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How to attract, engage and retain Gen Z employees

Are you hiring Gen Z? Check out these highlights from our SXSW presentation

The Center’s CEO, Dr. Denise Villa, and Heather Watson, behavioral designer, shared The Center’s new Gen Z (people born after 1996) research at SXSW 2018. We know not everyone could make it to Austin, so we wanted to share some highlights from their session.

“My Cubicle is My Bed”: What does that mean for employers?

One of the first questions they received was about the title of the presentation, “My Cubicle is My Bed.” The audience was curious what that meant. Heather gave a great answer that speaks to how different Gen Z is from previous generations.

“Gen Z is spending a lot more time in their rooms. There’s almost no reason to leave when they can get food delivered, watch practically anything on demand, and chat or play games with people from around the globe. They can even get products from almost any country delivered in two days or less; in some cases, two hours or less!

And this trend toward an on-demand lifestyle is extending from just their personal life to their work life. Along with the increase in digital nomading, the rise of remote work may be intensified with Gen Z who highly values flexibility in their work schedule.” This is definitely a trend that the Center will be watching closely.

Not only does Gen Z value flexibility, but they also want to make a difference.

When it comes to defining their career success, Gen Z wants to be inspired (whether this is a generational trend or life stage – we shall see). Denise and Heather shared some surprising facts about Gen Z from our latest national study.

  • 44% of Gen Z thinks that having a career they are passionate about is the biggest sign of success
  • 63% say “doing something you love” is the most important aspect of choosing a career over 16% who want to “do something to make money”

Heather explained that Gen Z wants to make a difference at work.

“Gen Z is collapsing work life and personal life and are looking for employers who make social issues a priority. Many Gen Z working in these value-driven companies are willing to work in a sprint type setting where a team is putting in a 24-hour cycle of work—literally napping in their cubicle—to get the job accomplished.”

The younger workforce wants frequent feedback from managers.

Just like their Millennial predecessors, Gen Z’s feelings about the type of relationship they want with their manager is also very different than Baby Boomers! Denise and Heather shared these stats from a Millennial study, and they explained Gen Z’s expectations of feedback would only increase.

  • 60% want multiple check-ins from their manager during the week
  • Of those, 40% want the interaction with their boss to be daily or several times each day

There was a lot more information that Denise and Heather shared, including the top way to attract and engage Gen Z, what makes them most likely to apply for a job, and what they expect from on-the-job training.

We are thankful to SXSW for inviting us to present and to everyone who showed up to our session. And to everyone reading this blog! Together we can unlock the power of every generation.

Wish you could see the whole Gen Z presentation?

You can! We are planning a webinar so that everyone can hear the full presentation. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when we announce the date and time! Also, Jason Dorsey, The Center’s President and Co-Founder, shares monthly updates on our keynote speaking and research discoveries.

Don’t want to wait for more Gen Z research? That’s no problem. You can download our 2017 State of Gen Z® national study right now. Click here for your free copy.

Also, connect with us on Instagram @TheGenHQ for a behind the scenes look at our team!

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