Three years from now, Generation Z will comprise about 27% of the workforce. A world where “this is how we do things” will no longer cut it — especially in industrial sectors with younger frontline teams. Fresh faces demand fresh perspective. SafetyCulture dives into how to refresh your business operations if you want to attract and retain top Gen Z talent on the frontline.
Creating a lasting first impression
We all know first impressions are important and can make or break a relationship. While interviews might be thought of as the first introduction an employee has with your business, the relationship-defining first impression actually happens during your new employee onboarding. Studies show that an effective onboarding process can not only boost your retention by as much as 82%, but it also directly impacts ongoing productivity with a 70% increase.
Gone are the days when new hire onboarding could simply consist of a printed “welcome” packet and warm handshakes from fellow employees. Gen Z (and everyone else) wants more. Exciting company swag, the opportunity to connect with fellow teammates, face time with direct managers and engaging digital onboarding around company culture and need-to-know information for the position are all important pieces of a great onboarding strategy.
Once onboarding is completed, businesses need to offer the right benefits to maintain their relationship with Gen Z employees. All of this hinges on technology.
Tech out your teams
When considering the tech your organization utilizes, you might first think of devices. While tablets, smartphones and laptops are important, your focus should go to the platforms and applications your employees use every day. If devices were your first thought, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a recent SafetyCulture survey found that more than 1 in 4 frontline workers (29%) state the channel or platform used by their company doesn’t work for their role.
Members of Gen Z have known and used technology their entire lives. This lifelong experience has created a workforce that expects their employers to embrace the latest tech and utilize it across the entire business–from productivity and the way work is performed to cultivating connections with teammates and receiving internal communications. They are the most adaptable generation when it comes to adopting new platforms and devices, but therefore are the least likely to put up with clumsy applications or archaic processes. To cater to their tech-savvy preferences, consider allowing them to use QR codes for check-ins and room bookings in the office, streamlining these tasks and enhancing their overall workplace experience.
Tech out your teams with intuitive, mobile-first applications that keep your generations-spanning employee base happy. SafetyCulture (formerly known as iAuditor) allows you to digitize and streamline all the elements of your business operations.
Beyond illuminating the blind spot organizations often have when it comes to frontline or deskless worker technology, it is also important to consider the benefits your company offers. All employees might receive the same overarching benefits package (health care, retirement, etc), but typically, all employees don’t receive the same daily benefits. As a generation that expects more of their employer, the occasional addition of free donuts just won’t cut it. A vast difference in work conditions make it almost impossible to mimic the daily benefits offered to deskbound workers. Instead, consider creating a separate perk plan for frontline teams to level the playing field of employee benefits.
Growing with the Gen Z flow
Continued learning might not have been a priority for previous generations, but the majority of Gen Z employees believe that learning and growth is the key to a successful career. Offering additional learning both inside and outside of your organization is mutually beneficial for you and your employees. They can expand their knowledge and hone their skills, serving them in their current role and beyond, meanwhile your workforce is filled with educated, motivated and skilled people. It’s a win, win.
Courses created by your company need to deliver a modern learning experience–Gen Z is a tech-forward generation after all. With more than 1 in 3 frontliners (43%) already agreeing that internal communications aren’t engaging, mandatory training and additional learning opportunities don’t have to fall into that sad statistic. EdApp by SafetyCulture allows you to offer the cutting-edge experience Gen Z expects, without all the effort. A library of editable courses on a variety of topics make it easy to set up and deploy bite-sized mobile courses that your employees will actually enjoy. Gamification and real rewards can be built into learnings to keep team members engaged and excited. EdApp courses are accessible offline, making them perfect for deskless workers.
A generation focused on continuous growth and improvement expects the organizations they work for to share that same focus. Ensuring your business doesn’t become stagnant and eventually obsolete as Gen Z continues to flood the workforce begins with changing your mindset from “this is how we do things” to “why do we do it this way” and “how could we make this better.”
It’s no secret that change can be hard at times, but the change Gen Z is bringing is beneficial across your entire organization. Grow into the future with an operations platform that keeps continuous improvement at the forefront–– power your business with SafetyCulture.
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