Managers: It's Time To March To Your Own Coaching Cadence
Are millennials really that different from their younger counterparts: the members of the up and coming Generation Z? Yes, says Jessica Ogilvy, assistant professor of marketing at Marquette University. She explained the difference between generations during a recent Manage Smarter podcast.
Gen Z: Great Expectations
While managers might be used to supervising baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials, Gen Z workers have different expectations. Here’s what you need to do to hire and keep the freshest talent.
Like millennials, Gen Z workers grew up in an age of transparency. They’re always connected and always want to be kept in the loop. This desire can come as a surprise to hiring organizations. In the past, you got away with not keeping in touch with candidates. That practice was especially true during the recession, when there were hundreds of qualified candidates for every job opening.
Right now, we’re in a strong labor market. If you’ve got a winning Gen Z candidate, you need to stay in touch. They want feedback. How did the interview go? Are you going to reach out to their references? Let them know these details, before they decide you’re not interested and move on to their next option.
Managing the Gen Z Employee
Once the Gen Z employee joins your workforce, the need for feedback doesn’t change. When these employees turn in an assignment, they expect some kind of response. For them, the absence of a response is the same as receiving a thumbs-down. That reaction is a far cry from the expectations of older generations. Old-school workers weren’t raised in a climate of constant feedback. They’re likely to break in a sweat, worrying they’ve done something wrong, when the manager appears at their cubicle.
It’s risky to hire an unproven Gen Z candidate right out of school. And it can be expensive if they leave quickly, which many tend to do. Ogilvy says we shouldn’t overlook the Gen Z eagerness to learn and their high energy levels.
To generate loyalty, Ogilvy recommends a using a practice called coaching cadence. Start your relationship with your Gen Z employees by understanding their personal and professional goals. If they hope to buy a house and need more money, work with them on developing skills that will qualify them for a promotion in your organization. Help them see how their professional lives, at your company, will lead to achieving their personal dreams.
When you reach out as a manager on this level, employees see you being self-aware and empathetic. That transparency matters to them. The bigger challenge for you, as a manager, is to balance the unique needs of your youngest employees with all of the other demands on your time.
Make sure you regularly evaluate your priorities and don’t be afraid to delegate tasks when it makes sense.