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At the salon level in this industry, chances are you have a staff that includes members of “Gen Z.” What’s Gen Z? Right now (2021), it’s your staff who are 16-24 years old. Gen Z are much like Millennials, but they have their vast differences.
Gen Z is our first generation of “Digital Natives” – meaning these people were born into a life that includes peak technology. Some have been navigating a smart phone almost their entire lives, and have no memory of life before them! So what makes these Gen Z-ers tick? What makes them stay with or leave a job? What makes them thrive? This month, we will discuss how to motivate current and future Gen Z staffers.
What is a driving force for the current generation is financial gain and room for advancement.
There must be value.
This holds true for employees of any generation; but the Gen Z are facing different challenges than those who came before them. What is a driving force for the current generation is financial gain and room for advancement. Wages have not really changed over the last decade, but college tuition, cost of living and healthcare expenses have dramatically increased. Creating a working environment in which your staff can earn competitive wages as well as work toward advancement opportunities will go a long way in keeping them happy and motivated.
In a survey conducted by a staffing agency, it was reported that 1 in 5 (21%) of Gen Z workers could not afford their routine healthcare expenses. When asked what their biggest financial concern was, a whopping 43% reported that it was their student debt. Although there isn’t much we can do about the student debt, offering staff healthcare options might motivate them to stay.
Technology, Technology, Technology!
Gen Z staff have grown up in a generation of immediate satisfaction. It doesn’t matter that it has come in the form of likes, comments or shares. If something in their life has happened, they are used to putting it out there for the world to see, and being immediately praised. Try implementing this ideal when it comes to your commission structure! You can offer daily bonus opportunities (instead of monthly) to create that “instant gratification.” You can put small incremental goals in place, or create a private Facebook group just for your staff where you can share their milestones and they can be encouraged by their fellow team members. While on the subject of technology, think about your training procedures. Are you expecting staff to read and memorize all the information in a short amount of time for them to become Rockstar Salespeople? Maybe, let’s look at a different approach. This generation is used to taking in small tidbits of information, constantly. For example, take TokTok: little, one-minute videos that Gen Zs can watch for hours. Think about breaking up your training system into small tidbits of info they can learn over time. With this approach, you are more likely to keep them engaged and help them retain the information.
Improve Internal Communication.
Info from the same study says that only 55% of Gen Zs reported that their current employer has great communication and collaboration across departments. Gen Zs named “employees who like to collaborate” as being the type of co-workers who would help them to best succeed. On the salon level, we can offer this type of environment by creating “shift teams” or having full hands-on staff meetings, when the entire team works together to create promotions and special events, help resolve scheduling conflicts, etc. If you allow people to work together to problem-solve, they tend to become more a part of the solution and less a part of the problem.
In another decade, this generation will make up about 40% of our workforce! It’s best to take the necessary steps now to create a working environment that invites Gen Zs to thrive and grow, rather than use our salons as a stepping stone to something better. Within your business, with the right culture and procedures in place, you can create the “something better.”
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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