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Generation Z and why businesses need to let go of the elastic

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(3) Make it fun

Many people aren’t lucky enough to turn their hobby into a job, but businesses can maximise the fun for Gen Z. We need to spend time working out what makes each individual Gen Z tick and help them to harness the most enjoyable aspects of their day job.

At PSONA, we have a young staffer who runs her own business, The Cooking Shed, on the side. Her gain is business experience and personal fulfilment, ours is entrepreneurial spirit.

(4) Let them create

Gen Z thrives on creativity. It’s our job to forge avenues for them to create things for us, particularly in the area of technology. Businesses need to look at the ways Gen Z uses existing tools in unexpected ways.

Snapchat, for instance, provides exciting potential to tell stories – so how might this translate in a work context? We must create a culture where change and innovation is the norm, while using Gen Z’s knowledge to develop new products and ways of communicating.

(5) Reinvigorate comms to increase collaboration

Think much less about monthly or annual meetings and keep up the conversation every day, every minute, across every platform. Allowing Gen Z to help create these channels is the first step, but it’s also about giving all employees the confidence to have a voice and the tools to listen. Once businesses have achieved this openness, a collaborative work environment will follow.

(6) Give back

Businesses need to radically rethink compensation packages, and might even consider going as far as to offer top talent a stake in the business (we could learn some lessons from John Lewis here). However, thought also needs to be given to softer, day-to-day benefits.

As business leaders, we are sometimes guilty of not wanting to let go, and of controlling the process. Creativity and inspiration comes from dismantling barriers, encouraging an open culture and allowing new ideas to surface regardless of job titles or departments. Every generation is different, and we need to re-evaluate our approach when it comes to hiring and retaining Gen Z.

So, grasp that imaginary elastic, let it stretch and realise the potential of this exciting generation. They may even invite us to the party.

 Fiona Scott is MD of customer engagement agency PSONA

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