Gen Z is rapidly expanding their presence and influence in the workforce. The proportion of Gen Z – born between 1995 and 2012 – will increase to 27% by 2025, and like millennials, they’ll bring a different perspective to organisations across the globe.
While Gen Z are fundamentally still people, valuing much the same things as their older peers, they represent a continuation of an accelerating trend towards digitalisation, personalisation and flexibility. While all employees and consumers are expecting more, Gen Z have never known anything different, and this means that they’re less willing to make do with processes and approaches they see as outdated.
Keeping up with Gen Z employees means embracing the best of what digital has to offer. Here are some ways to keep them engaged:
Use digital as standard
While a lot of millennials are digital natives – they grew up using digital technology and don’t see it as anything new or exciting – Gen Z take this to a whole new level. While older millennials will remember a time before digital was widespread, and most will remember using clunky older systems or brick-shaped mobile phones, Gen Z has never known a time when technology wasn’t ever-present, fast and seamless.
This means they have a whole new level of expectation when it comes to how your business uses technology, and very little patience for outdated computer systems or physical processes. While millennial employees can adapt, Gen Z are digital by default, and will think less of your company if you’re not able to meet their expectations.
For firms who are bringing in Gen Z employees for the first time, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Your younger team members won’t tolerate inefficient or non-user-friendly processes – and really, why should they, or any of your other employees? While older employees might have been willing to make do, Gen Z could be the push your organisation needs to redesign its processes and move to modern, digital systems across the board, with wide-ranging benefits to your entire business.
Offer flexible payment options
Raised in the era of fast delivery options, easy subscription services and on-demand access to everything from TV to taxis, Gen Z are hard-wired to prefer flexibility. This extends to their financial behaviour too – 42% of Gen Z members used a buy-now-pay-later payment option in 2021, with 20% of those preferring to use a BNPL option over their existing credit card.
With a more flexible approach to their finances across the board, Gen Z value getting what they want as soon as possible. This even extends to their salaries – 61% of Gen Z survey respondents said that they’d like their employer to offer a daily wage payment option, giving them the ability to manage their finances in a more agile manner.
Full disclosure – it’s likely that a big reason for this is that Gen Z are still relatively new to the workforce, with many working casual or gig economy jobs and struggling to build a base of financial stability (daily payments make it easier to pay down overdrafts and loans earlier, saving interest). There’s no guarantee this preference will remain when they’ve moved into more established careers. However, offering on-demand wage payment via a prepaid card could be a great way of incentivising casual workers, allowing them to see the fruits of their labours as quickly as possible.
Offer community and connection
Gen Z’s entrance to the workforce has been anything but routine. With a global pandemic interrupting their early years in work, many have found themselves working remotely or under strict social distancing protocols. While remote working is here to stay, many younger employees are feeling the lack of social interaction with their colleagues, and surveys are showing that increasing numbers of them would prefer at least some in-person interaction at work.
Even if your company does work fully remotely, building a sense of community and connection at work is vital for all your employees, but likely to have the most profound impact amongst those who are new to the world of work. By giving your younger team members a chance to interact with and learn from more established employees, you’ll not only help to boost their experience and skillset more quickly, but to keep them engaged and focussed on their work. Whether that’s through regular virtual catch-ups, hybrid working models or even enforced in-person working days for some teams, helping Gen Z to establish themselves in their careers is likely to require a careful balance of the benefits of remote working and in-person collaboration.
Deliver personalised rewards
It’s no secret that Gen Z are champions of diversity and inclusion, with the most inclusive and accepting views of any generation yet. While this obviously means your company will need to be on top of its diversity policies, there’s a more subtle point here – a generation who are more open and accepting of individual expression is likely to be far more diverse in their preferences when it comes to rewards and incentives – and more outspoken when their expectations aren’t met.
While earlier generations might shrug off a poorly-chosen gift with “it’s the thought that counts”, Gen Z have far higher expectations when it comes to personalisation. Gen Z’s priority is manifesting their individuality, and they value employers who respect this.
This means that when it comes to incentives or rewards, it’s far better to offer the ability to choose than to take a risk at guessing, or even worse, offering up a one-size-fits-most option. With flexibility high on the agenda for Gen Z, open choice options like prepaid cards give all employees the opportunity to choose a reward that’s right for them, without being limited to a store which might not suit them.
Offer employee flexibility with B4B Payments
The watchword for Gen Z is flexibility, and with B4B Payments you can make your payment, incentive and rewards processes more flexible than ever, keeping all your employees more engaged and happy. From exciting reward schemes based off our flexible virtual or physical prepaid cards to advanced payment processes that make it possible to pay your team daily if they prefer, our end-to-end payment solutions can help you deliver more for your team members.
To find out more about how we can help you incentivise your team, contact us today.