As Generation Z starts entering their early twenties, more and more companies are now hiring employees from this generation.
In 2020, Gen Z already made up 24% of the global workforce and this number will only continue growing in the nearest future. With that in mind, employers need to be ready to manage remote employees from this generation.
Read on to find out how you can build an effective Generation Z remote team and what are the five best practices you can use to achieve it.
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Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z employees are not the same as Millennials.
Essentially, Gen Z includes everyone born between 1996 and 2012 which means your Gen Z employees are 26 years old and younger.
Known as Digital Natives, Gen Z employees are perfect for remote teams, but they also have their own priorities that employers need to accommodate (e.g. work flexibility, opportunities for innovation).
Before you can start thinking of your strategy, you need to understand what Gen Z employees are like.
Putting together a good team starts with onboarding remote employees in a way that sets them up for success.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what kind of employees are Gen Zs.
Here are some key points on Generation Z employees.
They are able to adapt quickly and are very resilient.
In fact, they value flexibility a lot.
Many of them started working around the time the pandemic began which means they likely only possess the working from home experience and don’t know what it’s like to have a traditional 9-to-5 job in the office.
They are very comfortable with technology and the digital world.
Moreover, many of them are more interested in the opportunities the Internet provides compared to what they can do offline, in real life.
They have a lot of experience with social media which allows them to better understand how Internet culture works.
They are innovators
They are eager to learn and are focused on innovation.
However, they often expect success to happen quickly which can result in disappointment and frequent job-hopping (which they don’t view negatively).
Remote work comes with some disadvantages and disconnectedness is one of them.
In order to help your Gen Z employees to overcome it, you need to focus on building a strong company culture.
If you can make your Generation Z employees feel more connected to their employer and their remote team members, you might be able to keep them from hopping to a different job when the opportunity arises.
Daily and weekly team meetings are a great way to keep your remote team members connected. However, scheduling a team meeting is often very time-consuming. Having visibility over each team member’s schedule makes it way easier. Learn how to take advantage of shared team calendars.
The reason why company culture is so important for this is that your mission, vision, and values could help your employees feel more connected to your company despite working remotely.
Much like Millennials, Gen Z employees are very socially aware and keep up with the current events and issues.
Employers who show their employees their involvement in supporting important causes could build a stronger bond with their Gen Z employees.
Gen Z employees want to feel that their work has a purpose.
This is why working for a company that makes sustainable products or supports anti-racism charities could make them feel more invested in their work.
It’s a way to establish an emotional link with your Gen Z (and Millennial) remote employees.
While Generation Z employees can be quite resilient, it doesn’t mean they don’t suffer from stress, anxiety, and even exhaustion.
This is why creating a healthy environment that supports a good work-life balance for them or helping them achieve it on their own is essential for having a successful and productive remote team.
To enable your Gen Z employees to achieve this work-life balance, you can utilize a number of different techniques.
Outsourcing allows you to reduce the amount of work that needs to be completed.
This gives your employees an opportunity to focus more on the most important tasks while also having more time to rest and get back to work with more energy.
You can outsource some work by hiring professional writers to handle your website content, an online assistant to manage your team schedule, and other daily tasks.
You probably already cover health insurance for your employees, but it is still a good idea to offer extra bonuses in this regard.
Moreover, you can even hire a psychologist to help your employees improve their mental health.
A psychologist will make it easier for your Gen Z employees to deal with stress, burnout, loneliness, and other common issues.
Hence, they require an individual approach.
Speaking of approaching your employees individually, there’s one more thing you need to do in this regard.
Providing opportunities to your remote Gen Z employees is one of the best ways to get them more engaged in what they do.
Generation Z values independence which is why they need to have some autonomy in the decisions they make and the projects they manage.
On the other hand, they also value creativity and have a desire to learn and try new things.
As a result, Gen Z employees can get bored if they don’t have a creative outlet.
They like to be challenged, find solutions, and work on problems from a creative side.
In a way, creative group projects are an opportunity for Gen Z employees to connect while individual projects are an opportunity to show their abilities and get new experiences.
That being said, “opportunities” doesn’t only refer to tasks, projects, and problems.
You should also consider remote education and training opportunities for your Gen Z employees.
Because they are eager to learn, it will be easier to motivate them to improve their skills and upgrade their qualifications.
Nevertheless, you should still remember that Gen Z employees are wary of college debt and instead prefer practical experience and alternative methods of education.
This is precisely why so many Gen Z employees enroll in online courses and watch YouTube tutorials.
They consider these to be just as useful as education in its most traditional form – that is, getting a college or university degree.
Gen Z employees are often self-taught and rely on themselves to learn the things they want to know.
In addition to that, Generation Z prefers interactive learning environments.
They want to learn by doing.
Their learning paths are often highly personalized and their learning experiences are collaborative.
They share their knowledge online with others while learning through the Internet themselves.
With all of this in mind, you need to also take into account the unique setup that you have with your team.
Because you have a remote team, you will likely need to train your employees remotely too (unless you manage a hybrid team and can bring your employees to the office).
Therefore, digital materials and virtual communication are the primary way for you to deliver information to new and current employees.
Considering how important flexibility is for Generation Z, it’s obvious that you will need to be flexible at all times.
Flexibility also means adaptability – your employees will be quite resilient to changes and will usually be able to keep up even with a quickly changing environment.
However, flexibility should be seen on your end as well.
For instance, if you see that a completely remote setup isn’t working for your company, you might want to try hybrid teams as an alternative.
This could also help Gen Z employees feel more connected by visiting the office for important events, training face-to-face there, and participating in different offline team-building activities.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the basics of flexibility either.
Allowing Gen Z employees to set their own working hours, letting them try new software without supervision, etc. will help you show your Gen Z employees that you value freedom of choice.
All in all, Generation Z employees are the perfect addition to any remote-first team because they are so adept at using technology and “living online”.
However, employers need to understand how to make their remote Gen Z employees happy.
Utilize the practices from this article and create a successful remote team.
Cynthia Young is an academic writer with a great love for business literature. She starts her day reading articles in business magazines and ends up writing her own. For several years he has been working with a team of writers BestWritersOnline.