Gen Z is the next generation of talent, and employers have to be ready to both recruit and keep these workers (more than) satisfied.
In a conversation with Sophie Wade (international keynote speaker and author), AJ Eckstein, founder and host of The Final Round, discussed 6 takeaways to both attract and retain Gen-Z within the workplace.
#1 – 𝗥𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗷𝗼𝗯𝘀:
Experience shouldn’t always be a deterrent. Employers must understand that new hires need to be taught, and not everything will come easy for them at first.
Take the time to not just train, but support your new employees. No matter what their prior experience was, their new work (both culture and tasks) will be an adjustment. Help ease the adjustment by providing them with an environment where they feel welcome both inside and outside the workplace.
#2 – 𝗢𝗻𝗯𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝘄𝗮𝘆
Don’t sugarcoat the job experience. Not only does authenticity showcase what the job will actually be like (and allow the employee to know the reality of where they’ll be working), but it builds trust that will truly go a long way.
Don’t just state the positives. Potential employees want to know some of the harder components of the job, and if you’re not upfront with them, they’ll learn it themselves. Examples include a demanding work schedule with “X” number of hours a week, frequently traveling, or sometimes the need to work on weekends. Through resources like Fishbowl (for example), it’s very easy for job-seekers to learn the ins and outs of the company in a safe, anonymous manner — so why not simply be upfront on what they should expect?
#3 – 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀
Values aren’t just a slogan on a website or in a picture frame. Give them a purpose — integrate them within the company culture.
Values are what help separate your firm from others. Job-seekers will gravitate towards work environments that not just enforce, but embrace these values. Check in on yourself, your employees, and the work environment, and make sure these values continue to hold true on a daily basis.
#4 – 𝗗𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗹𝗲𝘅𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆
Eliminate the hierarchy. Bring others with you, regardless of their “title.” Encourage all employees to take risks, ask questions, and learn as much as possible.
A great example of this is at PwC, where consulting interns are placed on project teams alongside both associates and partners. Eliminating the hierarchical structure encourages younger, less-experienced employees to take risks, build confidence, and create a bigger impact.
#5 – 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 & 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗲𝘀
Focus on the people, not just the end goal. People build an organization — the end goal will come. Ensuring your employees are listened to, cared about, and happy will help boost productivity.
Marriot International places employee growth at the forefront of its culture, providing various growth opportunities for its employees through structured training programs. The Global Voyage Leadership Development Program is centered around helping recent graduates in their transition into the workforce, while the Marriott Development Academy provides aspiring managers with the leadership skills necessary to succeed.
#6 – 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵
Don’t just tell your employees the resources you have to help with mental health, show them. Keeping your employees satisfied can help prevent burnout while boosting productivity. Many people have different strengths, preferences, and needs — don’t ignore them, utilize them.
Deloitte does a great job of this, receiving recognition for numerous lists for their commitment to employee satisfaction. The company not only provides great benefits to their employees, but provides mental health classes to ensure their workers are doing and feeling well.
Similarly, IBM’s Employee Assistance Program provides all employees with access to a variety of both family and work-related services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees are offered up to 12 counseling sessions per incident every year, not just telling, but showing their devotion to the well-being of their employees.
Not only are companies competitive, but so are the candidates! Some of the most qualified, inspiring, and persistent job-seekers want many good reasons to join (and stay at) the company. If they’re not satisfied, another firm will be happy to have them.
Recap: Attract and retain Gen-Z by redefining entry-level jobs, onboarding in an authentic way, carrying out company values, doubling down on flexibility, leaning on learning and growth, and boosting mental health.
When it comes to keeping Gen-Z satisfied, don’t just focus on the perks. An organization isn’t the name, the building, or the clients: it’s the people. It’s time to focus on them.