This week we posted to social media that 77% of GEN Z workers will consider how a business acted during the covid pandemic before accepting a job!
We thought it would be great to delve into this generation of workers even further and look at how we as HR professionals, managers and business owners can support young workers.
You are classed as GEN Z if you were born between 1997 – 2012, so during the last year, this collective has either entered the workplace in a time of a global pandemic or been confined to their homes with their last years of education severely disrupted.
However, it has not just been education or tentative first steps into the workplace that have been disrupted. Employers should consider the social and emotional milestones which GEN Z lost literally overnight: interactions with family, friends, teachers or mentors, proms, hobbies, exams, graduations.
So what does this tell us about how we should support this cohort of young workers?
We suggest focusing on these 3 keys areas:
- skill development
- stress management
- building emotional intelligence.
1. Skills Development
GEN Z’s learning was interrupted, overnight, in a way which our schools were unequipped to manage in those early days. Let’s remember that there was no hard and fast rule, all schools and year groups dealt with the pandemic differently, it will be years before research is able to confirm the impact of the closures without a plan.
We must also consider that GEN Z were learning either alone, online or in an environment with possible home working parents or other home learning siblings.
We suggest that employers should look to develop greater patience with Gen Z’s adjustment to the professional world and place a greater focus on mentoring and support.
According to the 2021 Deloitte survey one of the top concerns for Gen Z’s is the ability to development and be trained in the workplace so look at your onboarding process, consider rotating new starters around the business to increase their confidence in workplace socialising and ensure they are given the tools to develop within their role.
2. Stress Management
Research from The Mental Health Foundation shows us that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. If Gen Z’s baseline already shows high levels of stress, what will the impacts of this pandemic be when it comes to their work and careers?
We suggest that employers should consider implementing or improving workplace wellbeing initiatives and emphasising the importance of positive mental health.
3. Emotional Intelligence
In having to cope with a shut-down of life as they knew it at such a young age, many Gen Zers have experienced a massive interruption in their ability to discover what motivates and fulfils them. Because of this, they’ll need more time in their young adult years to undertake this self-exploration.
We think that GEN Z workers, given the time, will be the next generation of inspirational leaders, full of resilience and empathy having experienced significant disruption in their young lives, and are likely to be attuned to the feelings of their colleagues and employees.
How do we ensure our job opportunities appeal to Gen Z?
Firstly, this is the generation who have little or no memory of life before the digital era, where smartphones are the norm. The ability to learn, adapt or improve technology could be innate, ensure your job adverts are available in relevant and current digital places.
Make sure your website, social media platforms or advert makes it easy for Gen Z job seekers to find the information which appeal the most to their generation: equality, diversity and inclusion, staff development, your recruitment process and really importantly, details as to how your company functioned and supported its existing staff through the pandemic.
Consider your job description! Make sure the role requirements are clear and avoid jargon, project the value and purpose of your organisation so candidates can decide whether they will fit in and outline the training and development opportunities which could be available.
Hiring! This generation expect near instant feedback – respond to their emails or applications as quickly as possible and keep the candidate updated on the progress of their application at all stages. You could consider setting expectations of the role with video interviews from existing employees or online assessments.
How can Ashton People Solutions support you in appealing to Gen Z workers?
Here is a small offering of what we can do to help:
Mental health and wellbeing training for managers and staff
HR Skills training for managers
Team leader trainings
Support in setting up HR systems
Support in creating job descriptions and adverts
Support at interview stage, either online or face to face
Creating and helping to implement practical and effective policies which include training and development and mental health/wellbeing
Facilitate team building days
Get in touch with us on 01352 878535 if we can help in any way!