How to Prepare Your Company for Gen Z Employees

How to Manage Employees

Generation Z - Young People - Selfie

Companies and managers are obsessed with attracting and retaining millennial workers. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, however, where you should really focus your attention is on the next generation: Gen Z, the oldest of which are 23 and have therefore just begun to enter the workforce.

"We really should shut up about Millennials, because as the oldest of that group approach 40, we should realize that many have moved into middle management and are making the policies now," explains contributor Suzanne Lucas.

According to Lucas, employers that want to attract Gen Z workers must make strategic changes today to align themselves with young professionals' expectations tomorrow.

Consider this statistic, for instance: 47 percent of college freshmen took out college loans this year; although it's still high, that's down from 53 percent in 2009.

"Gen Z is … less willing to take on college debt. They've seen the damage of their parents and older siblings," Lucas says. "This means your benefits may need to change. Companies that offer loan forgiveness may have to look toward other methods to attract the best and the brightest."

Also, you'll need to start thinking more about diversity. "Gen Z understands diversity of race because they've lived it. There are far more Hispanic Gen Zers than there were in Gen X or millennials. And a lot more 'others.' That other isn't defined but could be made up largely of mixed-race people," Lucas continues. "What does this mean? Well, they grew up with their classmates looking different … In other words, diversity is part of their life experience … Don't be surprised when their normal is your company diversity goal."

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