Generation Z and Generation Alpha (the children of Millennials) are poised to make the biggest impact on your organization’s future. Are you prepared to meet the communications needs of these next generations?
Generation Z is known for being digital natives, having grown up with mobile technologies including cell phones and tablets. For Generation Alpha, this digital experience has only deepened and extended through all aspects of life including school. As a result, they will expect that same level of technology and user experience in their work life, that they are accustomed to in their home and school life.
But, don’t let their technology experience fool you. Generation Z prefers face-to-face communication over all other forms. They expect to have frequent communication with their boss and access to senior management to ask questions. When face-to-face isn’t possible, Gen Z prefers calls or video chats.
We can all thank Millennials for their role in increasing work from home options. That trend is expected to continue with Generation Z looking for work-life integration and the ability to work during their most productive hours of the day.
Given these generational changes, here are a few suggestions of actions organizations can take to communicate effectively to their employees:
Invest in and leverage mobile technology, without losing sight of the importance of face-to-face communications.
Utilize a multi-faceted communications approach to reach a multi-generational workforce. In addition, look for ways to increase visual and interactive communications and learning.
Prepare and support front-line managers to effectively lead and communicate to in-office and remote employees.
Provide authentic, honest two-way communication opportunities with leaders and employees.
Emphasize WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). In addition to technology, employees want to work for an employer that focuses on diversity and inclusion, has a clear purpose and positive impact on society, and provides growth and development opportunities through new skills and experiences, as well as upward mobility. Ensure your current and prospective employees understand your employer brand and employee value proposition (EVP). In your internal and external communications, take the opportunity to share examples of how your EVP comes to life throughout your organization (e.g. volunteering, diversity, sustainability practices, work environment, etc.).
Having grown up with the ability to learn how to do anything by watching an online video, these generations see no limit to their contributions. Get ready. With their can-do attitude and their fresh ideas, expect innovation and great things from Gen Z and Gen Alpha.
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