Over the next decade, Baby Boomers will retire, Millennials will enter executive-level roles, and Generation Z will make up 1/3 of the workforce. Generation Z will eventually become the most influential group in the workplace.

Many recruiters and members of Generation Z say they are focused on real growth opportunities and an upbeat work environment that fosters new ways of doing things. These team members are not copies of the millennial generation that preceded them. They are synonymous with technology. While Millennials were digital, Generation Z is the first generation to grow up with technology from the start. Audience segmentation is so important when marketing to Generation Z; they shouldn’t be lumped in with Millennials. Generation Z employees like to have insight into the company’s brand and how they operate. According to Stanford-affiliated research, three characteristics that describe the generation are highly collaborative, self-reliant, and pragmatic.

Employers must ask themselves, “What do hospitality team members desire from their careers?” They seek to be heard, have financial stability, work/life balance, flexibility, work that matters, opportunities to grow, and an emotional connection to others.

Additional insight into attracting and retaining Generation Z employees:

  • Peer Coaching- For this generation, it can be more effective for a peer to encourage another peer, like they have through years of schooling, than for it to come primarily from a supervisor as it may have traditionally done in years past.
  • Balance- Since working for a company that promotes work/life balance is crucial, promoting flexible hours will be most appealing.
  • Development- Most members of Generation Z thrive on a clear set of development opportunities so that they can progress in their roles, as well as develop new skills that can potentially lead to other roles.
  • Feeling part of a team- Feeling like part of something is a Generation Z must—It gives the feeling of working towards goals together, and not just working on their own. It’s truly building something that everyone contributed to.
  • Positive Culture- Establishing a positive work culture cannot be over-emphasized. People, regardless of age, have choices of where they want to spend their time, so unless you create a positive environment, employees are going to find somewhere else to work.

Smart employers are preparing for the workplace shifts that will need to occur to attract and retain Gen Z talent. Employees are the biggest investment and asset. Spending a little extra time to support these newest employees is so important in the long run.