Searching for ways to inspire Gen Zs at work? Find out all you need to get this unique generation motivated and productive at work in this post.
Millennials have been the focus of many workplace conversations and articles, but Gen Z is the real decisive factor in your organization.
The generation born between 1997 and 2012 is now coming into adulthood with a lot of potential in the workplace. They are poised to become the most educated cohort ever in history.
These young adults are tech-savvy and prefer virtual collaboration over face-to-face meetings.
So it is important that you understand them and know how best to motivate them.
Here are eight ways to inspire Gen Zs at work.
1. Recruit differently for Gen Z employees
When recruiting Gen Z employees, managers may want to do things differently than they do for other generations.
For example, managers may want to place less emphasis on face-to-face interviews. Instead, they may want to rely heavily on online assessments and video interviews.
This can help recruiters reduce the time they spend on each hire and make the process more accessible to Gen Z candidates who may not have the same flexibility to travel for interviews that older generations have.
Managers may also want to consider using different types of rewards and incentives to attract Gen Z employees.
For example, Gen Zers are drawn to work that offers the chance to solve real problems, make an impact, and be creative.
Managers can meet these needs by adjusting their job descriptions and recruitment materials to highlight these opportunities.
2. Take a more risk-aware approach to business
As with their communication preferences, the desire of Gen Zs to take a more risk-aware approach to business can be seen in the way they shop.
Compared to preceding generations, they are much more likely to search online for information and to read reviews before making a purchase.
This desire to make informed decisions is likely to translate into their approach to business.
Gen Zers may also be more likely to invest in companies that support social causes, either through philanthropy or through programs that offer lower carbon emissions or more sustainable materials, for example.
In a survey of Gen Zers, 69% reported that they are likely to purchase from a company that supports a cause they care about.
You can therefore inspire Gen Zs and keep them engaged by highlighting the importance of social issues, for example through advocacy and community service.
3. Don’t underestimate the influence of collaboration tools
Designing your workspace to encourage collaboration is another way to inspire Gen Z employees.
Contrary to the general assumption that Gen Zers don’t want to be in the same room with their colleagues, Gen Zers actually crave communication. In fact, many Gen Zers prefer to work in teams than alone, although they may prefer to do it via technology like video conferences.
When managers choose communication tools, they need to be aware that Gen Zers may have different communication preferences than other generations.
For example, while millennials may prefer to communicate via email, Gen Zers may prefer Google Meet or Zoom. They also have very different technology needs from other generations.
You may want to invest in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, interactive robots, and other technologies that meet the needs of this generation.
4. Offer flexibility and opportunities to make meaningful contributions
When it comes to compensation and benefits, Gen Zers prefer the same things that other generations care about.
However, they are also likely to place a higher priority on work-life balance.
Hence, managers can offer more remote work opportunities to accommodate their desire to strike a balance between work and other interests.
Another way to inspire Gen Zers is to communicate clearly and be transparent about the company’s goals and priorities.
Encourage them to share their ideas and suggestions for how the organization can be more successful. When you make them feel that they are an important part of the organization, they will be motivated to learn relevant skills that will equip them to make meaningful contributions.
5. Provide opportunities for professional development
It’s an open secret that knowledge is progressive.
This is why companies that offer team members Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities usually excel.
In their quest for continuous growth, Gen Zers are especially motivated by companies that provide opportunities to learn.
So you will be best served to ensure that such opportunities abound in your company.
Furthermore, it is a win-win in the long run.
It will increase individual productivity and enhance the skill set of team members, leading to a higher level of job satisfaction. On the company’s side, employee retention rate will go up.
6. Give Gen Zers a voice by asking for constant feedback
Managers may be tempted to try to keep their teams focused on the task at hand without interruption. However, Gen Zers may view this as a lack of confidence in their ability to do their jobs well.
Instead, Gen Zers may actually want managers to interrupt them regularly to ask for feedback on the work they are doing and the progress they are making.
This could mean regular one-on-one meetings with Gen Z employees. It could also mean setting up an anonymous suggestion box or feedback form where Gen Zers can share what they think about their work or the organization.
This constant feedback may seem like a lot of extra work. However, it can be very helpful for managers to know what challenges their team members are facing so that they can proffer solutions.
7. Inspire Gen Z with visionary leadership
As the first set of true digital natives, Gen Zers are likely to be very interested in a company’s values, mission, and culture.
Managers should make sure that they clearly communicate and exemplify what the company cares about and why.
This transparency may extend to how the company plans to use its resources to achieve its goals. In other words, you want to be clear about the company’s plans for the future.
For example, the company leadership should let Gen Zers know when they plan to replace certain technology and what other changes are in the works. This transparency can help Gen Zers see that the company trusts them, which may make them feel more engaged in their work.
8. Encourage them to challenge the status quo
Managers may be tempted to create an environment where employees are afraid to make mistakes.
However, this can actually lead to lower engagement and productivity.
Instead, consider creating an environment where employees feel safe to try new things and make mistakes without fear of being criticized or punished.
This can help to create a culture of innovation while also encouraging authenticity, both of which are important to Gen Z employees.
Some of these insights may seem like common sense, but many companies are struggling to meet the needs of Gen Zers. You may also wonder why there’s so much hype over inspiring this generation at work. Consider the fact that they make up 40% of global consumers with about $140 billion in buying power.
Furthermore, as the children of baby boomers and older millennials, their way of thinking is already influencing your employees, even though they are just entering the job market.
Believe it or not, the future of your organization may very much depend on how well you are able to inspire the Gen Z employees on your team.