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Engaging Gen Z in the workplace in 2023 and beyond

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Every generation brings new perspectives to the workplace, so why does Generation Z seem so different?

Growing up with continuously advancing technology made Gen Z quick to adapt and eager to learn, but economic uncertainty and a global pandemic left them wary of making long-term commitments.

While employees in the early stages of their careers often go through an exploratory phase, Gen Z has definite ideas about what they want from an employer and won’t engage if their needs aren’t met.

A disturbing 54% of Gen Z is disengaged at work, so how can organizations better connect with this growing segment of the workforce?

1. Emphasize Skills-Based Learning

In general, Gen Z is more interested in widening their skillsets than climbing the corporate ladder. Of Gen Zers who are considering a change in employment, 76% say they want more opportunities to learn and practice new skills — the same percentage as those looking for higher compensation.

Providing customized learning and development opportunities can help Gen Zers fill in skills gaps while following a career path that excites them.

2. Incorporate Popular Technology

As Gen Z proliferates the workplace, they’re bringing their tech preferences with them. To connect, stay on top of tech trends and integrate them into your communication strategies. For example, a video announcement from leadership is more likely to grab their attention than an email.

Likewise, having a mobile HR app that lets employees manage their schedules, access important information, and keep in touch with coworkers on the go is a technological convenience many expect.

3. Support Mental Well-Being

Work-life balance ranks high on Gen Z’s list of priorities, but they’re specifically looking for more emotional support from employers. For now, organizations are coming up short — Gen Z is less likely than other generations to feel that their workplaces are psychologically and emotionally healthy.

One way companies can help Gen Z manage the stressors of everyday life is to provide access to mental health resources so they can bring their best selves to work.

4. Ask For and Give Input

Contrary to some popular beliefs, Gen Z is not more sensitive than other generations — they prefer honest, constructive criticism that provides clear steps for improvement. Here, organizations have an opportunity to leverage Gen Z’s curiosity and drive to help them grow personally and professionally.

The annual review just isn’t going to cut it. An integrated performance management system that enables transparent, two-way communication between employees and managers can help fulfill Gen Z’s need for regular feedback.

5. Help Make Connections

Given that many Gen Zers began their careers remotely, it’s no surprise they crave human interaction through the workplace. But creating a sense of community means more than virtual ice breakers and monthly townhalls.

HR can facilitate connections by bringing together people who share goals, interests, and passions through mentorships, employee resource groups, and volunteer opportunities. An online social collaboration tool can help those connections grow organically.

Choosing HR Technology for a Multigenerational Workforce

It may sound contradictory, but the more advanced the technology, the better HR can personalize each employee’s experience.

A unified HR and payroll system pairs the capabilities HR needs with what the entire workforce is looking for — simplifying processes, breaking down communication barriers, and empowering employees to take ownership of their careers and work relationships.

See how Paylocity can help Gen Z transition smoothly into your workforce while improving engagement across all levels of experience.

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