How to manage Generation Z in your workplace

At one time it was all about Generation Y – the millennials. We’ve spent the last few years discussing, debating and even arguing over how to get this group of individuals engaged in the business world.

But now business leaders have shifted their attention to an even younger cohort of people – Generation Z.

Making up around 25% of population worldwide, Generation Z are growing up quick and as such are starting to make their impact on businesses. Here we explore a few ways in which organisations can manage this somewhat demanding group of individuals.

You need to understand Generation Z

First of all you need to appreciate who Generation Z are. There is no clear consensus on when this cohort starts, with some arguing its mid-1990s, while others suggest mid-2000s. Either way, they currently make up around seven per cent of the current workforce.

Hippies at heart – your business needs to have ‘impact’

A recent research carried out by Sage came up with a number of interesting findings, but most crucially they found that 60 per cent of post-millennials desire their job to have ‘impact’.

While ‘impact’ is an arbitrary word, and could be taken for a lot of things – i.e. cultural, environmental or political impact – it is generally taken to mean ‘good’. If your organisation isn’t completely ethical in their eyes, regardless of what you pay them, it may cause some friction.

The best way to solve this is glass-like transparency with all members of staff and introducing policy which demonstrates good intentions – such as offering a portion of profits to charity, or hosting various fundraisers. Do good things with your profits and you’ll appeal to Generation Z.

Ambitious and financially ruthless

It appears that Generation Z is much more entrepreneurial than previous generations, with the study finding 72 per cent desire to run their own business. This presents organiations with an opportunity to tap into this desire to produce results. Give them a project to manage and these budding entrepreneurs will take ownership straight away.

When it comes to remuneration or salary – Generation Z is much more demanding than previous cohorts. 65 per cent prioritise salary over anything else, so while you might offer a few perks such as gym membership, healthcare or even a company car, excluding these from contracts and adding a couple thousand extra to a salary package might work better to your advantage. Be warned though, you may be prepared to negotiate.

Emails too slow for Generation Z

The youth of today are used to one thing and one thing only – speed. Dependent on social media and striving to communicate in the fastest way possible, emails are sadly too slow and cumbersome for Generation Z.

While we’re not saying you have to overhaul your complete communications process to house a few impatient individual, we advise that line-managers communicate with their younger staff through instant-messaging mediums, such as Skype, if they’re looking to get things done. This generation needs information straight away and won’t be too pleased if they’re sat about waiting for an email.

Written by John Bernard.

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