As Baby Boomers retire in greater numbers, Millennials and Generation Z workers are getting jobs and earning more money. These two groups were raised in a tech-saturated and socially conscious era, and that has shaped their expectations of the companies they interact with – whether as employees or as consumers. How can you adapt your marketing and hiring to meet these younger generations and deliver on what matters most to them?
Sense of Purpose
Both Millennials and Gen Zers are typically seeking workplaces that are socially conscious and committed to a larger purpose. They’re usually not as concerned with the bottom line – and see a commitment to social issues or causes as a benefit, akin to great insurance or time-off policies.
These generations typically enjoy working for or doing business with a company that promotes diversity or protects the environment, and usually focus a little less on profit alone. In fact, a recent study on the behaviors and attitudes of Gen Zers found that 60% of them would support brands that take a stand on important social issues.
So many brands today are succeeding by creating business models where they also give back. TOMS shoes famously gives away a pair of shoes for each one sold and has expanded their mission to provide things like clean water and even necessary medical items to those in underprivileged areas.
How can your business align your internal goals with a larger mission that addresses big societal issues?
Tech-Enabled Flexibility & Freedom
Technology makes it easier than ever for you to connect with consumers. With smartphones almost always in hand, these younger generations expect it to be easy to connect with your brand, no matter where they are. Developing mobile-friendly sites, creating apps (or at least thinking like one!), and making it easy to connect via social media or chat are all ways your business can facilitate seamless communication with younger consumers.
On the hiring side, there has been a major shift towards more remote work. Thanks to cloud-based technology that can connect team members anywhere in the world, the future is decidedly virtual for industries focused on computer work.
Some traditional companies fear what remote work will do to employee productivity and morale. With visions of endless Facebook scrolling and Netflix streaming dancing in managers’ heads, they may be afraid to allow these younger employees the freedom they crave.
The good news is that those fears are unfounded. A number of studies have shown that, in fact, the exact opposite is true, and remote workers are even more productive than their cubicle-dwelling counterparts. Of course, many business owners need employees to be on location working with customers and clients, so remote work isn't an option. If that's the case, think about other benefits you can offer your employees, like flexible work schedules, more time off, or volunteer days where they can use their time to volunteer with an organization of their choice.
Career Growth & Mentorship
One study revealed that 36% of Gen Zers are more concerned with finding a job that provides the opportunity for growth rather than focusing solely on salary. These younger workers are hungry for mentorship and want an employer that’s willing to invest in them and their future.
Establishing a mentorship program and demonstrating a commitment to younger workers’ futures at the company is an important way to guarantee longer tenures. Not only that, but when you create a work culture that excites your employees, you can use that enthusiasm to fuel an employee advocacy program that increases your reach, recognition, and trust on social media. Understanding younger generations’ points of view and priorities empowers you to create a more compelling marketing approach and attract the greatest new talent, who will be excited to come and work for your business.
Times are definitely changing when it comes to the demographics of typical buyers and employees. So, it's helpful to understand what drives your customers to make purchasing, and working, decisions.