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Understanding Gen-Z Talent

Understanding Gen-Z Talent

It’s no news flash that Gen Z is already in the workplace. As the most ethnically-diverse and largest generation in American history to date, for many companies Gen Z will soon be the majority of their talent pipeline. And while companies have been able to get them in the door, many are already finding it challenging to engage and retain them long enough to see an impact.

That’s why understanding Gen Z is crucial as your company invests in its talent strategies for new emerging leaders in your workplace culture.

What’s important for you to know?

Gen Zers enter your doors with a different view of culture, values, and skills to consider. From studies, interviews, and everyday observation, we know that one of Generation Z’s top motivators at work is the ability to have meaning and purpose in their work (75 percent of Gen Z)

Long gone are the days when a company can simply hire, command and control, and assimilate its employees based only on what’s important to its bottom line – Gen Z is NOT having it! Try this and the revolving door will begin.

Here are several Gen Z characteristics to note as you onboard and develop talent and culture strategies to engage and retain them.

Gen Z is known to:

  • be tech-savvy, highly intelligent, and have strong opinions about the world
  • be more inclusive and value equity in the workplace
  • be independent and desire constant feedback from their employer
  • place positive and mentor relationships with a leadership as essential to their work environment
  • value learning and growth/ development opportunities to challenge them and expand their skills
  • be entreprenuerial minded – Gen Z’s crave innovation and entrepreneurship and 55% of Gen Z’s, globally, strive to own their own business or desire to work in a startup
  • prefer face time (virtual or in-person) with their leadership to learn and build relationship

These young professionals are looking for an environment where they can thrive and feel engaged in their work. They want to be able to embrace their individuality and uniqueness without judgment or pressure from the company culture. They also want a workplace where there is transparency and a collaborative atmosphere, with room for autonomy.

Gen Z wants to know that their values are important and they’re welcome to be themselves at work. They want to feel like they’re growing personally and professionally, so we need to tap into their skillsets, passions, and interests.
Gen zers often value growth over stability in terms of work-life. They want to feel like they are progressing in their careers and not stagnant at any point. Gen zers are impressed with self-starters or people who can do things by themselves without guidance or help. Most Gen zers don’t want someone telling them what to do, they want to figure it out on their own.

According to a recent survey, 76% of Gen Zers described themselves as responsible for driving their own career.

Considering the above, how do you create an talent experience that supports the needs and characteristics of Gen Z talent?

You listen and apply learnings!

Gen Z talent wants to be heard. They’ll tell you what is working and what is not. Just ask, and then listen.

As this new talent pipeline walks in your door, conduct a simple and practical discovery assessment to understand if your organization is missing the mark in supporting your young professional. You may find that it may be time to revisit your talent development approach within your company.

If you haven’t already, note the above and begin to work internally or with a trusted partner to an assessment that results in the design of leadership and professional development opportunities for continuous learning that empowers GenZ to drive and not drift in your organization.

Equip Gen Z with the grip and traction they need to drive themselves and your business forward from the moment they join the team.

They want to be able to contribute their creativity and skills to the organization.

What does this mean for your workplace?

The key is for you, as an employer, to be intentional to understand these particularities of Gen Z so they can better engage them in the workforce.

Your ability to set them up for success with the right talent strategy and competencies results in:

  • Increased competitive advantage
  • Higher engagement
  • Higher productivity and performance
  • Increase confidence and competence in their roles
  • Ability to take ownership of their career path

…among others outcomes.

Generation Z’s values and skills will shape the future of work due to growing up in this new environment of rapid change with a digital focus. The workforce is evolving, and the talent is evolving as well. It is up to the leaders to keep the evolution in alignment for success.

So we’re working with forward-thinking start-up and growth phase companies that care about getting talent development strategies and culture right from the start and recognize the value of their early career talent and bottom line. Those committed to accelerating leadership and elevating the outcomes of young professionals. We help these companies build custom professional development tools and inclusive cultures to ensure that they help emerging leaders, especially people of color, to thrive and advance within organizations.

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