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HR Alert: How Do We Successfully Engage Gen Z?

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Generation Z, comprised of people born from 1997-2012 and also known as the post-millennial generation, is on track to be one of the best educated and diverse generations yet.  As a consequence, it’s important to work on understanding them as they’ll be a valuable generation to attract and retain. In this article, we identify five different key ideas/concepts about which businesses should take note in their efforts to attract and retain this important part of the workforce.

Diversity/Inclusion.  Since Gen Z is on track to be the most diverse generation yet, it’s imperative to have a work environment that encourages and embraces different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. This alone can set your workplace apart. Letting your employees know that their unique views and insights are valued may help to attract these new workers. Achieving and implementing diversity and inclusion in the workplace can boost productivity and foster growth for a more successful business as a whole.

Flexibility.  The global COVID-19 pandemic has helped redefine the workplace. As we know, more Americans have embraced working from home in recent years. Hybrid work environments that allow for flexible work hours can appeal to Gen Z members who are entering the workforce. Opportunities allowing work at home or in non-traditional work environments are becoming increasingly popular, and the trend seems likely to continue:  post pandemic, employees want more hybrid and/or remote options open to them.  Though many employees understand that hybrid or fully remote work may hinder interpersonal relationships, many say that the option may remedy the age-old problem of having a work-life balance.

Emphasis on mental health.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not regarded as a public health emergency anymore, the effects of the pandemic still linger. One of these long-lasting effects is how mental health is addressed in the workplace, and these concerns will persist in years to come. Two McKinsey and Company national surveys displayed employee and employer concerns regarding mental health. According to these surveys, “60 percent of Gen Z employees surveyed report that mental health resources are important in selecting an employer, and 57 percent say they are important when deciding to stay at an employer.”  However, these surveys showed that 56 percent of small/medium sized employers did NOT offer some sort of “mental health offering,” whereas for large employers that number is 29 percent (see the link for examples of mental health offerings). However, the percentage of employers that do not offer these services could always be reduced. This is a perfect opportunity for your business to implement programs to address mental health concerns, and Gen Z employees will take note.

Room for growth.  Ongoing learning opportunities are especially important to Gen Z, as a LinkedIn global survey reflected. In fact, in the survey, 76 percent of the Gen Zers who participated in the survey believe learning is the key to succeeding in the workforce. The survey also found that those who are employed at organizations with internal mobility stay around two times longer than at companies without internal mobility. Furthermore, the majority of the managers who participated in the survey “agreed that ongoing learning can help close skills gaps on their teams.” As a result, then, creating and/or implementing programs to allow employees to learn new skills on the job and facilitate room to move within the organization will attract Gen Z employees and also positively benefit the company as a whole.

Transparency.  On its own, transparency is integral in the recruitment process of employees. Transparency is more likely to result in finding better matches for your company. Furthermore, transparency strengthens trust within a company, and employees are more likely to be content when there are clear and open lines of communication.  If your company has a clear message and is candid about its goals within it, attracting and retaining Gen Z candidates should come easier.

Overall, consider implementing these five concepts into your business as a way to appeal to the Gen Z workforce. If you have questions about this or other workplace initiatives, don’t hesitate to contact us at 716.839.9700 or info@coppolalegal.com.




Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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