You’re on top of industry trends and have a plan for everything. But is your company ready for the next big wave to hit the workforce? At 61 million Snapchatting people strong, Gen Z is poised to make a big splash. Read on for a crash course in communicating with these digital natives.
But First, Who Exactly is Gen Z?
According to Pew Research anyone born from 1997 on is part of this group, and like every generation before them, they have their own signature traits. Recognizing the unique circumstances that shaped this generation is crucial to understanding them. While older generations (millennials included) have adapted to major advancements in technology (like television, computers and the internet), Gen Z is the first generation to experience it all, all of the time right from the start. This experience makes them the most technologically savvy group in history. They have never lived in a world without iPhones and are completely comfortable multi-tasking with up to five screens at once. Witnessing the impact of the 2008 recession has made them more fiscally conservative than their millennial predecessors. Though very close with their parents and teachers, they were raised to be independent and realistic about working hard to achieve success.
So, what leadership skills should you master to make the most of your working relationship with Gen Z?
Coach, Don’t Command.
Gen Z-ers are hard workers and expect to be a part of the company culture from day one. They thrive in companies that align with their values and when given the space to formulate, share and adapt their own ideas based on feedback. Micromanagers will stifle the best that this bright generation brings to the table.
Verbal Communication is King.
Despite being the first generation raised on digital, surprisingly, verbal communication still rules. Research gathered by Fundera suggests that 61% of digital natives prefer to chat in person. This group is keenly aware of how Millennials are perceived as less personable by employers and view face-to-face meetings as a chance to prove that they should be taken seriously at work. Because they are exceedingly familiar with all the ways to communicate digitally, they’re sharply aware of the limitations, too. Remember, security is their thing.
But make it Quick and Frequent.
They’re used to moving quickly from subject to subject so the most valuable interactions with them should be short and to the point, but more frequent. In addition to the standard annual review, consider checking in with them weekly and quarterly. This group values honesty, respects feedback and is always interested in learning.
And Not All Communication is Verbal.
How your office is set up says a lot about your company. If you’re behind the times with tech, your office could seem dated to these digital natives and they’ll be quick to move on. Competitve and independent by nature, they prefer the privacy of individual offices to open floor plans.
Communication with Gen Z will be different than with Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials, but keep these points in mind and this optimistic bunch will help propel your company well into the future. Call us today and learn more about how we can help your team communicate more effectively with any demographic.