In Generational Guru, Millennial Marketing

If you’re looking to add staff in 2020, recruiting the next generation of workers might be different than ever before.  This next crop of potential employees is a mix of Millennials and the newest generation to join the workforce, Gen Zers.

While much as been written about the impact of 80 million Millennials on the workplace, Gen Zers are only now beginning to catch employers’ attention.  The oldest of these, age 23, is just entering the workforce.  Many believe they will have as much impact – if not more – than the Millennials.

When Millennials began working, they changed the workplace.  The sheer size of this generation (80 million), coupled with low unemployment rates, meant employers had to adapt to their increased demands for work-life balance, telecommuting, communal office spaces and more. Now that the oldest members of Gen Z are entering the picture, you can expect to face another group of strong-willed employees.

Want to make the most of this up-and-coming workforce?  You’ll want to understand these trends:

Gen Zers Crave Connection

Although Gen Zers are very technologically savvy, they appreciate human connection even more than Millennials. According to Forbes, members of Gen Z appreciate collaboration and working with others- whether or not it’s in person. Even when they work remotely, Gen Zers still look for inclusion and open dialogue with those in the office. An effective solution is the use of technology like Zoom. This virtual meeting software facilitates conference calls that include screen sharing.  Technology solutions like this give Gen Zers the sense of collaboration and interaction they crave, even if they aren’t in the office.

Gen Zers Want to Hear from Their Employers – A Lot

This is a generation that looks for feedback.  Much like their predecessors, they don’t want to wait for the annual review to know how they are doing.  As they work, they want to know if they are on the right track and they like the idea of having measurable goals to track their performance. This feedback benefits them as well as you because it maintains two-way communication and encourages trust.

Gen Zers are Highly Motivated Workers

Gen Zers are self-starters with an entrepreneurial spirit.  This combination encourages them to work hard and look for ways to grow. According to Staff Base, Gen Zers often view their first jobs as steppingstones.  They will change jobs as often as ten times between the ages of 18 and 34, especially if they aren’t challenged. This kind of staff turnover can wreak havoc on your office staff and strain relations with key customers, especially among your customer support people.  What can you do to slow down the revolving door?  Give them stimulating projects and work that keeps them on their toes. Don’t let them fall into boredom. Keep them engaged and motivated by sharing KPIs and help them understand how their work contributes to them.  Share your company’s progress towards goals and encourage their professional growth and curiosity with new projects. Hold regular meetups – either formally or informally.  Keep them well-informed about how your company is doing now and the plans you have for the future.  Make sure you include them early on when you’re considering adding new products and services.  And don’t overlook their unique perspective.  They may come up with something you didn’t even consider.

Gen Zers Are Empowered by Freedom

These highly motivated employees have been billed as dependent and needy, but that’s simply not the case. It’s time to blow up the “snowflake” myth for both Millennials and Gen Zers.  It’s not playing out in the workplace.  When these employees feel their contributions are important and valued, it’s a boost to their confidence that encourages them to do better work. Although it may seem like a questionable idea, many companies have begun adopting unlimited paid time off to attract these workers.  What they’ve found is that they end up working more. As The Muse explains, the trust that these employees feel, and the decreased anxiety about the repercussions of taking a day off, lead to more productive and effective employees. This peace of mind allows for a better company culture and more trust in an organization. In fact, studies show these workers are actually not taking any more time off than previous generations.

 Gen Zers Bring Something New to the Party

Gen Zers are digital natives. They have grown up with technology throughout their lives and they view it as a way to be more efficient in the workplace. They understand how to utilize different software; the need for a website that’s optimized for mobile; the reliance on apps and the power of social media.  That’s where employers can make good use of the capabilities of this generation.  Give them the space to utilize their strengths and talents in this arena and watch the impact on your sales.

Large and Soon-to-be in Charge

Because Gen Z is different and bigger than any generation before them, (82 million according to Business Insider) companies that need employees are going to have to find ways to work with them.  They are, in fact, the future of the workforce.  And the faster companies can adapt, the easier it will be for them to hold on to talent and cutdown on high turnover.

How Marketers Can Reach – and Keep – Millennial and Gen Z Employees

It’s no secret that the outdated concept of company loyalty has been lost with Gen Z, as they will be willing to move from job to job without issue over the course of their careers. This leads to high turnover rates in companies. You need use all your marketing skills to attract and keep these workers.  Understanding how to reach and attract them, as well as how to cultivate positive communication with them throughout their time with your organization, will be crucial.

Here are some of the marketing tactics that you can adapt to attract and keep these valuable employees:

  • LinkedIn – Make sure you are active on LinkedIn, sharing stories and updates deemed appropriate for promoting your business. This is particularly important because the platform has become a go-to-site for anyone checking out a company. According to LinkedIn, there are 30 million companies on LinkedIn, and 20 million job postings available to the public.
  • Glassdoor – Because an employer’s culture is so important to these employees, you can count on them to check out your company on review sites like Glassdoor. Glassdoor provides a great opportunity for potential employees to get a feel of company culture as well as understand what other employees are saying about your organization. Make sure you monitor your Glassdoor listing and consider what past employees say as constructive feedback.  Also, encourage employees and former employees who leave under favorable circumstances to post reviews.
  • Your owned media – Your website is the first place perspective employees will go to check out your company. Make sure it’s a true reflection of your culture, is up-to-date and, of course, is mobile friendly.  You own that media.  Use it wisely to attract the right people.
  • Your social media – Utilizing your social media to showcase employee success and other day-to-day operations that demonstrate your company culture. Encourage current employees to post about the benefits of working at the company. By doing this, you are telling employees you value the work they do and the efforts they make. It also gives potential employees insight into your workplace, and entices them to want to join

Gen Z will bring challenges unlike those generations before. It will be up to organizations and marketers to ensure they are meeting the needs and expectations of those employees to the best of their ability. This will ensure that when the time comes, your company will be prepared to welcome in the young employees and know how to keep them happy and productive.

Want to know more about how to use marketing tactics to attract Millennials and Gen Zers?  We know this stuff.  We live this stuff.  We can make this stuff work for you. Check out more wisdom from our Generational Guru team here.

Rebecca Durante is a member of the Generational Guru team at Andrea Obston Marketing Communications and a certified member of Gen Z.

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