How to Improve the Generation Z Employee Experience

  • Author: Melanie Haniph

Following fast on the heels of Millennials, a new generation has emerged — Generation Z. Comprised of individuals born between 1995 and 2012, Generation Z will soon become one of the largest segments of your workforce. To attract and retain Gen Zers, you’ll need to understand what makes them different and how you can offer them a positive employee experience.

Tips for Improving the Generation Z Employee Experience

Though Generation Zers have only recently begun to enter the workforce, they are rapidly taking the place of retiring Baby Boomers and Millennials advancing into senior management. By one estimate, Generation Z is estimated to comprise 30 percent of the workforce by 2030.

Besides the size of Generation Z in the workplace, they are also unique compared to other generations. This means you may need to make adjustments to keep these younger workers both productive and engaged.

Here are some key tips to help you understand Gen Z and improve their employee experience:

Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion

Generation Z is the most ethnically diverse generation yet, with fewer individuals identifying as non-Hispanic white than in previous generations. Research by Great Place to Work found that 47 percent of surveyed Gen Z employees identified as BIPOC (black or indigenous person of color).

In addition to being more diverse, Generation Z places a high value on DEI initiatives in the workplace. They also say there is more work employers can do in that area. A Tallo survey found that 99 percent of Gen Zers believe diversity and inclusion at work are important. However, only 38 percent said they consider workplaces to be diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

To attract and retain Gen Z, you will need to maintain your focus on DEI initiatives. This includes recognizing the experiences and viewpoints of employees who will be increasingly non-white and immigrant.

Keep Up the Face-to-Face Interaction

While Gen Z is the first generation never to live without the internet, this doesn’t mean they only want to communicate digitally. In one survey, 72 percent of Gen Zers said face-to-face was their preferred method of communication at work, before text and email.

To create meaningful opportunities for connection with Gen Z employees, you’ll need to think carefully about how to engage them on-site and virtually. For employees who are remote, make sure there are plentiful moments to communicate face-to-face over Zoom. To support hybrid and on-site employees, you may need to offer more open-plan collaboration spaces.

Use Video to Get Their Attention

Generation Z was raised on social media, and they are regular users of platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. They are also more likely to watch video content than other generations. For example, while Millennials and other generations are big Facebook users, Gen Zers are more likely to visit YouTube.

Given the Gen Z attraction to video, it makes sense to use it in the workplace. You can use video to enhance your onboarding program, train employees, and build excitement during team meetings.  

Offer a Well-Designed Compensation Program

Research suggests that Generation Zers are more salary-driven than other generations. A Monster survey revealed that seven out of ten Gen Zers named salary their top work motivator. Moreover, 58 percent said they’d be willing to work nights and weekends for higher pay (compared to only 45 percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen X and Baby Boomers).

While compensation isn’t the only factor important to Gen Zers, they place compensation high on their list of top motivators. To satisfy their need for advancement, you’ll need to design a comp plan that features opportunities for salary increases, bonuses, and promotions at each stage of their career.

Providing an employee experience that addresses the needs of each generation in your workforce requires flexibility and adjustments over time. By understanding the newest generation of employees, you can build a culture that recognizes their differences and preferences at work.

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