How To Engage Generation-Z In The Workplace
- April 12, 2023
- Posted by: jaynemillar
- Category: Uncategorized
By Albert Galarza (Forbes Councils Member)
Albert Galarza is the Global Vice President of Human Resources at TELUS International.
In 2022, quiet quitting gained momentum as an increasing number of employees grappled with burnout. The workplace phenomenon followed the Great Resignation, which saw more than 4 million people actually quit their jobs.
According to Gallup, half the U.S. workforce falls into the quiet quitting category. The study found the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is the lowest its been in almost a decade. This is perhaps because more employees are making a conscious choice to step back from non-required duties rather than quitting because of recessionary fears.
Generation-Z, in particular, is feeling disengaged and disenfranchised. They’re feeling less supported and less encouraged in their development, and it’s leading this demographic to reconsider the role they want work to play in their lives. According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Annual Report, 51% of Gen-Z employees are more likely to prioritize health and well-being over work. They also list positive culture, mental health and well-being benefits and a sense of purpose/meaning as their top three priorities.
3 Approaches For Engaging Gen-Z Workers
It’s unsurprising that Gen-Z is driven by boundary setting. Generally, they work to live versus living to work, and they’re drawn to employers that share their personal values. As they continue to make up an increasing percentage of the workforce, employers must learn to incorporate Gen-Z preferences in order to effectively attract, engage and retain top talent within this generation.
Here are three approaches to consider.
1. Build a healthy and inclusive culture
Given that Gen-Z ranked positive culture as its number one priority in Microsoft’s report, it’s no surprise that many job seekers and employees want to work for companies that take diversity, equity and inclusion seriously. According to a survey from Monster, 83% of Gen-Z candidates said a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important.
Fostering a respectful, inclusive and diverse workplace culture is crucial to attracting and retaining top talent in today’s competitive job market. One of the best ways to nurture a sense of belonging and community is by establishing employee resource groups that support underrepresented employees and ensure their voices and opinions are incorporated into more inclusive decision-making.
2. Leverage tech to attract potential hires and engage your team
As digital natives, Gen-Z is looking for employers that take a tech-forward approach to the employee experience. But it can’t be technology for the sake of technology. It has to be thoughtful as this generation of workers is sensitive to poor technology and inefficiencies. Software company Asana found Gen-Z is particularly affected by the “distraction tax” of switching between different work apps—especially since an average of nine apps are used per day in the workplace.
Leveraging automation tools to streamline and expedite work processes can help in this regard. From using AI and machine learning to analyze online applications and background checks to utilizing chatbots to help candidates complete their applications, brands can leverage a number of tech solutions to optimize their recruitment capabilities. Additionally, because flexibility and mobility were also flagged as non-negotiables for Gen-Z, technology can also be used to make working remotely more seamless.
3. Bring your values to life to engage your team
At the heart of quiet quitting is a generation’s desire to see its values reflected in the workplace. LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence report found 80% of Gen-Z employees are looking to work for companies whose values better align with their own. For example, because this demographic prioritizes better work-life balance, companies that offer a four-day work week or the ability to work flex hours are more likely to attract Gen-Z talent.
Moreover, Gen-Z is widely known as the most socially conscious generation. While many brands have adopted a corporate social responsibility mandate in the last few years, attracting Gen-Z means weaving that commitment into the fabric of the organization itself.
Gen-Z also wants more opportunities to learn new skills or expertise. Organizations can address this by offering a variety of learning and development or mentorship opportunities. For example, at TELUS International, we offer partial and fully subsidized learning programs and courses for our team members—and even their family members and friends in some instances. It’s one of the ways that we’re able to support our team members’ ongoing development.
Engaging The Future
Gen-Z promises to continue disrupting the workplace and driving the evolution of the future of work. According to Business Insider, by 2026, Gen-Z will overtake Millennials as the largest generation and account for more than 27% of the workforce. Employers should view quiet quitting as a wake-up call and an opportunity to adapt. By bringing their values to life, investing in thoughtful technology and building healthy and inclusive cultures, brands stand to reap the benefits of a stronger and more sustainable business.