Employee Benefits

How to Win the Talent War by Engaging Generation Z Employees

The No. 1 issue employers face today is recruiting, engaging and retaining the best employees. The war for talent is affecting businesses of all sizes in every industry. In recent years, employers have focused on how to find and keep millennial workers. But as Generation Z enters the labor force, employers need to adapt employment strategies to meet the needs of these workers. Find out how to win the talent war by engaging Generation Z.

Friends using Digital Devices in Cafe

Understand Generation Z

Born in 1997 and after, members of Generation Z are the first true digital natives. They have never known life without the internet or a smartphone. Bruce Tulgan, the founder of RainmakerThinking, says Generation Z is not a second phase of the millennials. They have distinct characteristics and values.

Focus on the human factor

Members of Generation Z have grown up in an era of economic uncertainty, environmental collapse, war, and terrorism. So when they consider job opportunities, they are looking for specific factors, such as:

  • supportive leaders who take time to provide guidance, direction and feedback
  • collegial relationships with co-workers
  • flexible schedules.

“Although Generation Z employees are new to the workforce, they don’t think of themselves as being new. They are not content to sit back and watch the work process and figure out how to fit in,” Tulgan says. “Generation Z wants employers to take them seriously. They expect to hit the ground running and make a difference. But they also are acutely aware that to do this, they need substantial guidance and support.”

Encourage open communications

Although Generation Z members are digitally focused, they want face-to-face communications with their managers. “They appreciate information that provides clear expectations and continuous feedback,” Tulgan adds. “Growing up, they’ve had close relationships with their parents, teachers, counselors.” Generation Z workers are used to being around older people and want to connect with senior employees.

Provide equal perks and rewards

Generation Z highly values openness in work relationships and has a strong sense of fairness. “They are suspicious of performance-based pay,” Tulgan explains. “They want rewards and perks but want to ensure all employees have equal access to them. Generation Z is especially sensitive to people being treated unfairly based on their gender or classification.”

Man and woman sitting at the table viewing laptop.

Create a supportive culture

Generation Z wants to be part of a team and feel comfortable at work. Tulgan advises employers to create a supportive culture and invest in managers who connect well with employees at all levels of the organization.

Learn more about how to engage Generation Z and win the talent war by listening to a short podcast discussion with Bruce Tulgan.

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