HR’s Guide to a Gen Z Workforce
Generation Z is entering the workforce with new technology & employer expectations. It’s up to HR to reshape the employee experience & build the workforce of the future.
Just when companies are beginning to understand how to manage their growing workforce of Millennials and Baby Boomers, there’s a now new kid on the block: Generation Z.
This digitally-native generation not only expects, but demands, instant gratification, and personalization in every facet of their lives – workplace included. They don’t simply work for the paycheck, but rather for the culture, opportunity to make an impact, and recognition. If those goals aren’t being met, most young employees show no hesitation to jump ship.
According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s U.S. CEO Survey, 62% of companies plan to grow headcount in the next twelve months. With Gen Z making up more and more of today’s talent pool, businesses must first understand how to successfully manage and retain these new employees, who will soon make up over half of the workforce. But with the help of emerging technology and data, HR teams can understand the ins and out of the workforce of the future to achieve success. Here are a few insights to help you get started:
Personalized employee experiences pay off
While some find it frightening to receive hyper-personalized ads or have a brand know everything about them, Millennials and Gen Z can’t remember a time when that wasn’t the norm. The same is true for what these employees expect in the workplace – a tailored experience that is focused on their individual goals, work style, and preferences.
Successful companies are already leveraging emerging technologies and data analytics in several business areas like finance and sales. However, what many don’t realize is those same capabilities can be applied to HR to make the workplace more human and personalized to each employee. The analytics capabilities in leading HCM solutions allow HR teams to customize employee experiences by delivering personalized content, predicting what new roles individuals may excel in, recommending tailored learning opportunities and even forecasting at-risk talent to signal more 1:1 time that might be needed with his or her manager.
It’s important to remember there’s no one-size fits all strategy to employee experience. But with the help of new technology, a one-size fits one approach is both easier said and done.
Getting answers should be as quick as calling an Uber
Gen Z has spent most, if not all, of their formative years with on-demand and constant connectivity. They expect their workplace technology to mimic the ease they’re accustomed to in their personal lives and want business applications to offer the same consumer-grade user design and experience that they’re used to.
With mobile-responsive design technology, HR teams can meet this expectation. Through a single, conversational experience across all devices – from desktop to mobile – employees can have access to workplace resources and tasks at any time, anywhere.
But perhaps the most impactful capability helping HR meet increased expectations are digital assistants. When integrated with HCM solutions, digital assistants can respond to common inquiries instantaneously, satisfying Gen Z’s on-demand expectations while saving valuable HR time to focus on more strategic initiatives. Additionally, with machine learning, digital assistants can apply data from a specific user’s profile to form personalized recommendations, delivering more accurate and tailored content with every interaction.
Keep things short, sweet and visual
Not only does Gen Z have new expectations for when and where they want to receive content, but they’re also writing new rules on how they want to receive content. While millennial workers were already pushing boundaries with their 12-second attention span, Gen Z employees stay engaged for an even shorter amount of time with an average attention span of only 8 seconds. They’re also more drawn to visual content vs. long-form or written papers. This means HR teams need to rethink the way they approach Gen Z workers with important information that requires employee engagement, like training, onboarding, performance reviews and more.
One way to find the right strategy for your team is to test out a few different channels and forms of content. HR teams can distribute similar content in a variety of ways and then analyze the data to see how their employees are engaging. Chances are the 3-page memo will be less engaging that a quick video tutorial.
See for yourself
Don’t just take my word for it, look at the HR departments that have embraced technology and achieved success. Earlier this year, Royal Cargo, a global leader in cargo transportation and handling, partnered with Oracle to digitally transform its employee management strategy. Royal Cargo’s employees can now access personalized information specific to their individual role, experience, and needs. And the tools can be accessed anywhere, anytime to provide employees with on-demand, personalized answers for nearly any HR-related request.
Prepare today for the workforce of tomorrow
Employees are most productive when work is intuitive, flexible and fun, and emerging technology in HR can help companies meet rising expectations and win the talent war in an increasingly competitive landscape. While technologies like AI and machine learning may sound intimidating, the truth is that’s what is expected by your future Gen Z workforce. And while AI can’t (and shouldn’t) replace the need for skilled HR professionals, it can help to create an environment where employees of all generations feel acknowledged, valued and satisfied.