The Digital Nomad Generations: How to Work With Millennials and Gen Z
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It’s the age of younger but skilled freelancers. More than ever, age is only a number. But it also comes with certain traits. Here’s a guide on how to work smart with your Millennial and Gen Z (Zoomers) outsourced employees.
The digital marketplace and collaborative economy have shifted the worldview on ‘experience.’ It no longer means years. It’s now simply hands-on work, a portfolio showcasing what a professional has done and can do.
These days, a graphic designer in their 20s has impressive portfolio. Fresh from college but with work completed for various clients. Developers and coders can hone their craft before going to university. While others attached to digital have a work-from-anywhere philosophy.
Remote workers increased by 159% since 2009. Workers are no longer chained to their desks, they are free to work anywhere while still producing the best results.
The Great Resignation placed companies in extreme difficulty finding experienced talent to fill positions. Employers have no room to be picky about age groups. It’s the skill that matters, and millennials and Gen Z fill that talent shortage or are the candidates for upskilling.
How Millennials changed office cultures
Millennials are taking over as the rising leaders and they are changing company cultures for the better. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials with 60% of them as effective leaders.
They pioneered in demanding work-life balance with sustainable practices. They also bring increased awareness to office politics and regard it as the second major barrier to performing effectively. Millennials are also sensitive to burnout, raising concerns about mental health awareness.
Millennials and Gen Z compared
Entrepreneurs, big and small, inevitably have a mix of generations in their virtual offices. Always work smart. And a smart employer knows there doesn’t have to be a clash of worldview and ethos between millennials and Gen Z.
- Outlook. Millennials are optimistic risk-takers. Zoomers are more cautious. This is because Zoomers are witnesses of Millennials’ success and failures.
- Tech-driven lifestyle. Millennials adapted to technology. Zoomers are digital natives. Both generations are early adopters of new technologies, although Millennials would have some resistance, comparing new tools with old ones they’ve been using.
- Collaboration. Millennials invest in teamwork and sharing workspaces. Zoomers value independence and improving their marketable skills and career advancement.
- Communication. Millennials prefer online messaging software (55%) or email (28%) and in-person communication (14%). Zoomers prefer all of their interactions to be digital.
- Working span. Millennials’ average stay in a job is 3 years. Zoomer’s average stay in a job is 2 years and 3 months.
- Work schedules. 73% of Millennials while 66% of Zoomers prefer more control over their work schedules.
- Work arrangements. 66% of Millennials while 63% of Gen Z prefer working remotely.
Strategies to attract and retain Millennials and Zoomers
Ultimately, there’s no mold and no shirt color for either millennials and Gen Z. A smart employer simply has to be flexible.
Gen Y: Millennials
Millennials want what the previous generation wanted. They aspire to live well with regular paychecks. But they are proactive and particular about the purpose of their responsibilities.
Many millennials have a level of disengagement with their current jobs.
- 16% of millennials are actively disengaged. They don’t like their jobs and ensure others won’t either.
- 55% of millennials are not engaged. They are clocking in and out but are not mentally present. They are unenergetic and indifferent.
- Only 29% of millennials are engaged but they don’t feel good about the money they spend.
How to attract Millennials: 75% of Millennials prefer to work from home with a supervisor that keeps them informed. They also value having enough time to prepare for their work. 44% of millennials are likely to be more engaged with companies with a constant focus on performance feedback.
Gen Z: Zoomers
Gen Zs are born in the age of digital. By 2025, 27% of the workforce will be Zoomers. They value their salary less than other generations.
34% of Zoomers want in-person work arrangements. This is because most of them entered the corporate world pre-pandemic, inexperienced in in-person office cultures.
How to attract Zoomers? Gen Z prioritize jobs where they can improve their skills and broaden their expertise. They prefer companies with diversity and inclusion. You can also encourage them when you open training sessions for upgrading skills.
What Millennials and Zoomers want
More than half of Gen Y and Gen Z feel pressure being available at all times. Establish boundaries between work and off hours.
In addition to work-life balance, both generations want a sense of autonomy, the challenge of mastery, and purpose. So give them their freedom, and room for lateral upskilling, and communicate and engage to make them feel like they’re truly a part of the team, showing them where you want to take the company.
27% of Millennials and Zoomers desire purposeful work with rewarding salaries and promotions. It’s not always about the money but it should be considered.
Both generations also stay when you have a healthy organizational culture.
- Eliminate work discrimination.
- Utilize communication tools and project communication tools for overcommunication and engagement.
- Empower your employees. Invest in training and upgrade their skills in line with their career goals.
Give Millennials and Zoomers clear and actionable feedback. Express gratitude. It doesn’t have to be monetary compensation. Top Achievers, Work Highlights, Spotlights: create your versions of Employees of the Month to give credit where it’s due.
Compromise. Don’t lose out on excellent and skilled digital workers through rigidity.
Your team bends backward to accommodate their clients. In turn, smart employers should be willing to compromise, step back, and realize that a Millennial and Zoomer’s proposal of procedure DOES NOT hamper results. It usually doesn’t.
Drop preconceptions, start smart, and compromise as you go. Smooth sailing with your Millennial or Zoomer team depends on good feelings from both parties. A good feeling comes from warm consideration. Technology can be cold–but people are people because of warmth.