Want to Woo Gen Z Workers to Frontline Positions? Consider These Strategies.
- Oct 27, 2022 11:39 am GMT
The frontline employee landscape is changing dramatically. By 2030, Korn Ferry estimates a global talent shortfall of 85 million workers. And frontline workers are sure to be among the hardest to source and attract unless businesses change their employee experience models to appeal to Gen Z.
Why focus so much attention on Gen Z? Although Millennials make up more than one-third of the workforce, Gen Z is set to take up that mantle. Besides, Baby Boomers are continuing to retire, and Gen X is moving toward those retirement years. Consequently, appealing to the young Gen Z demographic will be essential for the survival of all companies.
This isn’t exactly news to most businesses. But organizations are still struggling with employee engagement with Gen Z. Many leaders forget that Gen Z operates from a completely different rule book than the generations before.
Ignoring that new rule book is a costly mistake.
Understanding the Gen Z Workforce Employee Experience Playbook
So, what makes Gen Z workers particularly unique? For one, they don’t want to work as their parents did. They’ve grown up seeing how the employers of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents pillaged and plundered the planet. That’s not the desired situation for most Gen Z employees. Gen Z craves purpose and cares about environmental causes. Organizations — particularly those in the energy sector — will have to reshape their philosophies, processes, and missions to connect with eco-conscientious Gen Z workers.
Another difference that makes Gen Zers stand out is that they’re not afraid to say goodbye to a paycheck. In 2021 alone, 47.8 million employees quit their jobs, and one-third of employers surveyed in early 2022 noted that Gen Zers were most likely to leave their jobs during the Great Resignation. Many of those who quit were workers who felt undervalued and disrespected. Instead of offering their talent, they withdrew it — and the ripple effect radically shook the working world.
It’s worth noting that another hallmark of Gen Zers is that they’re digital natives. These workers have grown up with high-speed internet, smartphones, and everything on demand. Frontline Gen Z employees don’t relate to antiquated paper-based systems or nontechnical employee engagement tools. Their lives are automated, and they expect the same from their jobs. As one Dell study shows, around eight out of 10 Gen Z individuals want to work in a place with state-of-the-art technology.
Creating an Atmosphere That Engages Gen Z Workers
Keeping all these factors in mind, energy industry business leaders have the opportunity to cater to Gen Z frontline candidates and employees by implementing a few key strategies:
1. Provide cutting-edge technology.
If an organization could only do one thing to woo Gen Z employees, investing in automation and digitalization would be a safe bet. In a survey by Deloitte, 51% of Gen Z workers said they gravitated toward the tech industry. Employers can streamline their Gen Z recruiting efforts by providing the next generation of frontline workers with robust, user-centric technology.
For example, having an employee engagement platform that can be accessed from anywhere would make sense for Gen Z. Remember: This generation grew up on smartphones. Gen Z sees nothing wrong with adding work components, such as employee engagement mobile apps, onto their phones. The process is second nature.
Another way to leverage technology is to gamify aspects of day-to-day work tasks. Gen Z considers playing computer games a profession, so workers from this generation won’t see gamified responsibilities as unusual.
2. Lead with a higher purpose.
Businesses prioritizing purpose (such as sustainability) are more likely to attract and retain Gen Z frontline workers. More than anything, Gen Z expects to do something important and make meaningful contributions. According to the “The Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey,” nearly half of Gen Zers make career choices based on personal ethics. Working for an employer with a strong, purpose-driven culture can help Gen Z workers feel like they’re doing something essential.
Part of working with purpose involves giving more than lip service to work-life balance. Generation X was the first generation to highlight the importance of flexibility on the job. Now, Gen Z is taking up the flag and running with it.
Gen Z is stirring the pot and shaking the status quo like all generations before them. That’s natural, but it requires companies to get innovative regarding recruitment, onboarding, and employee engagement initiatives. By concentrating on technology, sustainability, purpose, and flexibility, business leaders can position their organizations to attract the next wave of top talent.
Gys Kappers is the co-founder and CEO of Wyzetalk, a leading digital employee experience platform that enables communication and improves engagement for frontline and nondesk workers.
Get Published - Build a Following
The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.
If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.