How to Onboard Gen Z Employees

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With so much change in the working landscape over the last few years, many are reviewing their onboarding process, with the aim to improve and upgrade according to the new trends we have seen emerge for what constitutes a positive onboarding experience for a new employee. From the initial hiring process to how a new hire is introduced to team members and their new company’s culture, what is considered to create a smooth onboarding process has shifted.

However, some are hesitant to even consider Gen Z as a positive edition to their workforce. Gen Z have had their fair share of negative press, just as every other generation did when they began to join the ranks of corporate culture. So, let’s first set some facts straight:

According to research, Generation Z value academic and career success higher than any of the previous generations. This means any fears you may have picked up around Gen Z being lazy or demotivated should be discarded before you begin mapping out any onboarding processes for your Gen Z new hires.

90% of Gen Z prefer to have a human element to their teams. This demonstrates how your new team members value human connections and relationships in the workplace, squashing the anti-social stereotypes which have cropped up in recent years.

Additionally, Gen Z are the most diverse generation to date in the workplace. A diverse company, leads to diversity in thought, breeding innovation and progress. If you want talented new team members who are going to aid in transformation and growth, Gen Z is where you need to be looking for your new hires.

Now that we’ve clarified the characteristics of the new hires you’re looking to onboard, let’s get into the details of what you need to put in place to ensure your onboarding process is optimised for employee training and employee engagement.

Gen Z Onboarding Tips

Build a company culture which values mental health

Research by Calm has found that nearly 70% of Gen Z expect employers to help them reduce their stress. This means that you need to make sure your onboarding process is considerate and able to offer support towards the mental health of your new hires.

Providing plenty of resources for new hires to learn from before formally joining your organisation is helpful – this goes without saying. However, it’s important to be considerate of the fact that your new hires are likely still wrapping up a multitude of things before starting their new job. They may be conducting handover of job duties to their old team members in the job they are leaving, enjoying their last few weeks of a maternity leave.

Whatever their situation, a key ethos behind your onboarding process in the best interest of employer-employee relationship building, as well as your overall company culture, is to be considerate of the obligations employees have outside of work.

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Make your onboarding process remote-friendly

Many organisations are still using an outdated onboarding process which was designed for when a new employee would be in person at an office most days of the working week. However, if your new hire is going to be a remote employee, failing to adjust your onboarding tasks to reflect this different working model could result in a poor onboarding experience.

Carrying out employee onboarding with hybrid or remote team members is highly likely with Gen Z and millennials, as research indicates two thirds of this group opt for these working models.

Practical ways you can make your onboarding process remote friendly, includes creating a virtual office tour, digitalising all paperwork, sending a welcome package, and leveraging e-learning platforms for your training.

For an efficient onboarding process regardless of the environment your new employees are working in, onboarding software can simplify your process, and make it easy for you to adapt as the world of work evolves.

Keep the onboarding process short and sweet

Gen Z are well known for the value they place on work-life balance, and the same mindset will apply to their onboarding experience. After you’ve had one of your Gen Z new hires accept a job offer, it can be easy to get caught up in everything you need to share every piece of information with them during the employee onboarding journey.

However, the onboarding period should offer ample time for all important information to be passed on to new hires at the right time. While effective onboarding ensures a new team member is up to date on topics from office dress code to clear expectation’s of their responsibilities, the finer, less significant details can wait until their official first week.

Ways in which you can keep the onboarding process short and sweet include:

  • Providing self-paced online trianing

  • Automate admin tasks

  • Using video introductions

  • Requesting feedback from your new hires

Part of a new employee onboarding experience should be making sure they have all the information they need, and are given the opportunity to ask questions.

Help your new hire integrate

As previously touched on, Gen Z overwhelmingly prefer a human element to their teams. To incorporate this into your employee onboarding process, make sure to offer opportunities for your new hire to socialise with their new team members.

Whether it’s an invite to the upcoming Christmas party, going for coffee, or even stopping by the office on a Friday afternoon, making it easy for your new employees to introduce themselves to different stakeholders and get a feel for the company culture is crucial. It not only boosts confidence and comfort, but may also make other stages of the employee onboarding journey smoother.

