Generation Z, also known as post-millennials, digital natives, or Gen Tech, is the demographic cohort succeeding millennials. They are currently the youngest working generation and are quickly gaining a more prominent presence in the workplace. In fact, they are projected to become triple in numbers by 2030.
However, there is a significant mentality shift between Gen Z and millennial workers. This presents a unique challenge for small business owners who need to be able to manage and motivate Gen Z workers effectively. Therefore, this article tends to presents some of the best practices on how to manage and make Gen Z productive in the workplace.
7 Best Practices to Make Gen Z Workers Productive
Gen Z workers are a lot different from millennials. They prefer the use of technology in all business operations, want clear and direct communication, and prefer more work-life balance. So, if you have some Gen Z workers working for your small business, then the below best practices can help make Gen Z workers productive:
Embrace Technological Advancements
Gen Z workers are digital natives with little to no knowledge of the world before smartphones. Gen Z wants the use of technology everywhere, from the workplace to their personal lives. So, to make Gen Z workers productive, you need to deploy modern technologies that are best relevant to your business. Some of the technological improvements you can deploy include:
- Use instant messaging apps for internal communication and news sharing.
- Use apps like Zoom to have virtual meetings.
- Use tools to automate repetitive tasks and enhance productivity, such as marketing tools, email tracking tools, project management tools, etc.
- Use advanced systems and software instead of outdated or less-efficient systems.
- Use managed IT services like Verticomm to offload critical technology needs.
In short, you should look into all the technological advancements you can embrace for your business within your business capital and then gradually deploy them to make Gen Z workers more productive.
Listen to Your Gen Z Workers
Since millennials currently dominate workplaces, so one of the major fears of Gen Z in the workplace is ageism. They are worried that biasness or forced opinions of senior colleagues will hinder their chances of growth. In short, they don’t like to get ignored. That’s why it is important to listen to your Gen Z workers and give them a sense of value and importance. To do that, you can:
- Make them participate in strategy meetings.
- Listen to their ideas.
- Value their insights no matter their experience level.
- Give them the same importance as given to millennials.
This way, Gen Z workers can feel more valued and can show more commitment and dedication to your business.
Embrace Mental Health
Gen Z is reported to have worse mental health than any other generation. This generation can become stressed very easily. However, they are also aware of what complications stress can lead to. Among Gen Z workers, workload, money, and job security are some of the issues that can make them stressed and disrupt their mental health, which eventually impacts their productivity. So, you have to prioritize mental health in your workplace. To do that, you can:
- Monitor their modes during the work.
- Encourage them to speak up about their feelings.
- Offer them more vacations.
- Offer them competitive salaries.
- Let them leave before time.
- Encourage fun activities within the workplace.
In short, you should try to make the workplace a friendly and collaborative environment that does not let Gen Z workers stress out easily due to workload.
The culture of remote working with the COVID-19 pandemic and the focus on digital transformation has changed decades-old workplace culture. Today, Gen Z expects more flexible workplaces that provide more work-life balance. So, another way to enhance the productivity of Gen Z workers is by providing them more flexible workplace environment. To do that, you can:
- Set a policy of flexible work schedules where workers can leave freely if they have completed the assigned work.
- Provide opportunities to work remotely.
- Respect their demands for personal time.
In short, Gen Z can show more productivity if they are offered more work-life balance.
Give Regular Feedback
Another key to boosting the productivity of Gen Zers is by providing them with regular feedback. This is the generation that gets motivated when someone acknowledges the hard work they are doing. They prefer daily communication and constantly look for validations. Some of the ways you can embrace the culture of regular feedback are:
- Practice daily 15-minute time-boxed meetings to discuss what was done yesterday and what to do today.
- Appreciate Gen Z workers even for small achievements.
- Set up weekly performance reviews.
Overall, engage with your Gen Z workers continuously and let them hear from you about their efforts regularly.
Ownership and Independence
Unlike millennials, Gen Z workers are less into job titles. Their major emphasis is on having more ownership and independence while doing their assigned role. You can turn this desire into productivity-boosting practice by:
- Assigning them individual tasks and making them complete the tasks from beginning to end.
- Giving them a chance to share their ideas and creativity.
- Letting them get involved in different roles to help them uplift their skills.
In short, when Gen Z workers feel more valued and have more independence and ownership control, they are seen as more committed and productive.
Gen Z is the most diverse generation in the workplace, as they are more ethnically and racially diverse than other previous generations. One reason for it is the rise in immigration over the past years. Due to this diversity, Gen Z workers have the mindset that makes them prefer to join and stay in a workplace that has diversity.
They believe that the interaction and experience they can get from a diversified workforce is of great importance. So, as the last tip to boost the productivity of Gen Z workers, try to embrace diversity in the workplace by implementing DEI training programs using platforms like inclusio and make them often interact with each other during work hours.
Gen Z is quickly gaining a larger presence in the workplace, but managing and motivating them efficiently is not easy, especially for small business owners. They want more attention and value of work to show their best outcomes.
The above 7 best practices can surely give your Gen Z workers a productivity boost. So, try out the above tips and find more yourself by interacting with your Gen Z workers and reading their priorities. Eventually, you will set a solid workplace environment where Gen Z employees feel engaged, valued, and productive.