Hiring Generation Z? Ensure Their First Day Includes This

Engage and retain Generation Z talent using these eight ways to improve onboarding and the first-day experience.

Beginnings matter.

And how the next generation of employees begin their career at your company really matters.

In my recent article, How to Secure Generation Z Employee Loyalty on Day One, I highlighted how critical it is for companies to create memorable first-day and onboarding experiences for Gen Z new hires. 

Here are a few recommendations to achieve just that.

8 Ways to Elevate Gen Z’s First-Day and Onboarding Experiences

1. Supply Swag

Shouldn’t the new hire immediately feel like part of the team? Have a t-shirt, coffee mug, phone case, etc. ready upon their arrival or ship it directly to them ahead of time. In addition, provide pre-printed business cards with their name on it.

2. Connect Communities

Create a shared meaningful moment by encouraging Gen Z to post a picture of themselves wearing company swag on social media with a hashtag that allows them to connect with other new hires.

3. Leverage Leaders

Deliver messages in a personalized video from leaders. At John Deere, new hires receive an email from Sam Allen, CEO of John Deere, who shares a little bit about the company in a short video. In addition, schedule a time for the new hire to connect with at least one company leader.

4. Appoint Ambassadors

One reason creating a memorable first-day and onboarding experience is difficult for companies is that it’s usually no one’s job to create a one. Assign new hires to an ambassador who sends a pre-first day text to the new Gen Z hire that highlights the organization’s excitement and what to expect when it comes to attire, parking, and the day’s agenda. Bumble, the dating and networking application, has employee “Beekeepers” who volunteer to welcome new hires. They get to know new hires, provide a personalized tour, and go get a coffee or smoothie together.

5. Convey Culture

Provide a link to a "New Hire Handbook” that includes an overview of the company history, the company culture and values, insights from existing employees, close restaurants for lunch, transit options, attire no-nos, recreation options, and additional resources such as 10 Things You Should Definitely Try During Your First Week. Consider a new hire scavenger hunt as a way to get to know the office, people, and the culture.

6. Establish Expectations

Provide a clear introduction and overview of the new hire's job responsibilities and the company culture. Provide dos and don’ts when it comes to communication, leadership, work hours, etc. After onboarding, Gen Z should have a basic understanding of the following: culture, values and vision, roles and responsibilities, opportunities and promotions, training and safety, and ethics/accountability.

7. Tune-up Technology

Nothing communicates “we forgot you were starting today” than not having the new hire’s technology set up. Ensure all company-issued hardware and devices are live and pre-loaded with the new hire’s favorite utility applications.

8. Celebrate Conclusions

Just as important as it is to punctuate the beginning of a new hire’s career is creating a memorable moment that marks the transition out of being a new hire. Many onboarding processes can drag on and on and lead to a new hire burnout. Use a social event or activity to signify the completion of the process. Or provide a tangible reward or certificate that can serve as a right of passage into the organization.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.

Would you like insights like these shared at your organization? Sync Learning Experiences helps companies big and small deliver training via LMS courses, live workshops (in-person and virtual), and custom L&D solutions. Click here to get in touch with our team.

How to Secure Generation Z Employee Loyalty on Day One

Deliver an exceptional first-day and onboarding experience and win the loyalty of the next-generation workforce.

There are few milestone days in a person’s life. Graduations, weddings, and retirements are a few examples of days that deserve punctuation. 

Another milestone day is starting a new job, especially if it’s your first full-time job. The combination of new work, new people, and new places creates an opportune window for companies to create a lasting and impactful moment for new employees. 

Many employers trade familiarity for memorability and new hire loyalty, appreciation, and engagement is the cost.

Too often the first-day experience for new hires starts like this: The new hire arrives without clear direction of where to park or who to meet, they finally connect with someone who vaguely remembers hearing that someone was starting today, and then they are ushered to a random empty desk and instructed to "get settled in.” 

Day one and the new hire has already begun planning a quick exit. For the employer, a huge opportunity wasted.

For Generation Z, their first day at work might be their first day of full-time work ever. And firsts are memorable, especially when you’re the age of Gen Z (currently 21 years old and younger).

