There is no doubt you will need to cultivate Gen-Z talent to achieve your vision. Gen-Z, who makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population, represents a larger group of potential employees than do the Baby Boomers or Millennials. Gen-Z includes 69 million people born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s.
While it will require thoughtfulness and great understanding to build the "right" culture to bring them in, we had better figure out ways to attract and retain this talent or jeopardize the future of our businesses. After all, a workforce void of Gen-Z personnel will grow stagnant in short order.
Here are some steps that you can take, right now, to begin the necessary transition needed to attract the best Gen-Z talent--and keep them.
Leverage Your Gen-Y Talent
Identify and gather your high potential Gen-Y talent (the preceding generation to Gen-Z, known as the Millennials. People born between 1980 and 1994). Schedule and conduct informal meetings to engage them in discussions about what they think is needed to attract and retain next-generation teammates. After all, they are only a few years older--who better to ask about what motivates and inspires their younger "brothers and sisters." Use that insight to inform hiring specifications.
Deliberately Meld Your Staff
Establish ways for older and newer team members to interact and learn from each other every day. We're already seeing firm employ formal mentoring and "buddy systems" to assist in new worker assimilation. Fold those kinds of programs and practices into your everyday work environment. It will make new talent that much more likely to stick.
Rethink How Work Is Done
Think through how you can adapt your work processes to utilize the unique strengths and talents of the Gen-Z worker. To the extent possible, begin to redesign workflow that takes advantage of smartphones, apps and cloud-based applications that will be easier for Gen Z team members to understand and use.
Become a Workplace of Choice
Tomorrow's workforce comes into their first jobs expecting to be treated, communicated with and learn in the ways in which they have been socialized with from an early age.
This means that thanks, in part, to them growing up with the Internet and social media already in place, most process information rapidly, are big on individuality and are more globally minded than anyone who came before them. Be sure to consider this when designing your culture. Otherwise, you may inadvertently turn-off the next generation of worker.
To close, don't forget that we must work on not falling victim to societal stereotypes about the Gen Z worker. While they may love Snapchat and check social media 100 times a day, it is better to think in terms of how you can make your team flexible and accommodating by engaging in new ways of thinking and achieving. Promote collaboration among all generations of workers in the workplace and you will have the makings of a formula for success.