Millennials have been entering the workforce for the past two decades, but in recent years, the youngest of the Millennials have been supplanted by the next generation: Generation Z.
Millennial employees didn’t grow up with the internet and social media, yet they adopted these new technologies as they were introduced in their adolescence. The result is that they consider technology an integral part of life. Most will at the least be expert users of online content, and many will be competent at creating it. They expect the workplace to leverage technology as much as possible. However, as a generation born in the age of the internet and social networks, the employment needs for Generation Z are different even more so than the Millennials and Generation X. No generation has integrated social media, internet, and smartphone technologies into their lives to the extent that Gen Z has.
Generation Z in the Workplace
By 2030, more than 30% of the global workforce will be Gen Z. So, employers need to focus on how to cultivate a working environment that interests this generation. Gen Z craves a collaborative and team-friendly work environment. This tech-savvy generation expects transparency and low stress levels. On top of that, 38% of Gen Z prefers work-life balance over a high salary.
Smartphones have made planning ahead less necessary because meetings with friends and family can be arranged at any time with a few text messages. While this can make scheduling and time management a struggle for them, Gen Z excels at personal networking and social resourcefulness.
Similarly, Gen Z doesn’t see a reason to memorize information that is available at their fingertips with a Google search. Among the age group 18-24, 38% are thwarted by “information fishing” at work, while 1 out of 3 believe that searching for the right information source is the most burdensome activity. It follows that knowledge management is currently a highly relevant field for organizations to consider. Devising knowledge management strategies in the workplace is a “must” in the near future, for those organizations that want to keep up work efficiency achieved by means of motivated employees.
Effective Knowledge Management Strategies
Used to getting instant gratification from things that work fast, as we mentioned, this generation functions better when data is readily available for use, without requiring serious digging. So, in order to leverage the dynamic workforce of the ‘always on’ generation, organizations should facilitate the management of increasing amounts of data.
- Utilize a Knowledge Management System for easy access to imperative information. Implementing a sophisticated cloud-based Knowledge Management system with a well-organized storage model makes it easy to sort and find information. You are then facilitating access to valuable and relevant knowledge. Moreover, because they are already proficient in using such technology, you won’t have to waste as much time and money for training sessions. Use of technology to put up knowledge management strategies is the most efficient way to take advantage of the defining traits of this generation.
- Promote a collaborative environment. Teamwork provides fast, direct access to expert knowledge. And because younger generations are knowledge avid, expertise is typically the attribute of older and more experienced people. Teamwork contributes to bridging the generational gap. Moreover, millennials generally appreciate teamwork, so activities promoting it will be most likely welcome and enjoyed. According to recent surveys, 92% said that people working together can make at least some difference to solving a problem, whereas 62% said it can make a lot of difference. It seems that we do indeed have the premises for promoting teamwork in the workplace.
- Involve employees in the strategic design of knowledge management. They are a generation that is used to be proactively involved in everything that concerns them. They have been taught to dare to have an opinion because their opinions matter. And since access to knowledge is one the topics that millennials and Gen Z care a great deal about, they should be consulted for developing well-targeted knowledge management strategies. Let them write the content and ask them for feedback. This is likely to make them more responsible about, and also more supportive of organizational policies.
In order to captivate Gen Z employees, great efforts and strategic planning will need to be made by companies to put these strategies into play.
Quarto is an all-inclusive Knowledge Management System that combines the discussed strategies to effectively motivate and retain our current and entering workplace generations. Through collaboration and engagement methods, Quarto consolidates these necessary strategies into a single, social network inspired platform. Contact us today to schedule your demo!