Research shows people’s most vivid memories are drawn from when they were 16 to 25 years old. Psychologists call this phenomenon the “reminiscence bump.” The reason we remember our youth so well is because it’s a time of firsts: first romantic relationship, first time traveling without parents, first paycheck, etc.

Employers have a unique opportunity to be etched into Gen Z's memory and play a critical role (good or bad) in their career story.

First-day experiences and onboarding should be filled with remarkable moments, not bureaucratic activities on a checklist

Not only does creating a memorable experience create a lasting impression and instill employee loyalty, but it also encourages employees to recommend their employer.

A study of hotel reviews on TripAdvisor found that, when guests reported experiencing a “delightful surprise,” an astonishing 94 percent of them expressed an unconditional willingness to recommend the hotel, compared with only 60 percent of guests who were “very satisfied.”

How do you know if the experiences are memorable? If Gen Z feels the need to pull out their camera to capture the moment, it’s memorable.

After their first day, Gen Z employees should leave thinking...

  • I belong here
  • The work matters
  • I matter to them

Beyond the first day and onboarding, it’s a good practice to deliver memorable moments during any employee transitions (promotion, retirement, move, etc.).

Keep an eye out for the moments that need punctuation.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.

Would you like insights like these shared at your organization? Sync Learning Experiences helps companies big and small deliver training via LMS courses, live workshops (in-person and virtual), and custom L&D solutions. Click here to get in touch with our team.

1 Simple Way to Overcome Generational Bias

In two sentences, Abraham Lincoln provided a masterclass on overcoming bias.

"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better." - Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s wise words ring loud in a world with so much division, distraction, and disagreement.

Today, the faster something validates our assumption or worldview, the quicker we seem to adopt that information. The human brain craves the shortest route to make sense of information. However, that shortcut can leave out a lot of understanding and perspective-shaping context.

Today’s multi-generational, vastly-diverse, high-flux, technology-accelerating, info-inundated, headline-reading culture demands that we seek more understanding.

There is a wealth of information today but a poverty of understanding.

In my line of work as a generational speaker, author, and trainer, I consistently see people (and organizations) holding too tight to their misguided assumptions of other generations.

I got into teaching about generations because of these misguided assumptions and the generational finger pointing that caused organizations to stall and leaders to stagnant.

Leaders were saying, “I don’t like that generation.” And I wanted to move them to saying, “I must get to know that generation better.”

Getting to know someone’s personal story about the events, struggles, and triumphs that shaped who they are allows for a deeper connection, appreciation, and understanding between two people.

Similarly, elevating the conversation beyond generations and taking a broader look at the events, technology, and innovations that are shaping generations enables leaders to better communicate, lead, and work across generations.

Lincoln’s quote is a strong reminder that we must resist jumping to conclusions and first seek understanding.

If you don’t like that…generation, employee, colleague, or manager. Get to know them better.

If you don’t like that…technology, policy, rule, or view. Get to know it better.

True knowledge is understanding the extent of your own ignorance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.

Would you like insights like these shared at your organization? Sync Learning Experiences helps companies big and small deliver training via LMS courses, live workshops (in-person and virtual), and custom L&D solutions. Click here to get in touch with our team.

Put Down the Device. How to Secure Generation Z’s Full Focus

Here are six ways managers can help Generation Z employees win back their focus from their devices and be more present at work.

No one—including Generation Z—wants to be slave to their phone or smart device.

Yet, it would appear they need some help as 67 percent of Generation Z say that they experience a high level of stress when their phone is lost, broken, or stops working.

I was recently speaking to a group of franchise owners who were struggling with Generation Z employees using mobile devices (including smart watches) while in the store helping customers.

Below are the tips I suggested to the owners in order to help their Generation Z employees give their full attention at work and to customers.

6 Ways to Get Generation Z to Put Down the Device

1. Assess Gen Z's device self-control in the hiring interview

A way to get ahead of the device problem, is to identify what kind of boundaries an employee has with their devices during the hiring process. To reveal what kind of self-control a Generation Z candidate has with their device, ask these questions during an interview:

  • Tell me about your last employer’s policy on device use.
    (Or if this is their first job, ask about a personal or household device policy.)
  • Did you find any aspects of the policy challenging? Why or why not?

