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Ways to reinvent the Gen-z employee experience
Organizational Cultures

Ways to reinvent the Gen-z employee experience

Anushka Rajesh
March 6, 2024

How to create a perfect company culture? How to give the best employee  experience? Why is it important? 

Just as business and talent have gone digital, talent management also has to go digital to attract digital natives. The HR needs to move beyond just providing the human touch but rather focus on creating an employee experience akin to the delightful customer experience through new technologies. The whole idea is to bring those technologies of customer experience management into employee experience management by putting employees at the center of the design thinking of the HR experience. 

This can be done by creating a three-pillar experience focussed on employees to create a happier culture and retain more employees: 

  1. How awesome a company is, 
  2. Ultimate convenience and 
  3. On-demand service. 

Today, it’s the HR’s job to manage the employer brand, which it can do by creating a WOW candidate experience. This requires the HR managers to put on the marketing hat and step up as employer brand managers. One practical way to do this could be to use the power of hashtags to create a brand. 

Similarly, HR is also responsible for creating a WOW candidate experience through ultimate convenience. One way of doing this is to improve the employee experience by allowing the person to upload all of their documents before joining the company. What would also help is that instead of a person logging into multiple systems, everything relevant for a new employee is on a single platform. 

Employing next-gen technology to create a WOW employee experience

The need of the hour is to move towards the second generation of technology that includes Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, bots, self-service apps, and predictive analysis to predict the performance of employees. Next-gen HR systems also need to go that way.

One example of this is enabling NFC based attendance for employees working in remote projects and employing frictionless entry with face recognition tools to enable employees to mark attendance, eliminating the need for biometric fingerprints or punch cards. Similarly, there is a natural transition from apps to bots for facilitating processes like applying leave or managing expenses and the future will move to see Voice emerge as a major medium of engagement.

Today HR is dealing with an exhibitionist generation. So one way of leveraging that in the feedback process is through a performance journal which allows employees to exhibit his/her performance on a monthly basis and tag people. So rather than everyone scratching their heads over what to put in their self-appraisal at the year-end, the performance journal allows them to keep track of their performance on a regular basis, all through the year. One could also allow him to publish it on LinkedIn as well.

Overall the thrust is on facilitating a quick feedback process or a speed-back and easy appraisals rather than depending on the yearly cycle.

A sneak peek into HR Tech in action

Though digital is becoming all-pervasive, HR needs help in understanding employees. One of those areas is employee engagement where HR can leverage new-age technology to understand if the employee is engaged or happy with the company. 

peopleHum employs a tool that asks an employee to share his mood the first thing he logs into his system and also when he logs out in the evening. Data so captured over a period and analyzed can give an idea to the CxO about his employees’ happiness without asking many questions. This helps the HR in identifying teams that are stressed and co-relate to overall productivity too.

Similarly, chatbots for an employee to easily mark attendance, take approval for leave or submit travel expenses. 

Typical challenges faced by today’s HR. 

Most of the challenges revolve around recruitment and retention in the face of technology. The first challenge is about the role of HR in the new context of tech development especially when it came to recruitments and employee branding. How is it going to change, and whether algorithm/AI/ML will take care of employee learning or does the manager still get to play an active part? 

  • A focused and personalized learning plan using machine learning
  • Making the learning a part of goal enhancing skills
  • HR needs to play an active role in coaching and mentoring
  • HR needs to be involved in the monitoring of development plans, the quality of programs, and easy accessibility
  • HR also needs to create a pull factor by making it mobile-based and creating competition

In order to improve employer branding, the following should be considered-

  • The need for easing out the application process
  • A system to weed out duplication of resumes
  • A system to handle high volumes of resumes
  • Employing AI

How can HR build a positive adoption of any technological change among employees? For driving this change, the following points are important-

  • Providing the right technical support
  • Pushing involvement at all levels
  • Making the employee understand what’s in it for me
  • Leveraging brand groups for driving any change
  • The ownership between HR and employees needs to be joint
  • Making employees understand how will the new technology make life simpler
  • Correctly translating the vision through the technology

In order to attract and retain next-gen employees, employers need to align their HR thinking with employees at the center, for perfect company culture and a holistic view of the employee. Also, today’s HR needs to be in sync with today’s next-generation technologies to attract and retain employees, allow flexibility in operations to employees in the multitude of economies today, and focus on maximizing employee experience.

Gen-z employee experience | peopleHum

Companies That Do These 8 Things Will Attract Generation Z

Generation Z will be different from Millennials. Organizations interested in employing top Generation Z talent should consider these eight things.

While this isn't a comprehensive list, it's a strong start to attracting and retaining Generation Z and positively positioning your organization in the increasingly competitive talent market.  

The 8-Point Checklist to Attract and Retain Generation Z and to Provide the Best Gen-z Employee Experience - 

1. Digitalize Talent Attraction

Ninety-one percent of Generation Z said technological sophistication would impact their interest in working at a company.

The company’s talent attraction efforts must be as digitally native as Generation Z. To reach next-generation talent pools, disrupt the prevailing models of talent attraction by using innovative technology. Ensure your company has a strong presence on Indeed, LinkedIn, and the other top websites and mobile apps that Generation Z uses to discover their ideal employers. It is a great idea to hire a team of app developers to develop a feature-packed mobile app for your company that allows candidates to learn about your company culture and benefits you can offer to them.

2. Offer Internships

Seventy-three percent of Generation Z are preparing for employment through relevant internships and through their area of study. 

Witnessing the heavy burden of student debt caused by Millennials, Generation Z is eager to pay as they go with 70 percent contributing to their college tuition through a salary earned from a job in college. Leverage Generation Z's desire to get to work early as an opportunity to scout talent.

3. Provide Cross-Organization Exposure 

Recent college graduates are 2.5 times more likely to stay with their employer for five or more years if they feel their skills are fully utilized with challenging, meaningful work. Yet 54 percent of recent college graduates feel underemployed.

One of the top three things Generation Z looks for in an employer is professional development opportunities. One of the best ways to move Generation Z from underemployed to fully utilized is to offer boundaryless projects where young professionals can learn and interact in multiple areas of the organization. In fact, 75 percent of Generation Z would be interested in a situation in which they could have multiple roles within one place of employment.

4. Co-Design Career Plans

Sixty-four percent of Generation Z cited "opportunity for career growth" as a top career priority. 

Generation Z has a desire to enter fields and organizations with room for long-term growth. 

While 83 percent of new graduates agree that their education prepared them well for their career, they are looking to their employer to partner in their next phase of growth and development. "Partner" is the keyword as Generation Z is interested in co-designing their career plan with their employer and then taking advantage of the professional development opportunities available to them to help them advance in their careers. 

5. Deliver Relevant Training

Eighty-four percent of Generation Z expect their first employer to provide formal training.  

Growing up in a fast and untethered world where information is instantly accessible, Generation Z demands the same flexibility, accessibility, and speed from the training their employer offers.  

7. Lead by Coaching

Sixty-seven percent of Generation Z is comfortable with having their manager check in with them but only for five minutes or less.

The leadership style that resonates best with Generation Z is coaching. Generation Z will turn to Google, YouTube, or Alexa first for answers instead of their future managers. Therefore managers must adjust their approach and serve as a guide where they coach Generation Z through their self-directed learning, mistakes, and successes. 

8. Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion 

Seventy-seven percent of Generation Z said that a company's level of diversity affects their decision to work there. 

While Generation Z will seek employers with a favorable reputation, a positive impact on the environment, and are socially responsible; how the company treats its people is of the utmost importance. Generation Z will flock to employers and leaders who treat every employee equally and fairly

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