Leading HR and recruitment agency, Gi Group, which has a branch in every major city across the East Midlands, shares its helpful tips and advice on how to attract, engage and train Gen Z in the workplace as new data reveals that 3 in 4 managers find it difficult to work with them.
Referring to those born between 1997 and 2021, Gen Z is making a big impact in the workplace. Growing up with technology as an integral part of their lives and entering the world of work during or post-pandemic, their wholly unique and unprecedented outlook and expectations on employment is bringing new challenges to many businesses.
ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,344 managers and business leaders and found 74% believe Gen Z is more difficult to work with than other generations. They are often described as entitled and demonstrate a lack of effort, motivation and productivity.
Business leaders have also described Gen Z workers as more demanding, looking for more time off, flexibility, remote working options, greater social and environmental responsibility and pay increases. In comparison to generations prior, these shifts are becoming employee expectations rather than preferences, with many Gen Z employees leaving roles that don’t deliver on these fronts.
Having spent the majority of their careers in remote settings, some employers are reporting Gen Z staff have few soft skills - such as giving presentations in person, active listening and even communication skills such as pausing after introducing themselves to let the other person say their name.
With Gen Z set to account for more than a quarter of the workforce by 2025, Kate Sands, Business Manager from Gi Group, explains what effective strategies companies can introduce to ensure they attract, engage, and retain talent.
“It’s important to look at the positives Gen Z brings into the workplace and what makes them a valuable asset for businesses. For example, their fresh outlook and energy can help refocus an established team. They also bring additional skills to the table, as they are often well-versed in various technologies including AI, software, social media, and tools such as Slack and Google Docs. Tapping into Gen Z’s potential, bringing out their strengths and having the willingness to adapt to their needs will be key to encouraging long-term commitment from this generation and fostering thriving work environments.
“There are various ways organisations can make small changes to achieve this. For example, stepping away from traditional ways of working, being more flexible, and investing in the latest technology and software to ensure Gen Z have the tools they need to get the job done most efficiently. This can include collaborative software and cloud technology, which enables them to work in a way that is most productive.
“Another common priority for Gen Z’s is career progression and development. A business that demonstrates investment in its employees is more likely to see this returned, and this is particularly true for Gen Z. In order to gain loyalty, businesses need to consistently offer learning and development opportunities and outline a clear career path.
“While career-driven, Gen Z has a keen eye on work-life balance. In comparison to other generations, they value salary less than any other generation and see flexible working options such as remote working as a top priority. So much so, that about half report that they would quit their job if it interfered with their work-life balance. If your workplace can do so, offering flexible working options will expand the talent pool and attract talented Gen Z workers.
“Mental health struggles are prevalent within Gen Z, as studies have found they are more likely to report experiencing negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and loneliness. Having a wellbeing programme in place is therefore crucial to avoid burnout and ultimately, an employee quitting due to high levels of stress. HR leaders and managers have made wellbeing in the workplace a growing priority in recent years as the number of employees reporting struggles has increased. Introducing initiatives such as 1-2-1’s, coaching sessions and having a Mental Health Responder can make a big difference to an individual feeling supported and being part of a business that actively demonstrates its commitment to mental health.
“Ultimately, there are various ways organisations can adjust their ways of working and introduce new initiatives to bring out the best in their Gen Z employees. This may look different for each individual, and as generations welcome new skills and ways of thinking, it will be crucial for business leaders and managers to continue to be flexible to build long-standing and happy teams.”
Gi Group UK is headquartered in Chesterfield in the Midlands. The business employs 500 people and in 2023 is proud to serve almost 1500 clients from 87 locations (26 branches and 61 sites). Gi Group UK is uniquely committed to the creation of social and economic value for both employers and candidates alike. Gi Group Holding in the UK places one person in work every 90 seconds.
For more information about Gi Group in the UK, please visit: uk.gigroup.com.