Introducing the new workforce: Gen Z (aka iGeneration)! By the year 2020, this youngest generation of workers, Gen Z employees, will account for 20 percent of the workforce. Born during or after 1995, the eldest are 23 years old and are already working side-by-side with four other generations: millennials (Gen Y), Gen X, baby boomers and the silent generation. The oldest millennials are 38 years old, so Gen Z has multigenerational leaders, challenging your organization to develop effective and productive communication systems, leadership skills, and training and development programs.
Every generation has different perspectives about employment and careers, so it’s time for you to dive into understanding Gen Z employees in order to maintain successful HR practices that engage the whole workforce.
Just when you’ve finally learned how to successfully engage millennials, along comes Gen Z. As the first digital-native generation, millennials have driven significant changes in the workplace, from workplace design to embracing social responsibility. Gen Z employees are entering the workforce as employees who are even more comfortable with technology, but their perspective on and experience with technology tools are much different from earlier generations.
A Deloitte study created an informative picture of these young people. Gen Z is skilled with technology. Unlike millennials, they grew up moving rapidly across a variety of technologies — smartphones, tablets and laptops — and social media programs – Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. They are entering their careers at higher levels as most “typical” entry-level work is now automated.
Gen Z is very concerned about their ability to communicate and forge strong interpersonal relationships. This may be due to the fact that technology has negatively impacted their cognitive skill development, and they recognize that their social skills, like critical thinking and communication, are weak.
Gen Z absorbs information in small bites and is visually oriented. This has implications for your training and communication systems. Learning programs that deliver information in easily digested, intuitive modules are attractive to Gen Z employees. Adding soft skills development, such as problem-solving and leadership skills, to training and development can close technology-created gaps in communication skills. This begins with your onboarding program, which should initiate the education process for developing cognitive and communication skills — and continue through all your training programs.
You should use mixed training media that is visually stimulating, easy to access and use, flexible and available 24/7. Providing mobile access is critical to successful Gen Z training, and enables you to deliver continuous learning opportunities. Your managers will also need to hold in-person meetings to supplement the technology-based training and encourage Gen Zers to collaborate on designing work environments that enable people to work as teams, in person or through collaborative technologies.
Gen Z employees also value diversity and are attracted to employers who have similar values and will provide learning and experiential opportunities to work with people who have diverse backgrounds, origins and preferences. In this regard, they are quite similar to younger millennials. The Ernst & Young survey of Gen Z interns found that they prefer millennial managers over Gen X or Baby Boomer managers, likely because some of their perspectives intersect. Since it’s estimated that millennials and Gen Z employees will make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2025, this will become a fact of life anyway.
Your leaders need skills that enable them to create a cohesive, collaborative workforce within the context of a culture that embraces diversity and innovation. Could anything seem more challenging from an HR perspective?
Managing and motivating a four- or even five-generation workforce that is growing younger and older at the same time requires leaders who can build respect and trust among them. With top-down support, it’s the front-line leaders who maintain a positive corporate culture and engage employees. You want to develop leaders who can identify and promote shared values across the generations, creating a bond. A good leader is accessible, helps each employee understand the importance of their role, holds people accountable, challenges employees to perform at their highest level and meets their unique needs. An effective leader understands generational differences and leverages that knowledge to engage employees.
For example, baby boomers prefer face-to-face communication and Gen Z needs to develop interpersonal communication skills. Millennials and Gen Z are deeply interested in working for organizations that are socially responsible. Millennials use social media to collaborate. Gen Z employees are natural collaborators and use social media to facilitate real world connections. Both baby boomers and Gen Z desire face-to-face meeting opportunities.
Do your leaders develop mixed-age collaborative teams? Are younger and older workers given opportunities to interact with knowledge sharing from both directions? Do your managers know how to leverage the differing generational motivations to engage all employees? Do your leaders understand the importance of personalized communication skills? Do they have inclusive skills that strengthen employee engagement among all employee generations? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking about your organization’s leadership skills now to develop positive employee relations in a multigenerational workforce.
Finding common ground to bring people together based on their preferences and needs in a productive manner promotes cohesiveness and creates a foundation for leading a multigenerational team. You can develop customized employee videos, web training and eLearning programs that deliver information in a desired format and leadership training programs that address connecting with and managing a multigenerational workforce.
A multigenerational workforce will be a fact of life for decades to come. Consider this: In 16 years, the oldest of Gen Alpha, the next generation, will be 21 years old and entering the workforce. Learning how to connect with a multigenerational workforce now will prepare your organization to engage all employees well into the future.
