Communication essentials: Gen Z's workplace values

Today’s ‘communication essential’ features a guest blogger. Our intern, Emma Briskin, has joined to share her thoughts on connecting your values to Gen Z. I thought her blog was so well done as quickly and clearly raises some valuable points you should be considering in your Gen Z hiring strategy. Enjoy!

As spring blooms and a new class of graduates leave college to enter the workforce, the numbers of Generation Z members in offices across America continue to rise. Are you ready for us?

Gen Z, born in 1996 or later, differs from our millennial older siblings. One of the most important characteristics employers should know is that we are uniquely driven by values. In fact, according to Deloitte, 77% of Gen Z wants to work at organizations whose values align with their own. Gen Z no longer forms opinions of companies based solely on their products, services or reputation, but instead on their values and ethics.

So, what’s the best way to be prepared for an influx of Gen Zers? Consider your organization’s values. Here are some of Gen Z’s workplace values so you can align yours:

Balance Is Key

2020 demonstrated the value of a work-life balance, as our homes quickly became our workplaces. As life returns to normal, restoring that balance remains crucial for Gen Z employees, 39% of whom value it the most when choosing a workplace. Attracting Gen Z back to the office does not mean installing another ping-pong tableꟷit means offering flexible remote work options alongside in-person collaboration opportunities. It means normalizing taking PTO, as nearly 24% of Gen Z feels guilty taking time off work. Balance is key, so make sure your organization honors it.

Communicate Often

How often do you communicate with your organization? Do you have frequent check-ins? 97% of Gen Z values regular feedback on their work, with 60% wanting check-ins with managers weekly, according to Forbes. Craft values that promote communication between employees and supervisors to ensure that Gen Z learns and grows on the job.

In addition, Gen Z is the first fully digital generation, meaning that we are competent across platforms and devices. Though we value in-person connection more than you may think, that can mean a Zoom call instead of a phone call, or Slack texts alongside traditional emails. Be cautious when setting this “always on” norm: Too much availability can disrupt work-life balance and cause headaches for your employees.

Diversity and Inclusion: Not Just HR Buzzwords

Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history. 69% of Gen Z are more likely to apply to companies that emphasize a racially and ethnically diverse audience, and 83% of Gen Z candidates said commitment to D&I is important. D&I is no longer a small part of HR. It needs to be companywide and at the forefront of your mind. Dedicate a value to this topic. How can your organization not just value inclusivity, but actively seek to live it?

Generation Z makes up over 20% of the U.S. population, and members are rapidly entering the job market. With workplace amenities gone and job offerings more diverse than ever, it is vital that organizations go back to basics and make sure your values are clear, present and aligned with the ethics of the next generation. We are comingꟷare you prepared?