In an age where young people are predicted to have 17 jobs over 5 careers, finding quality young employees only to lose them can be a source of frustration. While hiring a Gen Z can prove to be a valuable asset for your business, keeping them engaged, productive and on the job can be a difficult task for any employer.
The process of finding, screening and hiring new staff can be costly and lengthy. Taking into account aspects such as lost productivity, recruiting fees and retraining, research suggests it can cost up to 150% of a departing employee’s salary to replace them.
On the other hand, increasing an employee’s level of engagement in the workplace could potentially improve performance by 20% and reduce the employees chances of departure by a massive 87%.
So, when we’re battling a culture of job hopping that can cost a business big bucks, how do we keep our Gen Z employees happy and on the job?
1. Job security
When we talk about Gen Z, the word “flexibility” comes up a lot. People think that all young people want to be able to create their own schedules; that they’re constantly ready to up and leave a job; and that they prefer casual work to full time. But these perceptions aren’t necessarily true.
Research has shown that at age 20 – 21, 86% of young people ranked job security as highly important. And at 26 – 27 that figure rose to 95%. Most young people are actually looking for a stable career.
2. Effective communication
According to Pew Research Center, mobile phone owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day—that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month.
Gen Z are often referred to as the generation that is “always on”. They’re contactable at all hours and can be relied upon to have their phone handy at all times. But that doesn’t mean they will always answer it.
A survey by LivePerson showed that 75% of Gen Z would prefer to communicate via text message or a messenger app than to actually speak on the phone. This means that dialling them isn’t always the best way to get a message across and using the method of contact that they’re most comfortable with can help you communicate with them better.
3. Workplace Culture
Only 28% of Gen Z say that money would motivate them to “work harder and stay with their employer longer,” according to research by Millennial Branding. While money is obviously a factor, Gen Z tend to be more motivated by a fun and interesting workplace culture or the potential for opportunities within the business. In other words, the work environment takes prominence over the pay cheque. Making sure there is opportunities to build comradery within your team, as well as progress within the business, could go a long way in keeping your Gen Z employee engaged and on the job.
4. Opportunities within the business
Research from Culture Co Op found that nearly 60% of Gen Z said they were doing some form of freelancing. With so many online avenues for making money, Gen Z are aware of how business operates. This can be good for an employer because it means Gen Z are often more consciousness of costs, travel time, customer service.
On the other hand, this entrepreneurial spirit can mean that Gen Z are more attuned to look for better opportunities. By showing Gen Z the potential for opportunities within your business, you can potentially negate this.
5. Short term goals
Gen Z have grown up in a world that has changed rapidly. They’ve experienced the rise of online shopping, watched digital technologies become obsolete within a few years and grown up in an everchanging work landscape; everything is up in the air. In the workplace, this means that short term incentives are more effective than long term ones. Your Gen Z employee is more likely to be motivated by short term gains than a long-term alternative like 10-year incentive for their super fund.