You might think it’s a bit strange for a company who produces professional-quality video for companies to give advice on “do it yourself” video for HR. But employees, especially millennial employees, crave engagement, and HR departments are increasingly expected to communicate regularly with their workforce on both routine and critical issues. Videos can be a great way to communicate with employees and deepen engagement, but, really, should you create your own content? This article will consider the pros and cons of HR departments shooting their own employee communication videos – and you might be surprised!
Do you have an iPhone? Good news, you’re an amateur filmmaker. Gone are the days when you needed to buy dedicated camera equipment. That phone in your pocket can take high-definition video and can usually autocorrect for poor lighting. There are a number of simple things you can do to make those handheld videos look better. Try spending 30 minutes to create consistent lighting conditions throughout your set (or if outside, try to minimize glare from the sun). You can also use multiple iPhones to get different angles. Newer models even shoot video in 4K, though this resolution will consume a great deal of memory. Even these basic techniques can give your videos greater credibility but once you use editing software, the quality of your content improves exponentially.
Many amateur filmmakers use Apple’s iMovie, an incredibly powerful software platform that can make short films look fantastic. The software even allows you to start editing on your iPhone before finishing on a Mac. Once you start using iMovie, it makes sense to upgrade your other equipment to get the most out of the software. A good microphone will help capture high-quality audio, and a proper lighting rig goes a long way to make sure your subjects and set are appropriately lit. You can find royalty-free music on sites such as Premium Beat and Pond unless you intend to create your own. iMovie includes a large suite of editing tools such as time lapses, color correction and special effects. While these tools make your videos look great, it can take many months to fully understand how to use the software to its full potential.
Technology has evolved to the point that with limited skill, you can create a great looking employee video. With a little editing and touch-ups, homemade videos can be distributed throughout your organization. However, mission-critical communications require a professional touch. During periods of heightened tension such as union organizing, layoffs or restructuring, you want to make sure your video surgically communicates the right message to the right audience. You only get one shot in corporate communications, and mistakes can be quickly broadcast on national news and social media. Everyone wants to go viral, but not for the wrong reasons. The good news is that there the team at Projections can provide first-class employee communication videos when the stakes really matter. Projections specializes in labor relations and provides award-winning, highly effective corporate communication tools for onboarding, union organizing campaigns, benefits rollouts, changes (such as facility closings or corporate restructuring), and especially for training and educating your workforce.
A great way to deepen employee engagement is first-class videos, websites and e-learning. Showing your team members that you value their ongoing education is vital for morale and employee retention – not to mention your reputation as an employer of choice. The equipment needed to create quality videos is increasingly affordable, and there are a number of software tools to make your videos look more professional. For routine communications, creating your own videos is probably fine. For critical communications with your broader workforce, such as union avoidance, look to a professional that specializes in corporate communications to ensure your videos are focused enough to convey the right message to the right audience when it really matters.
When you bring new people into your organization, your goal should be to attract and engage them. Assuring them that they have made the right decision by joining your team is achievable with videos. Five key advantages of using videos to onboard new hires are training consistency, flexible topic presentation, creative content, efficient delivery and informative engagement.
Typically, during orientations, different employees give presentations on the same topics. This can send different messages to your new hires who are just learning the ropes. To avoid this confusion, you can improve training by using videos and creating similar experiences for new hires. Maintaining a high-quality messaging standard with videos helps companies consistently train new employees both in-house and at remote locations. Original videos can present all your company information in an efficient way, reducing the time required for employee onboarding.
If you’re a company trainer and are bringing new-hires up-to-date about company policies, you want to present information in a clear format. With the flexibility of videos, you’ll cover a wide range of topics. For example, a library of videos, arranged in order of length, might include: equal opportunity employment, medical leave, harassment, phone use, internet use, drug testing and workplace safety. Offering company videos, you can either show a separate segment for each topic or store segments for employees’ later use. This flexibility gives employees all the time they need to select and view each video individually or in small groups.
Videos that increase employees’ enthusiasm about their new jobs have something in common: They have creative content and teem with engaging elements. One popular video format is documentary-style. Featuring interviews with company employees, documentary-style videos help to introduce new hires to their colleagues. A second format is known as script-based. In this type of video, actors deliver talks concerning organizational topics, like compensation and benefits. Another useful style of video is the virtual office tour. This format helps those just starting out feel comfortable with their new surroundings. Facilitating onboarding, any of these video formats shares creatively designed content that makes new hires feel welcome.
Most of the time video delivery—online or in person—is an efficient process. Whether you’re uploading a video to a social media website or, for privacy, to a Learning Management System (LMS), it is easy to deliver a quality video online for your new hires. For in-person showings, staff can use TVs, computers, laptops and hand-held devices, such as cell phones. Further, PowerPoint presentations with audio voiceovers can also be used to present videos. Overall, all these video platforms effectively bring tools together for content creation, sharing and management.
Did you know that most workers retain knowledge while they are actively engaged in a learning environment? When your new employees experience orientation through video, they learn. This learning process evolves as they are introduced to older employees, team leaders and management via videos. By watching coworkers’ video-based presentations, your new employees will not only understand policies but also focus on the importance of their own jobs. Similarly, videos of company events help new hires learn about company culture. So, for informative engagement, the best onboarding videos promote company values, not just training goals.
Knowing these five advantages of using videos during your orientation sessions is the key to smooth new-hire transition. Letting new employees know that you value and care about them establishes a welcoming atmosphere that encourages low turnover and high productivity. As a result, producing a successful onboarding experience with videos benefits employee morale and bolsters company performance, creating a win-win situation for everybody.
Ready to create a consistent, creative, memorable and actionable onboarding video? One that can also help keep your company union-free? For nearly 40 years, Projections has specialized in connecting employers and employees through powerful video, web and online messaging! Get started today!
A motivated, happy workforce doesn’t just benefit your company with increased productivity and better quarterly revenues. Employee engagement also guarantees that you get to retain your best employees, enjoy a higher level of staff loyalty, stave off nascent union organizing and ensure your company remains innovative and competitive going forward.
With that in mind, let’s examine the most common warning signs that suggest your employees aren’t as motivated or engaged as you’d like them to be.
Everyone knows teams or individuals who are content to be “just good enough.” Yes, they’re hitting their targets, but box-ticking metrics aren’t the stuff of great companies. Try to develop a culture that inspires your employees to want to become excellent in everything they do.
Most employees should be fine with taking constructive criticism; ideally, they should be actively seeking it out. Unfortunately, some resist feedback, and this can be a sign of increasing withdrawal, both in the workplace and elsewhere.
Some employees can be overly protective of their own status quo. Not wanting to be blamed for failure, they shun any risk at all.
Regardless of the specific benefits that your company enjoys from good interpersonal relationships among your staff, it is a universal truth that bad employee interactions are always a net detriment to productivity. Having employees who won’t work on maintaining or fixing good relationships is a sure sign of trouble further down the line.
Changes to workplace practices can often trigger a natural and subconscious resistance in employees, which should be predicted and managed as such and even leveraged as a coaching or training opportunity. Regardless, it should only be a temporary reaction and dissolve over time. However, when employees demonstrate a chronic and obstinate desire to stay stuck in their ways, it may be an indicator of other, more serious, underlying issues.
Not dissimilar to the desire to shun risk, a lack of interest in experimentation suggests that your employees have grown bored with their work and encounter a lack of stimulation and curiosity in what they do.
Employees who excuse their own work by finding fault in someone else’s show a lack of accountability. They never learn from their mistakes.
It shouldn’t be a hard sell to get your employees to expand their skill set and make themselves more valuable in the process. If some of your staff are reluctant to engage with workplace training and ignore offers of educational opportunities, you might want to explore it with them further in a bid to address any preexisting concerns.
We know gossip when we hear it, and in the workplace, it’s never a good thing. Not only does it decrease team cohesiveness, damage morale and inculcate a negative atmosphere, it’s also a consistent precursor to the beginnings of union organizing in your firm. Rumors and hearsay can spread false notions and add fuel to the fire that union officials rely on.
If you get that feeling that some of your employees are jealous of others, or that there’s a rift between a department or two borne out of a feeling of inequity, it’s definitely worth investigating. What might appear as a sense of petty injustice can have large ramifications on labor relations further down the line.
And, finally, what could be more indicative of disengagement than your staff not turning up to work in the first place? Fortunately, this is usually one of the last signs to manifest itself, giving you plenty of opportunity to address the problem beforehand.
If you’re witnessing any of these signs of failing employee engagement, it’s not too late! In fact, its testament to your commitment to your teams that you’re aware of their needs. Now is the time to begin connecting, and you can use powerfully consistent video messages, highly interactive eLearning and dedicated websites to create an innovative, engaged workforce.
Facebook Live is already being utilized as a powerful marketing tool that connects customers with brands and services. But as people become comfortable with it, more and more businesses are now using the live video streaming service for their internal communications.
Rather than hold extensive meetings that take staff away from their duties, these companies are using Facebook Live to get their message out to employee teams quickly and efficiently.
As most people are comfortable with Facebook already, a Live can be very effective at improving employee relations — particularly in the case of union organizing activity. Answering questions, dispelling myths and educating employees all take on a additional degree of credibility and honesty when they’re addressed Live.
If your employees are engaged and valued, they’re less likely to turn to a union – or any outside, third party – to solve internal issues.
We have some great ways you can use Facebook Live to maintain healthy and productive relationships with your entire workforce. Throughout, we’ll also provide you with some great tips (that savvy marketers know) that also apply to connecting with employees – starting with the idea of promoting your own online event!
PRO TIP: About a day in advance, let employees know you’ll be hosting the Live. Tease the content without giving it away, and be sure to make them feel like they’re IN on the company’s latest news!
Your managers can create intimate impromptu meetings at any time with Facebook Live — regardless of where they or your employees are! This can be an effective way to solicit ideas, deliver positive feedback and quickly update the team on business goals. Remember too that these meetings take on a whole different feel when they’re done as a Live. No more awkward conference calls that drag on for what seems like forever! Employees can post questions in the comments, which can be addressed live or even individually after the broadcast is over.
PRO TIP: Keep it short! Don’t expect employees to stick around forever – keeping your broadcast in the 2-3 minute range is ideal.
If you’re used to making big company announcements to employees via email, consider the impact of making that announcement live. Make an event of it for employees who are able to be there, and broadcast Live for those who aren’t. Gathering employees together for a Facebook Live broadcast ensures nothing is lost in translation, everyone hears the same message, and it can help improve morale and engagement.
Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare used Facebook Live in May of last year to share their ground breaking ceremony with employees. They learned that many more employees viewed the Live after it was over than tuned in while it was happening!
PRO TIP: Expand your audience when the news is good – you can use internal company announcements to make customers and the public feel like part of your success story. Facebook will allow you to “boost” your Live post to an audience of your choosing to make an even bigger splash after the event.
All too often, employees in large companies know nothing of what happens in other departments or locations. By broadcasting tours of various departments and interviewing key personnel, you can give everyone a flavor of what goes on in seemingly remote areas of the business.
PRO TIP: Even if you’re mobile during your live, be sure to use the highest production values possible. Use a gimbal and an external mic, also be sure your internet connection is strong no matter where you’ll be – and of course, be sure your battery is fully charged!
People often feel more emboldened to ask awkward questions when there is safety in numbers. You can give your employees an open forum to get their questions answered by holding Q&A sessions via Facebook Live.
Sometimes it’s even more effective to give them the opportunity to submit questions a day (or at most, two) prior to your Live. Allow them to submit via email, suggestion box or anonymous online form. This gives you the opportunity to review the questions and craft your answer, particularly helpful during a union organizing drive!
This format also has the secondary benefit of bringing in a larger audience, as people often want to hear the answer to the question they’ve submitted!
PRO TIP: When you do a Live meeting, have someone assist by manning the comments. That person doesn’t have to be in the same room as you, but they can post relevant links as well as make sure questions get answered in real-time.
Whether you’re holding a meeting or a Q&A session, there are a few practical tips that should make your next internal Facebook Live broadcast engaging and informative.
Even if you’re not doing a Q&A format, use the hours before your broadcast to gather questions, ideas and discussion topics from your employees. To keep things organized, join companies like Walmart, Dominos and Starbucks by using the new Facebook Workplace app for the entire process.
There are also several other technical tips to bear in mind when communicating with employees via Facebook Live. For example, you should test your lighting levels with other Facebook users in advance. If you’re using your phone’s forward-facing camera, things may be backward! If you’re holding up any documents or demonstrating anything, remember that it’s a mirror image your audience sees. Finally choose a location that is conducive to the type of broadcast you’ll be creating, including external noise, and attractive (and non-distracting) backgrounds.
It’s important to use Facebook Live as an interactive tool. Be ready to respond to comments as and when they’re written, and address commenters by name when you reply.
The way the world’s largest companies communicate with their employees is changing, and this was demonstrated recently by Delta Air Lines. The company wanted to thank all of its 80,000 employees for a great year, and did so with a 50-hour Facebook Live broadcast.
Marie Osmond, Jeff Foxworthy, Naya Rivera and other celebrities took turns to thank each and every one of Delta’s employees by name. The mammoth broadcast also featured world record attempts, entertainers and coverage of art creation. Delta’s so-called “Big Thank You” was communicated to business partners, customers and employees using the #DeltaProud Twitter hashtag — thus maximizing viewing figures.
Whether you’ve got big news, regular updates, or you’re just keen to keep your organization union-free, communicating with your workforce via Facebook Live can help you to maintain an open, honest and mutually respectful working environment.