November 21, 2017 - No Comments!

Engaging the iGen (2/2) – A sensible approach to dealing with GEN Z

Gen Z (otherwise known as iGen) - the sensationalist version of the millennial clan is here and how! A study by Randstad showed that 37% of the iGen population would not like to work for you or anyone else. Gen Z has that choice, but can your organization manage without engaging with them?

Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts ran a massive digital campaign to target tweens (ages 9-13) and strengthen their brand perception. Would you have imagined that a theme park like Disney World would need a social media campaign to attract kids?

With companies going overboard with the inclusion and engagement strategies, we thought we’d put across our view of how an organization should engage with these fresh minded individuals. While a previous blog highlighted expectations that we thought were relevant across generations and not just for Gen Z, this one will help you understand why employee engagement methods cannot be generation specific.

Talk to me

The most effective way to communicate with co-workers according to Gen Z is in-person communication.

51% Gen-Zers want their managers to engage with them by listening to them and valuing their work.

46% want to be mentored and given feedback regularly

In 2012, Adobe got rid of their annual appraisal system. They saw a 30% decrease in attrition and saved almost 80,000 hours of management time annually spent on performance reviews. Microsoft, GE, Accenture and several other organizations followed suit and we don’t hear anyone complaining. As an organization, you need to make strategic changes based on what is good for your workforce and not based on what generation you are dealing with, because the right strategy, implemented at the right time, and for the right reasons, will not fail.

ENGAGE, INVOLVE, EVOLVE

Constant feedback and reviews simply translates to increased management involvement. How a management decides to shape their messages and foster an emotional ‘cut through’ with this generation is the challenge.

We recently came across an interesting story about a CEO who was excited about a fitness challenge. The idea was simple – hold the plank position for the longest time possible. There wasn’t a lot of hoopla around it, and yes, his colleague did beat him in the challenge. The best part of this experience, however, was that the employee was more focused on how great a sport his CEO was, rather than revel in his own win. We hear that post the competition, the CEO was busy discussing strategies to better his game the next time around. This attitude served as inspiration for the young crowd.

This is the same CEO who spends a considerable amount of time interacting with his colleagues on social media; be it a polite congratulatory message or a wise crack at someone’s new profile pic - he is around and his team knows it.

Keeping the doors of communication non-hierarchical has always made a huge difference in every generation, and is the best way to earn an extra brownie point.

THE TECHNICAL GLITCH

While millennials grew up knowing all about technology, Gen Z has gone a step further and considers technology as their sixth sense. As an organization, if you are looking to recruit and retain these whiz kids, you need to incorporate emerging technologies. That sounds easy, but is far from it.

Because Gen Z has a new demon to battle - the battle of technology/gadget addiction.

Gen Z struggles to manage the distractions these technologies bring in. Implementing collaborative technologies and use of these tools should be targeted to benefit the organization while minimizing their impact on performance interruptions. As a business, it is important for you to integrate technologies seamlessly into your workforce and not add complexity that will damage productivity.

The rise of this generation has a major impact on the way employers handle their collaborative employee engagement policies.  We’ve seen that across generations, the attribute that helps employees deliver their best depends on the people they work with. So, whatever your strategies are, remember to keep them people oriented and targeted across generations.

Published by: KNOLSKAPE in Blog

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