As you welcome your new intake of graduates in 2022, you might realise that the face and expectations of this workforce are changing every year, and it’s not only about the age, but also about their exposure to the pandemic before joining the working class.
According to the 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey conducted by Deloitte, the five employee characteristics most critical to the success of the organisation as rated by South African Gen Z are flexibility/adaptability (49%), creativity (48%), curiosity / a growth mindset (34%), being technology-savvy (34%) and critical thinking (34%). Furthermore, over the past two years, 61% of the surveyed population have made choices about the type of work they’d do and the organisations they’re willing to work for based on their personal beliefs/ethics.
I am a certified performance coach working with the youth at No-Valo Learning Centre and frequently engaging with Gen Z’s employers. From our experience, here are the top two ways you can get the most from Gen Z post-pandemic.
Be more feedback savvy
Pertaining to feedback, it is always driven by the type of data you are collecting and the tone you are setting. Instead of only focusing on formal feedback, perhaps encourage an environment where frequent informal feedback is provided, as this will make your Gen Z employees feel they are heard. This is a digital generation, however, they value trusting their managers, and as a result it would be ideal to facilitate both online and in-person feedback meetings. Whilst appreciating the sensitivity of feedback meetings, it might be ideal to host group feedback sessions, as post-pandemic, your Gen Z workforce will appreciate the sense of community at your organisation. One of the most effective ways you can ensure that the points discussed here are monitored is through implementing a structured mentorship programme.
- Regarding skills development, and in particular e-learning platforms, coaching and human skills training, the following should be considered:
E-learning platforms − You should perhaps refrain from rating the success of the e-learning platform based on the completion rate, as the best way to track success is through the implementation of the learned skills at work.
- Coaching − It’s amazing that little to no budget is allocated to coaching services for young professionals, yet management and executive coaching are given priority. This is the talent that is considered in the succession plan and nurturing this talent is vital for the success of the organisation.
- Skills training − As behaviour learned over decades cannot be unlearned during a two-hour workshop, I challenge you to think about the sustainability of the skills training you are providing to your Gen Z workforce.
Here are two mythbusters regarding your Gen Z workforce post-pandemic:
- They need digital everything − Millennial Branding’s Gen Y and Gen Z Global Workplace Expectations Study surveyed 1 005 Gen Z respondents and found that 53% preferred face-to-face communication.
- They are not loyal − 46% of the 2021 Deloitte Millennial and Gen Z survey respondents are concerned about unemployment. As Gen Z care about good global citizenship and they have seen the impact of the pandemic on the employment rate, they are more likely to stay loyal to your organisation should you demonstrate good corporate citizenship.