With Gen Z onboard, what’s next for employers?

At Claro Partners, we believe that creating relevant employee experiences is critical to ensure a company’s future success. In our last blogpost, we provided insights on how to attract Gen Z to your workplace. Now, we look at how to build value-creating employee experiences for this generation of employees once inside your company. 

 

You’ve successfully attracted fresh new talent into your organization. That´s great, but what’s next? How do you ensure you’ll be getting the best out of them – and keeping them?

Employee retention is hard. According to a recent survey, this is ranked as the top challenge for HR leaders for the past three years running [1]. Unfortunately, this is about to get worse; Gen Z workers are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to change jobs. With twenty percent of Gen Z predicted to have four or more full-time jobs within few short years in the workforce, compared to Baby Boomers holding an average track-record of two jobs in a decade [2].

At Claro, we see an opportunity inside every challenge. So, we´d like to share some insights that could help you better tap into the considerable potential this generation has to offer and improve their retention.

We’ve identified four areas where a deeper understanding of the needs, behaviours and aspirations of Gen Z are critical for employers.

 

Onboarding – An ambitious generation, Gen Z is looking for purpose in their job. For this generation, purpose should not be conceived in the traditional sense of social responsibility but rather as a means to a particular professional aspiration and a clear understanding of the why behind their role. If they cannot see the rationale behind tasks, Gen Z tends to quickly disengage. As a consequence, employers should ensure they support them thoroughly during their first days on the job and equip them with all the tools and information needed to make a difference in the organisation. What’s their role in the bigger picture? How can they make an impact right away?

Ways of working – Entrepreneurial, self-confident and independent, Gen Z has a strong appreciation for work places where their perspectives are heard and respected and where they feel they can contribute, no matter the hierarchies. Blindly following orders is alien to how they navigate the world. This is why with this new generation, companies should organise for “autonomy in alignment”  – a way of organising people that balances freedom with control, and benefits both organisation and employee. Bosses become mentors, coaches, and collaborators that set direction. Employees can then determine how to achieve established goals in an environment of trust and support, without being micromanaged.

Professional development – Productivity, adaptability and result-orientation define this generation. Gen Z is aware that continuous learning is a must nowadays. Yet, it should be linked to specific and immediate needs and growth’s objectives. Gen Z approach learning as “just in time, just enough and just for me”. Organisations should focus on co-setting high-level growth paths instead of fixed career plans, ensure that employees can work on challenging and relevant tasks, provide them with opportunities for concrete and personalised learning, and trust their ability to quickly get up to speed with whatever is put in front of them.

Performance measurement – A generation that wants their job to meaningfully contribute to their life goals, Gen Z expects ownership and involvement when setting their key performance indicators. Adaptive continuous learners, they look for quick and frequent feedback on their work. As a result, formal processes like 6-month fixed reviews should not be the basis of performance measurement and employee growth. As an organisation: How can you empower them to define and measure their own success? How do you ensure continuous alignment between organisational and personal goals and engagement throughout the years?

 

With a new generation entering the workforce, internal processes must evolve to accommodate new needs and expectations. Employers can start by asking themselves the right questions – questions that stem from a deep understanding of this new generation of talent and aim to create work experiences that are relevant for both organisations and their employees and lead to higher retention.

 

If this topic is important for your company, or you would like to know more about our insights and perspective on the tail-end of the current Millennial generation and the emergence of their Gen Z counterparts, please contact us at: hello@claropartners.com

 

Jan 22, 2019

[1] Globoforce, “The 2018 Employee Recognition Report: Designing work cultures for the human era”.