While it’s been proven that remote work is just as efficient as in-person work (sometimes even more so), it may be hard for Gen Z to catch up to their older coworkers who have had in-person experience prior to remote working options.
It is entirely possible that in 2022 you may find a candidate that seems to be the right fit, but has no in-person experience due to their age during the coronavirus pandemic. This isn’t to say they are not experienced or hard workers, but it’s important to recognize the difference between an employee that has had decades of in-person experience compared to a candidate in their early twenties without much in-person experience to go by.
How do companies instill teamwork and company comradery into Gen Z employees who may never meet their coworkers beyond their computer screen? We have a few tips to consider.
In a remote workplace, it’s obvious that employees cannot simply stop by an office to ask a quick question anymore. Every workplace interaction is now fully intentional. You have to set up a call or directly message more experienced coworkers or managers to receive guidance. While this may not seem like a big issue, Gen Z candidates are still just under 25 years old at their oldest. Young candidates may be intimidated to reach out for clarification on tasks without feeling as though they are bothering someone. It is just a reality as a part of the generation’s upbringing.
Knowing this, it’s important to recognize the difference in work style for these young workers. Assigning a virtual mentor to young employees is a great way to keep them heading in the right direction. This mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be a manager or even in the same department. Giving your younger employees a chance to talk with someone about their work and the company on a regular basis will help them to feel more included, translating to better performance and sense of comradery.
In addition to a mentorship, managers should try to check in at least once per month to see how the remote workplace is working for Gen Z employees and if there are any issues needing to be addressed. Encouraging your Gen Z employees to feel comfortable bringing up work-related questions will help them combat the isolation that comes from working fully remote. Creating an atmosphere where questions and curiosity are encouraged only benefits your company and employees, both young and old, in the long run.
Another great way to foster workplace culture in a fully remote workplace is to provide spaces for employees to communicate for non-work-related topics. Offering chat rooms or spaces for employees to talk about everyday life activities can foster friendships and provide an opportunity to build real workplace culture for all employees. Companies cannot expect workers to hold onto old methods of building culture. For example, Gen Z isn’t interested in virtual happy hour at 5 pm on a Friday. Instead, providing a space that can be accessed at any time is much more effective for younger workers.
As companies continue to navigate building their company culture in a fully remote or hybrid workplace, it’s important to remember how Gen Z stands out from their older employees. Investing in a Gen-Z-oriented company culture is just one way to retain younger employees for longer stretches of time.