Millennials to Generation Z: How to Attract, Retain and Encourage the New-Age Workforce
Millennials have long dominated the working landscape, challenging the status quo at every step. They roared out of recession in style, disrupted the top-down structure of companies and used collaboration and coherence to deal with problems. Now, as the last few of them start figuring out their career roadmaps after graduating from college, it’s time for employers to welcome a fresh and even more complex breed of next-gen job seekers into the process.
Generation Z, which consists of those born between 1996 and 2010, is coming of age. Rarely has any other generation witnessed such radical changes as these people have experienced in their lifetimes. Technologically, socially, economically and politically they are moving at warp speeds, showing unprecedented levels of digital maturity, productivity and efficiency along the way.
With the oldest ones being 22, Generation Z will soon become a critical part of companies’ talent management strategies. Going forward as these digital natives enter the world of business, companies might find themselves at a crossroads, grappling to figure out whether to consider Gen Z as a challenge or as their biggest asset.
To achieve the latter, however, recruiters will have to understand their mindset, decipher how they differ from Millennials and how they might evolve in the near future.
Decoding the Generation Gap: What Differentiates Gen Z?
More so than the Millennials, Gen Zers are true technology fanatics. They prefer making cashless payments and are comfortable doing almost everything – from ordering food to buying clothes, through their smartphones. The generation literally lives on technology and as a result nurtures distinct goals and expectations, particularly around productivity and work.
Having witnessed some of the biggest organisations crumble in the meltdown of 2008, it’s only natural that this generation would also be more inclined towards security. While Millennials are considered to be more idealistic and inspired by purpose than wages, the Gen Zers are likely to lean towards money and security. They definitely want to make a difference, but only if there’s a secure and balanced life outside of work.
Gen Z is more spirited than other generations in their attempts to achieve something on their own. The result? Well, a self-reliant and entrepreneurial spirit which finds solace in startups and other workplaces, alike. This aspiration for independence and individual financial success makes them 55% more likely to initiate a business than Millennials.
These wannabe entrepreneurs can turn out to be great assets for any company, provided they have modern talent management strategies in place. Employers should focus more on fostering the right work culture and environment to attract, retain and encourage a generation that doesn’t derive its motivation from individual gains, but from the desire to help an entire community and the workspace that encourages it.
Nurturing New Talent – Implementing the Right Talent Management Strategies
In order to closely manage the new workforce full of entrepreneurial and creative flair, companies need to go beyond established talent management practices. At the top level, this could mean avoiding conventional micromanagement and command-and-control strategies to better understand individual motivation factors and preferences. The focus has to be more on developing a flexible and progressive work environment where creative employees can play around with their skill sets and innovate without the fear of reproach.
Multinational technology companies like Google can serve as a benchmark for companies trying to transform conventions in talent management and recruitment. The company considers collaboration as one of the best ways to facilitate communication and innovation. It nurtures a collaborative work culture where managers encourage team members to freely communicate and spend time together so that they can share great ideas and work on them. In the workplace, all the departments are grouped together by glass dividers, which not only allows free exchange of thoughts but also creates open and illuminated work environment.
Mobility has already started impacting the way how a worker perceives his work environment. An average smartphone user checks their mobile almost 2617 times per day. This implies that the Gen Z employees have even higher expectations for accessing work emails and other digital tools at any given time.
Given this backdrop, companies need to invest more in tools that would enable people to connect vocally, visually and interactively. With a greater focus on mobility, IT professionals will also have to restructure their legacy corporate network architectures and gear them towards long-term connectivity to effectively manage a range of data-intensive smart devices.
As companies start preparing for the next wave of workers, people who are relatively old in the system will have a critical role to play in shaping the future workforce. Besides mentoring, they will also have to be open to acquiring new technological know-how and skill sets that this new generation brings in with them. Only that way can the entire cohort strive ahead thriving on each other’s strengths and differences.