Use this opportunity to clearly reinforce your company device policy.

2. Strengthen Gen Z’s resistance to device checking

Letting a device direct one’s attention is like getting in a car and letting it decide where you drive. Helping Generation Z manage their technology and not allowing technology to manage them is critical in today’s attention-poor culture.

Generation Z—and most people who own a smartphone—have conditioned themselves to check their phone upon any ding, ping, or ring. Similar to Pavlov’s dogs that were conditioned to salivate upon hearing the sound of a metronome instead of at the actual presence of food.

Encourage Generation Z to resist the urge to check their device after every notification. Have them ride the arc of the craving to check and consciously choose not to check. Every time they successfully beat the urge to check, they strengthen their resolve and can begin to regain control of their focus.

For communications that are absolutely critical or urgent, identify a communication channel for emergencies only.

Here are for five steps for better smartphone etiquette

3. Create a zone where Gen Z can reconnect

No too long ago, employers carved out time and places where cigarette-addicted people could take a "smoke break.” Why not create a time or place where device-addicted employees are free to use their devices as they wish?

Dishes aren't washed every time a single plate is dirtied. Dishes are done in batches. In the same way, ask Gen Z to batch their device use so that they can be fully present during the task at hand.

4. Make the alternative to devices more enticing

When I deliver keynotes or training sessions, I am competing with breaking news, urgent emails, text messages, and the mobile version of Fortnite for the attention of the audience. Instead of demanding they turn their devices off, I earn their attention by do the following…

  • Use engaging visuals and video
  • Involve them using thought-provoking questions and/or exercises
  • Use interactive polling via their smartphones (they scratch their itch to use their phone without them knowing)
  • Tell compelling stories

Gen Z wants more human elements at work, their behavior might not reflect this desire but create human-to-human opportunities for them anyways.

5. Set-up a text autoresponder

It’s common to create out of office email replies to automatically inform co-workers or customers to expect a delayed response, why not help Gen Z set-up similar autoresponders for text messages?

The Android app, Auto Reply, and Apple’s Do Not Disturb feature can create an automated way for Gen Z employees to inform contacts to expect a delay in their response because they are in the middle of important work.

6. Communicate the reason for the device policy

Whether your company device policy is a free-for-all or forbids all device use, clearly and consistently communicating the why behind the policy is a must. “No devices because I (the manager) said so,” is not a compelling enough reason for Generation Z to ignore their device.

A compelling why to share with Generation Z is how devices can negatively impact our ability to establish emotional connections.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.

Would you like insights like these shared at your organization? Sync Learning Experiences helps companies big and small deliver training via LMS courses, live workshops (in-person and virtual), and custom L&D solutions. Click here to get in touch with our team.

Companies That Do These 7 Things Will Attract Generation Z

Companies will soon be employing the post-Millennial generation. These items will help to attract and retain 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 7-Point Checklist to Attract and Retain Generation Z

1. Digitalize Talent Attraction

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

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—here are eight recruiting tools to consider. Ensure your company has a strong presence on Indeed, LinkedIn, and these other top websites and mobile apps that Generation Z uses to discover their ideal employers

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 student debt caused for 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 Zs desire to get to work early as an opportunity to scout talent. (Read this to learn specific steps that SAP is taking to employ Generation Z.) 

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 boundary-less projects where young professionals can learn and interact in multiple ares 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 key word 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. Services like 21Mill.com that deliver training in an on-demand, micro-learning, and mobile-first format will become the new norm for training the next generation workforce. 

6. 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. (Read this for three steps for coaching Generation Z effectively.) 

7. 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. (Read this for six steps to become an inclusive leader.) 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.

Would you like insights like these shared at your organization? Sync Learning Experiences helps companies big and small deliver training via LMS courses, live workshops (in-person and virtual), and custom L&D solutions. Click here to get in touch with our team.

Here Are the Benefits of Inclusion and How to Create an Inclusive Culture

Creating an inclusive organizational culture is challenging but extremely advantageous. Here’s why and how.

Organizations with inclusive cultures are two times as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, three times as likely to be high-performing, six times more likely to be innovative and agile, and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.

