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5 Keys to Successfully Managing Gen Z Employees in Tech

The author of this article is EPAM Lead Executive Assistant, Viktoryia Famina.

Lead Executive Assistant, Viktoryia Famina

What is Gen Z?

By 2020, Gen Z represented about 25% of the labor market, and – although this number may vary slightly based on what source you look at – it will continue to grow. For current managers, leaders, and companies in general, it is increasingly important to learn to manage and work with this new generation. In my work, I often see that Gen Z employees need a bit more attention and a personalized approach. As they enter the labor market, they seem to require more adaptations and an upgraded workplace environment.

Generation Z, commonly known as Gen Z, refers to the demographic group that follows Generation Y, also known as Millennials. Gen Z is generally defined as those born from the mid-to-late 1990s through the early 2010s (the exact years can vary depending on the source).

generations graph

Members of Gen Z are often called “digital natives.” They are known for their comfort with technology and their ability to process information quickly. In this article, I share some strategies and advice on how to effectively manage representatives of this new generation in the workplace. Of course, some of tips below are universal, but I also highlight those that are specifically relevant for Gen Z.

Tip 1 — Welcome a tech-based approach

Every aspect of the daily routine of Gen Z is associated with digital tools and solutions. Implementing AI, automation, and gamification for onboarding processes, training, management, and communication is a necessity.

Upgrading and developing the tech approach in your company can begin with small steps, such as using project management apps to keep the team connected, updated, and focused on current tasks. These tools are well-suited to Gen Z, since they are used to visual, short-form communication.

The same is true for communication tools, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Discord. These platforms allow the easy exchange of ideas and quick updates and are advantageous for a mobile lifestyle and remote work from any location.

Tip 2 — Promote open communication

Gen Z values honesty and transparency. To engage and retain these employees, you need to be open about business decisions, challenges, and successes. In addition, it is important to encourage employees to share their ideas and suggestions, consider regular feedback sessions, and promote a company culture that values open dialogue.

Gen Z workers need to feel heard, appreciated, and involved. That’s why regular team meetings can be a beneficial tool if employees feel free to express their ideas, views, and concerns.

Digital communication platforms (like Teams’ chats, channels, and other groups both formal and informal) can also play a vital role in facilitating instant messaging and forming interest-specific groups.

Additionally, Gen Z appreciates the opportunity to give instant feedback, so providing a platform for feedback – an anonymous one is even better – can be effective. Alert managers can find insights there and act promptly to address any issues.

Tip 3 — Provide learning opportunities

Gen Z employees value growth. Offer them opportunities to learn and develop new skills through mentorships, e-learning platforms, or challenging projects that test their abilities and help them learn.

Gen Z is motivated by learning new things. Opportunities to do so contribute to their job satisfaction and engagement. In-house training, partnering with e-learning platforms, and even free subscriptions can become part of the benefit package for these employees. Participation in conferences and seminars will address their desire to learn while providing them with networking opportunities, which are also important for them.

Truly, for many in Gen Z, the opportunity to learn and grow is just as important as their paycheck. An organization that provides continuous learning opportunities can effectively retain these younger employees.

Tip 4 — Prioritize work-life balance and flexibility

For Gen Z, maintaining a work-life balance is important. Flexible working hours when possible and a friendly work environment can help foster creativity and keep them engaged. This generation highly values their personal time and maintaining a healthy balance between work obligations and personal interests.

Letting employees choose their working hours, provided they meet deadlines and perform to expectations, can be an excellent solution in the tech sphere. Flexibility can be provided in various ways, it’s not only about work hours and work from home options, but also includes choices in assignments and learning opportunities. Common strategies include:

  • Offering flexible work hours to acknowledge that not everyone is productive at the same time, and to help employees balance their personal and professional lives.

  • Allowing remote work is another good strategy, since Gen Z can easily adapt to using digital platforms to communicate and complete work tasks.

  • Encouraging the use of vacation days to help Gen Z maintain balance by taking time off to recharge.

Approaches like these align with the habits and preferences of Gen Z and help them feel more satisfied with their work environment.

Tip 5 — Provide regular feedback

Gen Z employees appreciate regular feedback and recognition. Provide constructive feedback and recognize their achievements to help them grow and encourage improvement.

Since this generation grew up with instant access to information and continuous updates, they often expect real-time feedback in their professional lives. Frequent feedback sessions can help Gen Z employees ensure that they are on the right track and alert them to any issues that need to be addressed.

Regular feedback sessions also enhance transparency and open communication, both of which are greatly appreciated by Gen Z.

For Gen Z employees, it’s important to receive timely and targeted feedback and also to have the opportunity to express their views, provide feedback to management, and to understand that their insights can lead to valuable results and improve team dynamics or even influence business strategies.

Conclusion

Successfully managing Gen Z employees in the tech sector requires a nuanced approach. We’re all new to managing this generation, so we should experiment and follow helpful hints along the way.

Based on my experience, I conclude that for effectively managing Gen Z we should:

  1. Integrate technology into daily operations;

  2. Make business communications honest and transparent;

  3. Incorporate continuous learning into everyday work activities using gamification;

  4. Offer development opportunities through varied projects, training programs, or e-learning platforms; and
  5. Continue promoting healthy work-life balance and respecting their personal time.

In essence, effective management of Gen Z in tech comes down to creating a supportive, transparent, and flexible work environment that values personal growth and collaboration.

The views expressed in the articles on this site are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Anywhere Club or its members.
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