Generation Z vs. Millennials: What Employers Need to Know

Two Gen Z individuals take a selfie with a smartphone

There’s no doubt about it: Millennials and Gen Z are taking over the workplace.

In fact, according to a recent study, Millennials alone make up 35% of the U.S. labor force, making them the largest working generation.

So, what does this influx of younger generations mean for businesses and management operations as a whole?

The good news: The answer doesn’t involve setting up selfie stations in the office. Instead, this question brings up a wealth of knowledge you can incorporate to shape your employee engagement strategies accordingly.

Here, we’ll share three essential tips for creating a successful business foundation in the Millennials and Gen Z era.

Generation Z vs. Millennials: What’s the Difference?

First, let’s clarify what generations we are talking about and discuss how they create different requirements in the workforce.

While Millennials are defined as individuals born between 1981 and 1994, Generation Z is comprised of everyone born between 1995 and 2010.

Millennials were the early adopters for mobile, however, Generation Z was raised on it. This becomes obvious once you look around at today’s youth handling tablets and cell phones better than their parents.

So, while there’s now a demand for mobile solutions thanks to Millennials’ presence in the workforce, that demand is sure to explode as more Gen Z employees funnel in.

How to Thrive in The Millennial and Gen Z Era

In 2017, 9 million GenZ-ers at working age were employed or looking for work, comprising 5% of the labor force. Since then, that number has risen – and Gen Z will continue to increasingly make up companies’ future workforces.

While this may not seem like a major reason to change any strategies, the truth is, these new generations will create massive disruption in the workforce.

As an expert on Gen Z, Millennials, and employee engagement best practices, Shyft has put together some key lessons we have learned throughout the years to keep your business thriving.

Think Mobile

If Millennials seem bored at work, it’s because they are.

According to recent Gallup reports, only 29% of Millennials are engaged at work. And it’s estimated that Millennial turnover due to lack of engagement costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion each year.

The best way to engage these groups is through mobile. As we mentioned earlier, while Millennials were mobile pioneers, Gen Z are mobile natives. Incorporate the technology they know best – and use in their daily lives – and you’ll crack the secret to engaging these generations.

Engage Employees Through Frequent Feedback

Another way to engage your younger-generation employees is to interact with them genuinely and often.

It’s been proven that Millennial workers are more engaged than non-millennials when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback. However, only 44% report receiving feedback regularly.

Millennials and Gen Z employees appreciate frequent interactions with managers and employers, which also provides an excellent opportunity for you to offer constructive feedback in a way they can digest. By using a mobile app or speaking to them through their “technological language,” you’ll be connecting with them in more than one productive way.

Appreciate – and Tap Into – Their Tech-Savvy Ways

One major benefit of having a workforce of Millennials and Gen Z?

They understand technology – and can learn how to use it quickly.

93% of Millennials and 98% of Gen Z own smartphones, which means they’re wired to understand anything that has to do with technology or mobility.

However, with all of this potential comes a downfall. The average attention span of a Millennial is a whopping 12 seconds—and for Gen Zers, that number is an even more disappointing 8 seconds.

It’s therefore crucial that any mobile solution you put in front of them is built to engage them and be easy to use. Gen Z and Millennials expect to use tools straight away without instructions, like other popular apps they use such as TikTok. By providing them with apps and tools they love to learn, you’ll be tapping into the way their brains operate, keeping them attentive, and ready to take on more each day.

Putting These Tools into Practice

Finding solutions that incorporate all three of these practices is essential for a successful employee engagement strategy and business foundation as a whole.

Shyft is one such solution that provides an engaging platform that helps employees become more involved with your company, their manager, and their team members through one secure solution. In fact, 93% of employees surveyed say they see Shyft as a benefit.

Understanding how Millennials and Gen Z think and work is the first step. Following that knowledge up with tools that speak directly to these generations is the next.

How will you enhance your workplace strategies to make way for the new era? If you’re interested in going mobile at your organization, schedule a time to meet with us at NRF 2020.

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