Indian urban Gen Z is truly special; they are the ‘digital natives’ and are the first social generation to have grown up with access to the Internet and portable digital technology from a young age. This demographic constituency, which comprises one-third of the Indian workforce, will be key to India’s economic and cultural aspirations. Equipped with techno-savviness and ‘you only live once’ mindset, Gen Z is reshaping the workplace. Therefore, attracting and engaging Gen Z in 2022 will be based on multiple factors like a sense of belongingness in the workplace, opportunities to experiment and explore professionally, and the overlap of organization’s vision to the Gen Z employee’s personal aspirations.
Resonance of Company’s Vision, Mission and Values with Personal Goals
Gen Z is purpose driven and wants to bring about a social change, and this is well-reflected in their choice of workplace as well. The urban Indian Gen Z prefers organisations whose goals reflect their own sense of purpose. The 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey by Deloitte revealed that 49% of the surveyed Gen Z respondents chose their workplace based on personal ethics or the kind of work they’d be prepared to do. Thus, to attract Gen Z, the vision, mission, and values of an organisation should be showcased in company web pages, social media presence, and in job descriptions (JDs). This is important because about 70% of Gen Z look at Social Media presence and online reviews before applying for a role at an organisation. Also, many members of Gen Z are keen to understand how their current employer, or a prospective employer, is creating Social Impact. Employers should, hence, practice active engagement while avoiding performative and window-dressed causes. Diversity, equity and inclusion must form a key aspect of the organisation’s cultural ethos too.
Transparent, Open and New Age Channels of communication
Being the first generation of ‘digital natives’, Gen Z is used to accessing information via the internet. Many of them are current affairs savvy and stay updated on latest happenings around the world – be it social, economic, or political. They prefer staying connected with their peers in real time through digital modes such as social media and mobile apps. Therefore, even for an organization, it is imperative to embrace digital communication channels that are both desktop and mobile friendly. This newest generation of workforce also values transparency from their employer. Therefore, organizations should share with them the big picture such as the organisational goals for the year, the key initiatives underway, and the outlook for the company.
Start-up like Open Work Culture
Even if the organisation has grown in size, in the teams comprising Gen Z workforce, it is important to have a culture of access and approachability of leaders. Delegation with empowerment and accountability resonates well with this younger group. They are keen to exhibit their talent, share ideas and spend quality time with their leaders. They want to be included in the decision-making process and not just execution. In 2022 and beyond, we will see organizations adopting newer techniques to harness this creative and innovative streak in Gen Z with initiatives such as facetime with the C-suite to present their business ideas and representation in the boardroom to bring a Gen Z perspective.
Continuous Learning Opportunities and Clarity of Career Progression
The LinkedIn Learning Report 2021 revealed that 76% of the Gen Z employees believe that learning is key to success in their career and about 69% agreed that learning will help them expand their current role. Gen Z is good at multitasking and is ever aspiring for knowledge and learning. They are also highly receptive and responsive learners and spend a lot of time online in acquiring new skills. Their tech and digital savviness and little to no experience of working in physical offices makes them the perfect candidate for online training programs. Learning-by-doing and experiential training methods such as management lessons through movies, simulations, case studies, etc., keep the Gen Z engaged and interested. They also expect a clear career path to be transparently explained and laid out in front of them through regular reviews and recalibration of goals and opportunities to expand their responsibilities.
Well-being and Connection Beyond the Workplace
Employees, including Gen Z, are re-evaluating their preferences in life and thereby, allowing flexible work time and workplace helps with the ongoing engagement of Gen Z. This segment of human capital prefers to work with an organization that supports their well-being beyond the workplace and helps them integrate their professional and personal lives in a seamless manner. More socialising opportunities at work help them thrive. The employee experience – right from talent acquisition stage to being familiar with the work culture once on-boarded – matters a lot to Gen Z.
Gen Z is the most mobile workforce so far – they’re not afraid to try new things, push the limits and take risks. This segment of the workforce is outspoken and works with an entrepreneurial streak. As we enter the New Year 2022, and more Gen Z enters the workplace, a huge generational shift will happen at the workplace. Unconventional, creative, and inclusive initiatives by organizations will be key to millennial engagements. People Managers will have to unlearn and learn new age engagement methods and offer a 360-degree development program to the Gen Z employees, to build loyalty and professional fulfilment. Organizations will need to adopt an agile approach to Gen Z workforce management in the coming years, to become the employer of choice for this cohort.