Understanding Our Gen Z Colleagues

Bob Anderson, Owner, Star Performance, Inc., HSMAI Sales Advisory Board Member

Currently generation Z is 24.3% of the population, but they are 34% of our workforce. Since boomers are going to retire, generation Z  is increasingly more important. I met with the HSMAI Sales Advisory Board to talk about what we are or should be doing to attract, train, and retain this generation of incredibly talented people.

What are the characteristics that make this generation unique?

  • Prioritize work life balance – they believe in personal time and PTO (Paid Time Off) time is critically important
  • Proactive, digital learners, interested in experiences
  • Require flexibility in when and where they work
  • Expect financial stability
  • Focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Select organizations that they can believe in their mission
  • Entrepreneurial and broad minded in looking for their next opportunity

What are the best practices your organizations use to attract, train, and retain gen Z team members?

Compensation and Career Pathing:

  • Offer a clear path to career development.
  • Highlight people who have developed within the company and have gone on to success or different roles within the organization.
  • Change where you recruit – not only universities and colleges.

Digital, Experiential Professional Development:

  • Think differently to keep talents engaged. If you have a longer meeting, schedule longer breaks and make it fun in between sessions.
  • In meetings, use phones for brainstorming and research activities.
  • Create opportunity for connections.
  • Build and share plans for how you will teach skills needed for their role.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Showcase your DEI and sustainability strategies during all phases of recruitment and employment.
  • Weave your DEI strategy into recruiting collateral and talking points.
  • Ensure your recruiters are inclusive.

Mission driven:

  • Highlight how important hospitality is throughout the process – We help businesses run. We help families. It’s not just a hotel room and a rate. It helps drive our economies.
  • Support organizations that are socially active.
  • Create a positive culture.
  • Explain the role and why is it important to the world.

Promoting Flexible Schedules:

  • Internally selling the benefits of why hybrid positions are more important than ever.
  • Ask yourself, do we need to be together to create that team environment as a sales team or is it okay hybrid or remote?
  • Work to lessen any organizational culture of stigma around remote work.
  • Use technology to allow workers to set their own shifts rather than forcing them in predetermined schedules.

Work Life Balance:

  • Set policies to protect personal time, such as not sending emails on Sunday.
  • Include great benefits in the compensation package like 401k matching, tuition reimbursements, and a career development plan.

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: Articles