Every generation brings with it new changes to the world of work. Long ago, the Lost Generation came of age during the Industrial Revolution and accelerated the transition from working by hand to working with machines. Later, the Baby Boomers ushered in the era of home computers, followed by the Millennials and the dawn of Web 2.0. Now, as Generation Z comes of age, further changes are at hand – and they’re set to once again redefine the world of work.
Generation Z isn’t just more tech-savvy than previous generations – they have their own unique priorities and values that they’re bringing into the workplace. They have their own expectations around the world of work and the process of getting a job that employers must cater to in order to stay competitive with new hires.
Here are some of the reasons why onboarding your Generation Z employees should be as easy as signing up for Netflix – and a few ways you can create a seamless onboarding experience your Gen Z hires will love.
Generation Z Has a Unique Attitude Toward Work
Generation Z is unlike any generation to have come before it. In the past, previous generations preferred standard 9-5 office hours. They preferred meeting with managers face-to-face, and they enjoyed doing less technical work.
But today’s young people are disillusioned with the traditional world of work. They have ambition, yes; however, their ambition doesn’t necessarily align with the concept of climbing the traditional corporate ladder. After seeing multiple recessions and a pandemic in their short lives, Gen Z is now seeking a greater life purpose. They want to be in roles that enable personal and professional growth. They eschew low-level work like unpaid internships. And in many cases, they’re quitting jobs without having second jobs lined up.
“You have permission to quit a job that makes you miserable,” one Gen Z TikToker recently said.
These younger workers have developed a reputation for job-hopping to get the best deal, but the reality is deeper than simply looking for a low-effort, high-pay gravy job. A 2019 survey of Generation Z members by Kronos Inc. found that 30% of Gen Z view themselves as the hardest-working generation.
These workers may sound entitled, but they entered the workforce during a recession and a pandemic when they witnessed many of their peers and elders being laid off. Gen Z works hard, but they also have certain standards in the workplace. They won’t tolerate rigid schedules, poor work conditions, or bad managers. As many as 21% of them say they don’t want a manager at all.
In essence, Gen Z wants flexibility at work and opportunities for personal growth. They want to work for ethical companies who give them respect, recognition, and flexibility. They value authenticity and personalization. And they’re willing to switch jobs to find these traits in an employer.
Leverage Technology to Boost Engagement
Gen Z doesn’t just want employers to use technology when onboarding – they expect employers to be tech-savvy. Embracing new technology in your onboarding process can show your potential hires that you’re flexible and modern, which can result in a more engaged and motivated hire.
Emerging new technologies also render other benefits to the employer apart from making recruitment easier. New tech tools can enable your employees to be more productive and independent with less manager interaction and less time spent in the manager’s office.
With an online LMS, for instance, your hires can walk themselves through training exercises on a flexible schedule without the need for one-on-one interaction or manager hand-holding.
An LMS is also a great way to give your Gen Z hires the professional development opportunities they crave. Gen Z employees strongly prefer having jobs that enable them to grow their skills, and they’re willing to leave companies if they don’t feel included. By embracing Gen Z’s ambition, you can help them find a home at your organization and perhaps convince them to stick around for the long haul.
Onboarding & ProDev Set the Tone
If you want to hire and retain good Gen Z workers, you’ll want to invest in your employee onboarding and professional development processes. It’s significantly more expensive to hire a new employee than it is to retain an existing one; the right changes to your processes can give your Gen Z employees a reason to stick around. Gen Z isn’t necessarily loyal to a single employer – they see a job as a means to an end. The onboarding process is your opportunity as an employer to change how your Gen Z employees view you. It’s your opportunity to convince them to stick around.
Gen Z expects onboarding and professional development to be simple and straightforward. They expect a personalized experience that they can walk through on their own, at their own pace. They expect onboarding to be as easy as signing up for Netflix. The more you can do to give them that kind of experience, the more successful you’ll be at retaining them and making the most of their skills and ambition.
Gen Z workers aren’t some mysterious enigma. They have predictable and easy-to-understand priorities and preferences rooted in a particular worldview of work. They’re very different from previous generations in the manner in which they view work, yes. But once you understand their priorities, it’s easy to retain and motivate them.
What is your organization doing to boost engagement with your Gen Z employees? How are you making your workplace more socially conscious, tech-savvy, or flexible? How are you creating meaning for your employees?