Is Your Company Ready for the Gen Z Workforce? -
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Is Your Company Ready for the Gen Z Workforce?

by | Apr 17, 2024 | Floral Industry News | 0 comments

Olivia Thilges, a Gen Z employee at Bloom Floral in Algona, Iowa, has been with the shop for two years. The shop has made supporting young workers, like Gen Z a priority by offering good pay and plenty of training.

With Gen Z set to outnumber baby boomers in the workforce this year, a seismic shift is underway in career development and workplace culture. Born between 1997 and 2012, this generation is rewriting the rules, demanding more from their employers and challenging traditional norms.

In the March/April issue of Floral Management, writer Laurie Herrera talked with several floral industry professionals and a human resources expert on how companies can adapt to the Gen Z way of working.

Rethink Work Structures

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote work trends, with Gen Z expecting flexibility in their schedules. Hybrid work models, shortened work weeks, and remote options are becoming increasingly popular, providing employees with the work-life balance they desire.

Invest in Professional Development

Gen Z values ongoing learning and professional growth. Employers can retain young talent by investing in their development through training programs, industry events, and mentorship opportunities.

“Coach them, teach them, get them a mentor so that they can grow and develop,” says Fernando Ortega, general manager and sales “captain” at Jet Fresh Flower Distributors in Miami. “If you’re not coaching and developing the young staff, you’re never going to hold on to them.”

Give Feedback

Regular, timely feedback is essential for Gen Z employees, who have grown up accustomed to constant communication. Employers must foster open dialogue and provide constructive feedback to support their growth and development. “The biggest issue I hear from Gen Z is they’re not getting any feedback,” says human resource consultant Glenna Hecht. That’s problematic because “if I don’t know what’s expected of me, I can’t hit a target,” she says.

Embracing Innovation

Gen Z brings fresh perspectives and technological savvy to the table. Employers should embrace their innovative ideas and be open to new approaches to tasks and processes, fostering a culture of creativity and adaptability. “It’s easy to be close-minded and say, ‘This has worked for me for so many years,’” says Ortega. “If you open your mind and give the younger generation a chance, you’d be amazed at how much easier it is to find young talent.”

For more on working with Gen Z, read “The Gen Z Way” in the March/April issue of Floral Management.

Amanda Jedlinsky is the senior director of content and communications for the Society of American Florists.

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