Even if you think a positive first impression was made during the interview process, the last thing any organisation want’s to encounter is a new hire getting cold feet due to a poor onboarding process.

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Utilise onboarding software

The use of onboarding software can make the world of difference to the experience of your new employee. The best onboarding software should provide your HR team with the ability to streamline the process to prevent miscommunication, delays, or creating a poor impression of the company on your new employees. The right onboarding software should allow you to provide a personalised and seamless experience.

But you already knew that.

From self-service for your new employee to configurable reminders and checklists, onboarding software should relieve the new hire paperwork weight from HR processes, and place the focus on the experience of new employees.

Learn more about XCD onboarding software here, and learn how your onboarding and recruiting processes can be updated.

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Leverage social media

Multiple generations, including your Gen Z new hires, can be heavily influenced by social media. This includes their perception of an organisation’s employer brand and values.

Use your company’s social media channels to share engaging content about your workplace culture, mission, and employees. This can create excitement and anticipation before your new hires start working, and also keep them generally up to date.

Additionally, Gen Z tends to be purpose-driven and wants to make a positive impact on the world. To address this, highlight your company’s mission, social responsibility efforts, and opportunities for personal growth and development within your company on social media, so that new employees are aware of what they can take part in.

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Use the four C’s of effective onboarding

The “Six Cs” of effective onboarding are a set of principles designed to create a successful and engaging onboarding experience for new employees. They focus on building a strong foundation for their integration into the organisation and maximising their engagement and productivity.

The Six Cs are:

Compliance

This refers to ensuring that new employees understand and adhere to the company’s policies, procedures, and legal requirements. It involves completing necessary paperwork (which can be made more efficient with onboarding software), training on safety protocols, and familiarising new hires with any regulatory or industry-specific guidelines.

Clarification

This involves providing clear and detailed information about the new employee’s role, responsibilities, and performance expectations. Managers should set clear goals and objectives, communicate performance metrics, and clarify how the new employee’s contributions align with the company’s mission and objectives.

Culture

Introducing new hires to the company’s culture and their team members is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and alignment with the organisation’s values. This includes showcasing the company’s mission, vision, and core values, as well as facilitating interactions with colleagues and promoting teamwork.

Connection

Building connections and relationships within the organisation is essential for new employees to feel comfortable and supported. Onboarding should include opportunities for new hires to meet their colleagues, mentors, and managers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and social integration.

Check-Back

Following up with new employees after the initial onboarding period to ensure they are settling in well, addressing any concerns, and providing ongoing support and feedback.

Continuity

Offering continuous learning and development opportunities to new hires. This includes ongoing training, career development programs, and opportunities for advancement within the organization.

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incorporating the Six Cs in the onboarding process leads to several benefits, including:

Firstly, it leads to a faster time to productivity. When new hires have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and the company culture, they can become productive more quickly.

Secondly, when using the Six Cs organisations are likely to see an Improved employee satisfaction and retention rate. A positive onboarding experience that addresses compliance, provides clarity, fosters a sense of belonging, and establishes connections contributes to higher employee satisfaction and reduced turnover rates.

Thirdly, it can contribute to an enhanced organisational reputation. A well-structured onboarding process that showcases a supportive culture and promotes connections can improve the organisation’s reputation as an employer of choice.

Lasty, it can lead it increased employee engagement. Onboarding that emphasizes culture and connection can create a sense of purpose and engagement in new hires, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to the company.

Summary

By understanding and catering to the unique preferences of Gen Z, you can create an onboarding experience which engages, motivates, and retains these young employees, setting them up for success within your organisation and beyond.

Additionally, by adopting software solutions that cater to Gen Z’s preferences and digital fluency, you can create a more engaging and effective onboarding process, improving overall new hire experience.

If you choose to use the Six Cs in your onboarding process, you can create a comprehensive and well-rounded experience for new employees, increasing their engagement and satisfaction while accelerating their productivity and integration into the company culture.

Overall, we hope that by implementing these strategies, you can create an onboarding experience that aligns with Gen Z’s preferences and sets them up for success within your organization. Remember to remain flexible and adapt your approach based on the specific needs and preferences of your new Gen Z hires.