#HRTrending - Modernizing HR Approaches To Anticipate The Wave Of Gen Z Entering The Workplace
September 29, 2021
Today, HRM has not only witnessed a disturbance in working methods caused by Covid-19, but also confronted a strong generational transition as Gen Z are making up a third of the workforce, according to the data from the General Statistics Office. This generation loves experiences and freedom, while requires a certain amount of recognition. Therefore, human resources managers need to be prepared to "steer the ship" smoothly in the face of Gen Z “breeze”.
Gen Z loves a working environment embracing diversity and differences
Is it unfair to subject Gen Z as the definition of “lacking commitment”?
Growing up in the era of integration and having the opportunity to access the wide world via the internet, Gen Z loves diversity and is open-minded about differences. According to a survey from WayUp, an HR company, 86% of Gen Z candidates believe that diversity is the top criterion that determines their commitment to the company. This causes Gen Z workers to look for fresh experiences and be willing to try different working environments, in other words, they have the tendency of job hopping. That’s why Gen Z employees inadvertently stick to the title of the “fickle” workers.
Many HR professionals identify that Gen Z possesses an excellent amount of autonomy and is willing to step out of the norm. On the positive side, this particular trait drives the generation to know how to nurture ambitions and set clear goals in work. Gen Z employees are eager to accept the position as an intern at company A instead of a full-time title at company B, if they see the potential at company A. Yet on the negative side, he or she may have difficulty in blending-in with other individuals in certain situations due to strong characteristics.
In my opinion, each generation has its own unique personality that needs to be respected and requires a unique approach. Gen Z has distinctive traits making us misunderstand this generation as “rebellious” employees, such as the need to pursue diversity and distinction can be seen as a thorn in the eyes of previous generations. Or, Gen Z’s “demand” for clear, constant, and transparent information can make other co-workers feel outrageous. If HR managers are considerate, they will recognize that Gen Z possesses the convergence characteristics of the future workforce. Thus, HR people need to flexibly advise the company’s leaders on innovating management methods by trying to apply the Agile Organization Model.
From triangle to circle – 3 suggestions for businesses to endorse Gen Z workers
The world does not stand still, the rigid pyramidal governance model is predicted to be gradually replaced by the Agile Organization Model in the next few years. With the flexibility in management and the ability to create agile teams, the Agile Model is an HR tactic that should be applied to Gen Z in particular and the future workforce in general. Here are some suggestions for businesses if they want to “pruning” a triangle into a circle.
Comparision between triangle and circle management model. Source: McKinsey&Company
From function-based departments to project-based teams
Previously, the departmental management model and hierarchy management made the assignment and team collaboration less flexible. Meanwhile, the Agile model allows allocating personnel by project based on approriate skillset. This measure allows leaders to simplify management layers, while also optimize individual potential.
From “directing” to “delegating”
It seems impossible to impose directions upon the “emerging” group of Gen Z employees and force them to follow. Instead of being regulated, Gen Z wants to “self-manage”. Therefore, companies should be flexible in balancing “hardware” management and giving individuals or groups the freedom to manage “software” – including clear requirements for coordination, accountability, expertise, transparency. Since 2015, ING Bank (Netherlands) has adapted flexible management system from giants such as Google, Netflix and Spotify. The CIO of INC said that the model had fostered employees to engage actively and increased productivity.
From “specialization” to “generalization”
It is rare to come across a Gen Z that likes to “sit where others set” because, Gen Z is a generation associated with “exposed to experience”, and not subdued by the outside factors. According to a survey by PwC, 72% of Vietnamese Gen Z want to learn and expand their digital skills to improve adaptability. They also actively hone other skills to stay ready for employee rotation at any times.
It is always attractive to Gen Z workers to challenge themselves in various positions. This method is unharmful to businesses, reversely, it can help “sharpen stones into pearls” and create breakthroughs.
When we’re a triangle, we’re stable. When we’re a circle, we “roll” fast. In a world of everchanging human resources after the “entry” of Gen Z, it is predicted that the Agile model will be a future strategy, not only for businesses to move fast, but also to retain talents.