Want to keep Gen Z talent? Promote them

Gen Z employees plan to stay at their first job for two or more years, but only if they receive a promotion.

How Gen Z will reshape the workforce: 80% want to work with cutting-edge tech As Gen Z enters the workforce, five different generations will work together. Here's what a multigenerational workforce will look like.

Nintex's Gen Z Effect on the US Workplace report, released on Wednesday, uncovered the key career motivators behind America's latest generation of workers. Generation Z—individuals born after 1996—is projected to outnumber millennials. Currently totaling approximately 62 million, according to a previous LinkedIn report, the young professionals already outnumber Gen Xers.

The Nintex report surveyed 1,000 current and future Gen Z employees, along with 500 business decision makers, to determine what Gen Z wants out of their employers. Gen Z has different desires than other generations, since they grew up in a very different social and economic working climate, the report found. 

SEE: Transgender employees in tech: Why this "progressive" industry has more work to do to achieve true gender inclusivity (TechRepublic cover story)

"The younger generation has grown up in an instant gratification culture where rewards come quickly and often. Consumption of resources and information through online marketplaces and social media is very easy," said Terry Simpson, technical evangelist at Nintex. "This results in a culture that is much different than the older generation."

Gen Z is significantly more tech-savvy than previous generations, with 94% saying they frequently use collaboration tools including Google Docs, GroupeMe, and Facebook Messenger when at college in order to complete assignments. 

"Gen Z employees tend to be leaders in technology growth and technology change," Simpson said. "They are very accustomed to and comfortable with change. As older workers look to retire, I envision accelerated growth and adoption of technology. Gen Z will become the experienced, seasoned staff."

While millennials hold the stereotype of job hopping, or changing jobs every couple years, Gen Z doesn't feel the same, the report found. Some 60% of Gen Z respondents said they expect to stay at their current jobs for more than one year, and 71% said they plan to stay at least two years, rather than moving on to another job. 

However, more than half (53%) of Gen Z employees said they expect a promotion within one year of starting a job, which could affect how long they remain with an organization. This expectation isn't a result of entitlement, but rather, economic concerns, the report noted. 

"It's surprising to see how much economic considerations affected Gen Z's thinking about employers," Simpson added. "Money is very important to all generations, but Gen Z is influenced tremendously by things like student loan debt, housing prices and whether they'll be able to support themselves and their families."

How to keep Gen Z employees

1. In-person check-ins

The majority (90%) of Gen Zers want their weekly one-on-ones to occur in person, the report found. Currently, more than half of Gen Z employees (55%) meet their managers for formal check-ins at least bi-weekly, citing the experience as "optimal."

One-third of Gen-Zers said they don't feel like they meet with their managers enough, indicating a desire for managers to check in more. 

2. Invest in Gen-Z

If employers want to retain Gen-Z talent, they must consider the young professionals' career paths, the report found. Since most Gen-Zers hope and expect to be promoted after the one year mark, managers should take those feelings into consideration when the time comes. 

Employers should also make sure their Gen Z employees have salaries that align with their cost of living, since many are in debt coming out of school, the report added. 

3. Create a balance around automation

Nearly 90% of Gen Zers view automation as a resource that could make their jobs easier, and 84% of decision makers said they feel the same way. 

However, 57% of Gen Z said they are concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) and automation negatively impacting their job security. Employers should note these fears and create a healthy balance, using automation as a partner—rather than a competitor—to help employees, the report said. 

For more, check out the Top 10 companies where Gen Z wants to work on TechRepublic. 

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