Last week I spoke with a marketing director who had just taken on 4 new hires. All Generation Z (born 1995 and younger) with pretty much zero work experience, especially in the B2B marketing space. He knew that his work would be cut out getting them on-boarded and contributing to the business – it was also a shock for him given that his marketing team had doubled overnight. His main concern was – “I’ve doubled my team; how do I keep them engaged?”
He was concerned about how quick some might jump ship, and how he can ensure his superstars are reaching their maximum potential?
Generation Z – the stats
- Generation Z (or Gen Z) is the newest generation and are typically in their early 20’s – or still at school.
- They spend at least 6 hours a day online – usually glued to a mobile device.
- Most are savvier with their money than those in previous generations.
- They are more health-conscious and care deeply about work-life balance.
- 22% have already made money online through sites like Etsy or Amazon.
- 61% of university students would prefer to be entrepreneurs rather than employees.
- They value honesty and intelligence as their 2 most important qualities in strong management.
Here at Alex James Digital, we have been involved with 1000’s of marketing placements throughout all workplace generations. We thought it best to send out some hints and tips on how to keep Generation Z engaged, productive and adding value to your marketing team.
Learn about Generation Z
The difficulty is, they are only just entering the workforce now. As we discuss above, research shows that they are money-conscious, entrepreneurial and realistic.
Generation Z love individual challenges and unique projects – in fact, 56% want to write their own job descriptions. To keen your new team engaged, think about how you can include Gen Z in playing to their own strengths while aligning that to your company goal.
One thing that is certain is that Generation Z are completely comfortable with the digital world. They have spent money hours each day being marketed to and already have a sound understanding of online marketing!
Communication is key
Surprisingly, the best way to communicate with Generation Z is face-to-face. You would think that text chat would be the highest, but in leaders – they expect direct honesty and intelligence in person. Generation Z have been raised in tough and unstable economic times – and they’re smarter than you think.
Because of their knowledge of current affairs and excellent respect for hard work, make sure you’re leading from the front and keeping abreast of the latest marketing methodologies.
Offer both independence and collaboration
Millennials (born mid 80’s-late 90’s ish) are the most collaborative and keen to share – hence the tremendous growth of social media.
However, Gen Z are keen to have their own space and believe that if you want it done right – you’ve got to do it yourself.
As such, think about when projects can be individual and when you’re going to have to get them together. Give out group projects but ensure individuals are responsible for certain tasks.
Check out your hiring process
As those in Generation Z are keen to have access to personalised roles that play to their perceived strengths, they want to show their flair, skills and personality.
“Hire for attitude, train for skill” is a classic phrase when recruiting but still stands accurate when hiring those in Gen Z.
Look at your processes and focus on video interviews, personality questions and cultural alignment. As Gen Z are highly adaptable, you’ll find that skill can be developed whereas attitude will probably remain consistent.
Embrace work-life balance
It’s likely that those in Gen Z are already earning money elsewhere with a side hustle. They’re also keen to watch their own diets as well as making time for leisure. It’s likely that the traditional 9-5 working day will develop into something totally different.
As a manager, you’ll have to embrace their core values – or they can (and will) go elsewhere. You can offer flexi-time, subsidised gym, company laptops – even “life-advice” like money management and getting onto the property ladder.
It’ll be an interesting journey as Generation Z meet with Millennials, Generation X and even Baby Boomers. The dynamics in the workplace will shift and it’s important to get your team aligned if you are looking at growing the business in a sustainable manner.
If you’re looking to add further marketing talent to your team, please contact James Haffner on 0161 773 8455 or firstname.lastname@example.org