5 Tips for Working with Gen Z

Ready or not here they come. After May, Millennials won’t be the youngest generation in the workforce. We’re 8 months away from Generation Z a.k.a. Globals as interns.


This gritty and realistic generation started in 1995, and has a new set of expectations, assets, and liabilities to offer your organization. It’s time think strategically to best leverage their assets, and adjust for their liabilities. Here are 5 tips to help you plan for the next generation in the workforce. 


1. Great Expectations
Every fresh college graduate, from Boomer to Millennial, went into their first job with a set of expectations and they were all wrong. Take time on the Global intern’s first day, to lay out responsibilities, dress code, hours, and company culture. Be specific, honest, and don’t try to sugar coat anything. It is also helpful to pair them with a mentor, to guide them through their internship.


2. Create a Chain
Globals are okay with a chain of command, in fact they appreciate it. Globals appreciate structure, even when it looks hierarchal, which is much different than their millennial counterparts. Give them clear assignments, with specific goals, and give them the freedom to run away with it.


3. Feed Their Spirit
20% of Globals plan on starting their own company within five years of graduating college. This presents a big retention challenge to Human Resources. Create an intern program which exercises this entrepreneurial attitude. Hireology, a Chicago-based hiring software company, hosted a company-wide competition to name their software. This friendly competition challenged everyone in the company, from the CEO to new hires, to create something new and permanent. 


4. Smaller is Smarter
41% of Generation Z said a mid-sized company is their ideal work environment. Generation Z is not interested in working for large international companies like Boomers, but they also aren’t interested in working for a start-up like Millennials. If you are a huge global company, make sure your Global interns are working on a small team. If you’re a start-up, try teaming up with other small organizations to create a network for Global interns. Detroit has the perfect solution for interns, After 5 Detroit. Do some research and see if there is a similar organization in your city.


5. Tell them how you really feel
You should always give lots of honest feedback to your employees, but especially to Globals. They are a lot grittier than their millennial counterparts, and have a deep understanding that making mistakes is necessary to learn and grow. Try implementing more spot coaching, especially since interns are only in the office for a few months. Schedule weekly sit-downs with your interns to cover their highs and lows from the week, as well as exactly what they can do to be more successful in their job.

The Globals are coming, so it’s time to prepare. 


Blog Post
November 4, 2015