Did you know that Gen Z is now the largest generation? They have outnumbered Millennials and makeup almost 30% of the world’s population. It means that more and more Gen Z employees will be entering the labor market in the upcoming years.
This generational change has many more seasoned professionals wondering how to best leverage the many strengths Gen Z employees offer, ensuring their success in the workplace.
Read further to learn about the 5 actionable hacks to ensure your Zoomer employees are performing at their highest level.
Gen Z Employees: What Are They Like?
Gen Z are people born between 1995 and 2010. Many of these young people are now fresh graduates striving to start a professional career. And they have learned valuable lessons from generations before them, which have informed their views and needs in the workplace.
Don’t jump to the conclusion that Gen Z employees defy all the established workplace traditions and rules. In fact, Zoomer workers want to enjoy the majority of the work benefits that have been around for ages, including:
- Adequate material compensation
- Corporate benefits and perks
- Good work-life balance
- Career growth opportunities, etc.
However, there are several unique qualities we can attribute to Gen Z employees:
- They prefer hybrid office arrangements. Gen Zers are not big fans of the 9-to-5 convention. Besides, they are much more open to the idea of a home office and remote work.
- They are more tech-savvy than previous generations. Gen Z employees enjoy a work environment that caters to their digital-native nature. They use modern technology to maximize productivity and automate manual processes.
- They are naturally competitive. Gen Z employees tend to indulge in a bit of healthy workplace rivalry — and it helps them constantly improve. As a consequence, they enjoy working independently.
- Gen Z employees have an entrepreneurial mindset. 54% of Gen Zers say they want to start their own company in the future. Their entrepreneurial mindset helps them be more inventive in the workplace.
- Micro-management is not their thing. Gen Z employees don’t want to be bossed around or constantly micromanaged. They prefer boss-employee relations based on mutual respect, trust, and partnership.
5 Tips for Gen Z Professional Productivity
Now that you know more about Gen Z employees and their unique characteristics, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 ways to make your Gen Z workers can be most effective and productive.
- Leverage the Latest Technology
We’ve already mentioned that Gen Z employees are digital natives — technology is their natural environment. And they know how to make the most of it. The workplace is no exception to this rule. In fact, 91% of Gen Z workers say that the level of technological sophistication at a given company has an impact on their interest in working there.
So if you want to boost work productivity among Gen Z employees, incorporate modern technological solutions into your routine operations.
Give them the tools that:
- boost work efficiency
- remove distraction
- automate manual processes, etc.
How can you do that? Rely on modern software to ensure this productivity boost.
Take email overload as an example. Having to sift through dozens of emails in the inbox can distract your young employee from their working goals for the day. Besides, they’ll be forced to waste time figuring out what’s important to open and read.
An excellent technological solution to that is to automate email sorting to get the inbox structured right away — without manual interventions.
Bottom-line: Assess your workflow strengths and weaknesses and apply tech solutions to increase productivity. Your Gen Z employees will be quick to learn to use these tools, which will significantly enhance their professional performance.
Pro-tip: ask your Gen Z employees about new tools and software to add to your workflow! They might be more resourceful than you think and offer you new ideas for productivity maximization.
- Provide Feedback Properly
38% of Gen Z workers think that honesty is the top quality they look for in their superiors, and 21% value mentoring ability.
The best way to leverage these two qualities AND help Gen Z employees boost productivity is to apply them to the way you give feedback. Besides, feedback is simply essential if you want your gen Z employees to learn more quickly.
The crucial aspect of providing feedback to Gen Z is creating a culture of trust and transparency. Let your young employees know that feedback is not something to be afraid of but rather a valuable input to learn from.
You can also implement these tips to ace your feedback strategy with Gen Z workers:
- Provide feedback frequently. Regular check-ins create a sense of continuity and help Gen Z employees be more consistent in their work.
- Keep it short. Be focused and concise with your feedback. It is not only about saving time — Gen Zers just don’t want fluff. These goal-oriented workers react better to straightforward information delivery they can act on immediately.
- Give them a clear roadmap for improvement. Don’t be all theory and no action. When giving feedback, provide your Gen Z employee with a course of further action and relevant examples they can implement in their work.
With the right feedback, you’ll help your Gen Z worker become more productive and confident in their ability to improve as a professional.
- Ensure Flexibility
Being adaptive is key if you want to foster productivity among Gen Z employees. You want to put them in the position to succeed, and it requires flexibility, especially when it comes to:
- Working hours. The traditional 9-5 workday schedule is too rigid and old-fashioned for Gen Z workers. If their role and your workflow allows it, let your young employee determine their own hours.
- Workplace arrangement. 69% of Gen Z employees say they prefer having a separate workspace rather than sharing it with someone else. Besides, hybrid and remote work arrangements are not as new to them as to older generations. So if you can, let your Gen Z employees work from home at least part-time. They might be more productive in the comfort of their home office.
- Time/resource management. Gen Z workers strive for independence — it fosters their sense of responsibility and helps them work more efficiently. Give your young employees an opportunity to figure out how to deal with work tasks on their own from time to time. And try to not micro-manage them — it is oppressive, not productive.
- Maximize Learning Opportunities
Another way to boost productivity among Gen Z employees is to incentivize them by providing learning opportunities. Gen Z is eager to grow, obtain new knowledge, and incorporate it into their professional efforts.
Invest in learning opportunities at your workplace to satisfy this thirst for knowledge — a productivity boost will be your return of investment.
Here’s what you can do:
- Effective onboarding. Don’t put things off — start strong with relevant knowledge transfer to your new Gen Z employees. Give them useful resources “for beginners” — it’s a great way to support and motivate them to integrate this knowledge into work. Being a very visual generation means they have an easier time learning with infographics and other visual resources. Use an online photo editor to create visual elements that will help with the onboarding process.
- Continuous learning programs and courses. Is there new software on the market that might benefit your company? Do you think your employees might leverage a new hard or soft skill? Invest in relevant online learning platforms that will ensure continuous growth and higher expertise for your Gen Z (and all the other) workers.
- Relevant workshops and masterclasses. Don’t forget to shake things up once in a while – organize workshops, brainstorming sessions, or masterclasses for your employees to join. They might not always be strictly applicable to their work skills or responsibilities, though. It could be a cooking masterclass or a workplace mental health workshop – whatever you think will resonate with your young employees.
This investment will pay off right away. Gen Z workers are very practical and they will strive to use the new knowledge in their professional roles.
Besides, new learning opportunities create a sense of empowerment and loyalty in young employees — they will be more committed to staying with your company long-term.
- Optimize Communication Channels
Effective communication is key to increased workplace productivity. It is especially relevant if you turn to hybrid workflows at your company.
We’ve already mentioned the benefits of minimizing email overload to optimize working processes and email communication. What else can you do to improve it?
- Implements workplace chats. 23% of Gen Z workers think that texting is essential to workplace communication. Embrace this interaction mode and stay in touch with employees in messengers or workflow apps;
- Leverage video conferencing. If there’s one thing companies have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it is how to use video conferencing apps and software. And it’s still a great tool to keep in touch with your employees. Gen Z workers are used to video calls and treat them as an integral part of workplace communication.
Pro-tip: in the midst of the digital craze, don’t dismiss face-to-face communication. Gen Z employees still find real-life interactions with their colleagues and superiors very important. Do give your young workers some face time once in a while.
Boosting productivity among your Gen Z employees three crucial factors:
- creating a tech-savvy, flexible work environment
- prioritizing learning and growth
- ensuring effective and transparent communication
And don’t forget to celebrate your young employees’ achievements at the workplace. Implement key productivity metrics to measure workplace performance and reward the most successful and efficient workers regularly.