Generation Z is officially coming of age-and that means they’re entering the workforce. Not long after adapting to the changing needs of millennial employees, employers and managers are now trying to figure out how to attract top employees from this new generation of workers. And while Generation Z’s demands may be similar to the demands of their predecessors, the millennial workers, there are a few things that have changed. Here are 5 ways that big businesses are adapting in order to attract Generation Z employees.
Encouraging Their Innovative Side
Gen Z workers tend to be even more entrepreneurial than their millennial counterparts. They’re more likely to have ideas that they want to share, and want to take on more responsibility and the risk that comes with it. You should encourage this in your employees if you want to attract top talent from the new generation of employees.
One business that has created a Gen Z-friendly environment in this regard is Adobe. The Adobe Kickbox initiative allows any employee to sign up for a two-day innovation workshop. They receive a $1,000 prepaid credit card to build a prototype and test their ideas; then, they pitch their idea to the executives. If it is well received, they receive funding to take that idea to the next level. This amount of freedom and the ability to flex their innovative and entrepreneurial sides in a safe environment is the perfect way to attract the risk-takers and inventors of Gen Z.
Of course, not every business out there can implement an innovation program of this caliber. Still, companies around the US are putting innovation programs into action that allow every employee to participate. A company-wide program, when coupled with idea management software, provides employees with an outlet for creativity, and creates the perfect work environment for attracting top workers from Generation Z as they come of age.
Building a Sense of Community
Millennials tend to be viewed as a “disconnected” generation. They prefer less face-to-face interaction, and more virtual communication. But Generation Z seems to take a step back from that; while they may have been born into this world of technology, they value community, diversity, and genuine communication. And while companies certainly aren’t removing the technology from their businesses, they are making more of an effort to encourage a sense of community in the workplace.
More companies are beginning to offer environments where workers can collaborate with people from across the company, rather than just in their own departments. Facebook and Microsoft are just two examples of worldwide businesses following this trend. They offer “third places” where employees can gather to eat, grab coffee, and connect with people they might not work with directly. This environment can promote dialogue between employees, and lead to a closer work environment-ideal for Generation Z workers who want to connect with those around them.
Support Overall Employee Well-Being
Millennial workers were the first to begin placing an emphasis on well-being in the workplace. They wanted to work for businesses that supported their overall mental and physical health, rather than just requiring them to put their nose to the grindstone. Gen Z workers place even more emphasis on this, and expect to see it more prominently in the workplace.
Gen Z workers are more focused on self-actualization and achieving happiness in their own lives, and many companies are quickly implementing employee wellness programs to draw in these new, talented workers. In addition to providing fitness centers and other programs promoting physical health, companies like MTI and Leadership Refinery offer financial education classes, emotional intelligence training, and more flexible work arrangements to promote a healthier work-life balance. All around the world, companies are creating environments where wellness comes first, and as a result, top workers from Generation Z are flocking to these businesses in droves, buoying their success.
Many of the demands that you’ll see from Generation Z workers are similar to the ones you’ve seen from millennials. The difference is, Gen Z employees are less likely to compromise on these points. For millennial workers, the things mentioned above were new and uncommon concepts in the business world. But Generation Z employees have grown up seeing these kinds of benefits offered by businesses. Businesses are quickly learning that to attract the best employees from the new generation of workers, they need to adapt to these changes and provide the kind of work environment that Gen Z workers expect. Over time, the demands of this generation of workers will likely become the new norm in the business world.