedback activities. Managers can offer either formal or informal feedback forms to help employees grow in their professional abilities to create a workplace that suits the gen z employee.

Is your feedback up to the mark? Check now with the free constructive feedback self-assessment.

Provide opportunities for learning and development

Gen z employees want opportunities to grow and develop their skills. Managers should allow workers to learn new things, work on challenging projects and take on new responsibilities. It allows gen z employees to feel like they are contributing something valuable to the workplace and makes them more invested in their job. Providing learning opportunities can also help managers stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments to make informed decisions for the team.

Become agile in your approach

When it comes to managing gen z employees, a flexible approach is key. Managers need to be able to adapt their style and approach as the workforce changes over time. It means being open-minded and accepting that not everything will go according to the norms. As gen z employees continue to change how they work, managers will need the flexibility to adjust accordingly for the workplace environment to remain positive and productive. Emphasizing remote work, Flexi teams, and agile methods of teams are essential to deal with the gen z effectively.

Become people oriented

This generation picks their values over job titles. Managers need to remember that gen z employees want to work with people they like, respect, and feel comfortable working with. Over everything, they want to create an impact in the workplace. Management should focus on building a relationship of trust with their team members to be productive. You can do this by providing opportunities for social activities and events and regular feedback sessions focused on personal development.

Make mental health a priority

It is becoming increasingly clear that gen z values mental health highly. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults experiences a mental health condition at some point in their lives. It applies doubly to millennials and gen z employees who have grown up with social media, smartphones, and instant gratification as part of their everyday lives. Managers need to be aware of the signs of stress and work towards creating an environment where employees feel supported. While having conversations about well-being, managers mustn’t solely be limited to physical health.

Encourage ownership of tasks

One of the defining characteristics of gen z employees is their desire to take ownership of tasks. Millennials and gen z employees are more likely than older generations to feel like they have control over their work environment. It can be a positive thing for team morale if it is done in an effective way. However, giving too much autonomy can lead to chaos and inaction. Managers should provide clear assignments with deadlines and feedback on progress reports to keep everyone on track. The key here is to balance inspiration and control.

Become tech-savvy

Gen z employees are arguably the most tech-savvy generation of workers. Gen z-ers use smartphones regularly for work purposes. Managers need to be comfortable with technology to keep up with their team members. It is also essential to have a clear understanding of new trends so that you can better serve your employees’ needs.

Conclusion

The workforce of the future is no longer a single generation. In fact, it’s a multi-generational mix that requires businesses to adapt and change with the times. To manage this generation successfully, you need to understand their work ethic, expectations, and challenges. This blog has outlined key points on how to do just that. So, are you ready to manage the gen z workforce?

As gen z employees join multi-generational workforces, it’s important to practice effective team building.

Try our free active listening toolkit today to get started on your journey to creating successful workplace collaboration!

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