These benefits are the reason 71 percent of organizations aspire to have an “inclusive” culture in the future. Yet many organizations are only still aspiring and have not made significant strides to cultivate an inclusive culture.

Organizational culture change is a steep challenge. Resistance is especially likely when the objective is to create more inclusion. However, the business benefits and the outcomes of an inclusive organization—fairness and respect, value and belonging, safe and open, and empowerment and growth—should be compelling enough to push forward. 

5 Ways to Create an Inclusive Culture

1. Understand how diversity and inclusion definitions vary across generations

Generation X and Baby Boomers tend to define diversity along the traditional lines of gender, race, and ethnicity. While Millennials typically define diversity beyond demographics, viewing cognitive diversity and an individual’s variety of experiences and perspectives at the core of diversity. Millennials also view inclusion as fundamental to the way a company does business, more so than previous generations. (Read this to learn why a generationally diverse workforce is better equipped to respond to today’s high-flux and disruption-prone marketplace.)

While demographic and social identities are important, the ultimate competitive advantage of diversity and inclusion lies in diversity of thought, or the cognitive diversity of the organization. Cognitive diversity creates a wellspring of creatively, enhancing innovation by 20 percent and reducing risk by 30 percent. In addition, defining diversity and inclusion in the broader context of cognitive diversity, is likely to accelerate the organization’s adoption of the inclusion initiatives. 

2. Recruit without bias

It’s critical to measure diversity and inclusion in all talent practices, but conscious and unconscious biases seem most glaring throughout the recruiting process. BMO Financial Group, a top North American bank, recently recognized the many business impacts of unconscious bias and decided to map where there was high managerial discretion in the recruitment and promotion process. 

Through their efforts, BMO Financial Group discovered that managers who were making hiring decisions at the end of the day when they were likely rushed or tired, were more likely to select a candidate that was similar to them or their existing team. Consider using analytics to identify patterns of bias and then leverage some of today’s new technologies to de-bias the recruiting and hiring process.

3. Offer inclusion training

Training is perhaps the most popular and obvious solution to foster higher organizational diversity and inclusion. In fact, nearly all of the Fortune 500 companies and nearly one-half of U.S. midsize companies mandate diversity training. Training helps raise awareness, uproot bias, and create common language to facilitate diversity and inclusion discussions. (Read this to learn how to effectively train Millennials and Generation Z.)

Training that gains commitment from managers and equips them to lead inclusion conversations is critical. BMO Financial Group provides e-learning modules, an online hub, and one-page handouts that concisely convey key diversity and inclusion points. Theses resources also equip managers to identify different types of bias and how to handle them. (Read this <<LINK>> to learn the six steps leaders can take to be inclusive leaders.)

4. Openly talk about varying inclusion topics

Voluntary employee-led groups with shared characteristics or life experiences—commonly known as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or affinity groups—are useful for many companies since they provide (safe environments to have open dialogue and provide a helpful source to hear from diverse group sets.

I recently interviewed Erica Volini, U.S. Human Capital Leader for Deloitte Consulting, where she mentioned how Deloitte is going beyond ERGs. Volini stated, “The emerging generations don’t want to be pigeon hold into one group or the other but want to be part of the larger group." Deloitte is reimagining inclusion by creating "inclusion councils" that give employees the opportunity to talk more openly about what their thoughts, priorities, identities, struggles, etc. "The role of the organization is to provide the environment and the opportunity,” says Volini. The inclusion councils are self-selecting and address relevant topics like challenges with aging parents, work-life balance, leading and contributing as an introvert, and autism. The inclusion council provides safe and informative environments where different people get to openly talk and understand each other in a whole new way.

5. Gain leadership commitment

Get leaders involved. Creating an inclusive organization must be a priority for an organization’s top leadership. Consensus must be built through open conversation, understanding the benefits of inclusion, and connecting diversity and inclusion with the business strategy. Once top leadership has consensus, middle managers must be involved and equipped.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.

Would you like insights like these shared at your organization? Sync Learning Experiences helps companies big and small deliver training via LMS courses, live workshops (in-person and virtual), and custom L&D solutions. Click here to get in touch with our team.