Managing an intergenerational workforce can be challenging. Given that the employees from the generation X and millennials all have different expectations and attitudes within the workplace, it only makes sense to find common ground in which all can coexist.
Millennials have for years now flaunted the label of being the youngest employees in the workforce, but all this will change as the iGen employee enters the job market.
The entry of this young group of employees will bring a new atmosphere into the business world. HR departments and managers will have to get out of the comfort zone they had when dealing with millennials and adjust their work environment to welcome the iGen employee.
To win the battle for talent in the job market, companies will need to identify what makes this generation tick and use it to their benefit.
Here are some insights that will help you retain and satisfy the iGen employee:
Who Is An IGen Employee?
Otherwise known as the generation Z, these are people who were born in between 1995 and 2010. While millennials are known to be quite tech-savvy, these people are truly digital natives - they were born from the onset of the internet in 1995 onwards. The iGen employee doesn’t know a world without the internet, or cable TV with only three channels.
They came into the world when it was already connected through social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube. Such individuals have grown up with technology being omnipresent in their lives. As by the year 2018, the oldest members of this generation are 23 years old which makes it more essential for managers to understand them as they are now just starting to join the job market.
What They Expect From the Work Environment
The generation Z employee grew up in the period of the great recession where they watched their parents, who were formally financially stable, struggle with their finances. Since they realize how easy it might be to lose their social security status, they are more than willing to work for their well-being. They are willing to earn a lot out of college, but they also expect to put in some work to earn a paycheck.
This generation of employees is also project-oriented, but they expect a lot of input from their bosses in terms of extensive feedback in order to align their work with the expectations. By pushing the right buttons, companies can meet other expectations such as job security and satisfaction, career advancement and even social inclusivity.
What They Bring To the Table
These young employees tend to be innovative and willing to learn new things. They consider internships, whether paid or voluntary, as a stepping stone to achieving their long-term career goals, according to Forbes. Most are also quite passionate about what they do and are willing to work with companies that support their cause.
Unlike Millennials, technology is more of intuition to them, and they can easily adapt to dynamic technological environments. They are naturally social and engaging, which means that they can easily use forums on the internet to discover any changes that might affect the company. They have the potential to use business resources with optimal efficiency as long as they are encouraged to do so.
How to Prepare Your Workplace for IGen Employees
90.6% of the generation Z workforce will be more inclined to work with a company that has some form of technological sophistication than one that doesn’t, according to David Stillman, an iGen expert.
This means that building a tech-centered work environment will attract such employees. Despite their affinity for tech, communicating with them and offering them feedback will be more influential if done in person.
Other than enticing these employees through attractive salaries, offering them a chance for career growth while working for you will further help in retaining them. This is because they tend to spend a good part of their lives thinking about how they can shape their future.
Since the generation Z employee embraces competitiveness throughout their lives, making the work environment competitive will help them perform at their level best ability.
The generation Z workers have a lot of drive, are more ambitious and tech savvy than their predecessors. These factors act as a double-edged sword - a blessing to able HR departments and a curse to those who don’t know what buttons to press.
As they trickle into the job market, it makes perfect sense to take a tech-oriented approach to be ready for them by all means. Adapting to the coming changes in today’s and future workforce is critical for any business.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.