By 2025, Gen Z is projected to make up about 27% of the workforce. Born between 1995 and 2009, this group has big aspirations for making a big impact in the workplace. Almost half (49%) say their job is central to their sense of identity.

How can leaders maximize the full potential of their Gen Z staffers? Writer Abby Heugel contributed a piece to The Muse blog that covers some ideas. Keep reading this issue of PromoPro Daily, where we highlight Heugel’s tips for managing the newest generation of workers.

Provide meaningful support. Members of Gen Z will work hard and stay at a company longer if they have a manager who supports them. Think about how you can collaborate with your Gen Z employees. When you mentor them and help them map out a career path you show empathy, which for Gen Z professionals is a prerequisite for engagement at work.

Learn from mistakes. Since Gen Z values leaders who normalize failure as part of the learning process, you should aim to share your own learning experiences. Heugel says it’s important to reinforce that everyone is continuously learning.

Embrace transparency. This generation is used to always being in the know. Therefore, you can lead them well by striving to show openness, honesty and transparency. This goes a long way toward building trust, Heugel says.

Lead by example. When it comes to managing Gen Z, take a more active role in their day-to-day tasks. Get on the phone with them and work through sales calls together. They appreciate this kind of hands-on leadership.

Showcase company values. What’s important at your promo company? Gen Zers want to know they work for organizations that are striving to make a difference. Heugel says leaders must understand and reinforce what Gen Z is looking for in an employer.

Offer flexibility when possible. Keep in mind that Gen Z didn’t begin their careers working in a traditional office setting, Heugel says. If it makes sense for their role, try to offer flexibility on their hours or explore hybrid options.

Encourage community. Many Gen Z professionals value flexibility in how and when they work, but they also want to be connected. Build in opportunities for employees to get to know each other. Give company-branded merch to new hires. It can spark a sense of pride and belonging when everyone is sipping from a logoed coffee mug.

Recognize their good work. Heugel says Gen Z also places specific importance on their work having a purpose and positive impact, whether that’s societal, environmental or other. If a sales rep lands a new client, celebrate the deal with a promo item.

Gen Z undoubtedly brings a unique perspective to promo companies and the industry as a whole. They’re the first generation to grow up in the digital age, and they tend to be adaptable and innovative. They also have different expectations than other generations when it comes to culture, atmosphere and support at work. If you have Gen Z team members at your company, consider the tips above to keep them engaged and lead them well.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Abby Heugel is an award-winning writer and certified proofreader/copy editor who has worked with clients ranging from Meta/Facebook, Stripe, Lyft, Instacart, Kenvue, Livestrong and Google to retail magazines and digital marketing agencies.