Managing a Generation Z workforce means committing to a new leadership style.

When asked what they value most in a leader, one study found Gen Z  prioritise empathy and honesty. This generation wants their boss to be transparent, supportive, and respectful of what they have to say.

At the same time, Gen Z want their workplace to be an environment infused with innovation and opportunity. They want to explore flexible working practices and work with the latest technology available in their field.

Here are some of the most important points leaders will need to consider when managing a Gen Z workforce.


1. Prioritise Collaboration and Communication

Generation Z values social interaction. Raised in the age of social media, they like being constantly connected to the people they work with. So business leaders in the industry will need to create a culture of team spirit, camaraderie, and collaboration.

For Gen Z, collaboration and communication don't always have to take place face-to-face. These employees are just as happy connecting with their colleagues over video conferences and phone calls, and they like having access to instant messaging applications.

To create a sense of transparency within the workplace, business leaders must ensure they're open and consistent with their communication strategies. Keeping employees regularly updated on the latest business developments will make them feel more secure.


2. Allow for Independence and Autonomy

Gen Z are ambitious individuals who like having their own independence. Although they appreciate feedback and guidance from leaders, they also want to explore their own strategies and work how they feel most comfortable. This means leaders will need to give their employees ownership over their projects.

Allowing team members to choose their schedules or suggest their methods of tackling projects will make them feel more respected and engaged in their work. Gen Z should have access to plenty of tools for independent research and opportunities to share their thoughts and insights with leadership and other team members regularly.


3. Implement Strategies for Work-Life Balance

Burnout and stress have been significant problems for the millennial group, with 28% suffering from this issue regularly in the workplace. Generation Z has learned from the struggles of their parents and now prioritises work-life balance more than most.

81% of Gen Z employees say flexibility in choosing how and when they work is important. Many team members in the current landscape expect access to fully remote or hybrid working strategies. They are also interested in the concept of the 4-day work week.

To appeal to Gen Z employees and keep them happy, managers will have to offer various working styles outside the standard 9-to-5 experience. It will also be important for leadership to encourage good work-life balance among team members by convincing them to take regular breaks and manage their schedules effectively.


4. Embrace New Technology

Gen Z and technology go hand-in-hand, as the first generation to enter the workforce with no memory of a time before social media and Wi-Fi. This means companies hoping to attract and engage a new era of Gen Z employees will need to be digitally savvy.

Managers can improve their Gen Z staff's productivity and performance by implementing tools that help these team members manage their work. Productivity and project management apps, collaboration tools, and video conferencing services will all be crucial.

To keep Gen Z employees happy, business leaders must ensure they're regularly updating and improving their technology stack. This means implementing new software and services as they emerge. Collecting feedback from employees on the tools they prefer to use will help to guide successful investments.


5. Empathise with Mental Health Needs

Empathy is everything to Gen Z employees. Around 82% feel it's important for their managers to offer "mental health days" when they're feeling burned out or stressed. Gen Z staff members want to know that their business leaders are committed to keeping them happy and healthy.

Business leaders in the sector will have to look for ways to showcase their empathy. For instance, it might be useful to implement a wellness strategy in the workplace that focuses on giving team members ways to manage stress and avoid burnout.

Offering certain perks like access to counselling, more vacation days when employees feel overwhelmed at work, and competitive salaries to address financial concerns will be a good way to attract and retain Gen Z employees.


Can we help?

Here at Lucy Walker Recruitment we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and job seekers find their ideal roles for over 30 years. We have placed thousands of candidates and filled thousands of roles for our clients; if you want to find out how we can help you call us on 0113 367 2880 or email us here.




About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry