Each generation of employees has its own needs and preferences when it comes to engagement and communication, and Gen Z (individuals born between 1994 and 2010) is no exception. According to a 2016 study conducted by HR executive development firm Future Workplace and staffing agency Randstad US, Gen Z respondents:
- Prefer face-to-face communication over tools like instant messaging and video conferencing.
- Believe that being “communicative” is the most important quality in a leader.
- Prefer to work in corporate offices but also desire flexibility.
- Want to work for companies that embrace social media.
- Prefer regular feedback to once-a-year performance reviews.
With these findings in mind, here are some ideas for connecting with the youngest members of your workforce:
- Emphasize face time: Like Boomers, Gen X and Millennials, Gen Z still prefers in-person over electronic communication and the opportunity to connect face-to-face.
- Make communications a core competency: Provide communications training to leaders at every level so they are adept at sharing information, building relationships and encouraging feedback.
- Use tech to connect: Gen Z grew up with tech devices as part of daily life and while they prefer face-to-face communication, it’s important to look for ways to help them “work smart.” Employ technology to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing, and allow flexibility to work remotely.
- Target social media: Gen Z prefers selective sharing through social tools such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Reddit, so ensure your social media guidelines provide avenues for this tech-savvy group to be your newest brand ambassadors.
- Simplify your feedback and review process: Gen Z values growth and career advancement, so look for ways to offer input and guidance easily and more often than the standard yearly performance review.
With some fine-tuning to your communication processes, you will strengthen your Gen Z recruitment and retention efforts and inspire the best out of the next generation of your workforce.