The Generation Z population that is now slowly making their way to your workforce. This generation, according to the Pew Research Center, is composed of people born from 1997 to 2012. It means that the oldest Gen-Zer today is 22 years old and already eligible for a full-time job. Although the average age of a college graduate is 25 years old, many Gen-Zers are already poised to graduate in 2019 and are ready to enter the professional workforce.
Looking Ahead: How to Make Your Corporate Event Appealing to the Gen Z Workforce
Digital and Experiential Engagements
According to the Harvard Business Review’s look at the effect of employee engagement on performance, a highly engaged workforce creates better quality work faster than employees who don’t feel as involved. Employees who have higher engagement levels also stay with the company longer, lowering the company’s hiring and retention costs.
A lot of research papers and reports agree on two things that define Generation Z. First, they’re digital natives. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company says that this generation has been exposed to the internet and mobile devices since their early youth. The oldest ones in this group were around six to seven years old when Facebook was launched and about 10 years old when the first iPhone came out.
Another thing that defines Gen-Zers, the firm says, is that they engage best through experiences, both online and offline. To keep your Gen Z workforce performing well, you need to give them engaging events. Find out how you can create one that they’ll surely love with the following tips.
Keep Your Event Connected
Apart from the ‘digital native’ moniker assigned to the Gen Z population, they’re also known as the “always on crowd.“ This means that they’re continuously connected to the internet at all times of the day. Over 96% of Generation Z in the United States own a smartphone. More than half of that population also say their smartphone is the most important device that they own and that they spend an average of four hours online daily.
If you want your Gen Z workforce to enjoy your event, the venue must have fast and free Wi-Fi. If you can’t find a place in your area, ask your corporate event planners to book a venue in Kansas City that has it. If you’re worried that Gen-Zers would be missing half of your event because they are on their phones don’t fret, they are hardwired for multitasking.
Make it Share-able
Social media is engrained in Generation Z and is a huge part of their lives. Another report by GlobalWebIndex says that over 80% of the Gen Z population uses Facebook, 84% use YouTube, and 63% use Instagram.
Your Gen Z workforce has a curated Instagram feed to maintain and YouTube videos to create, so you need to make your event appealing enough for them to share online. Instead of providing a photo booth with your company’s logo tiled in the background, have someone create an impressive mural with a bold color scheme. If you want your brand to be in every photo, hang up cool neon signs with your brand name or create cool, kitsch shirts that your Gen Z employees can wear during the event.
Apart from giving your employees a fun experience, having an Instagrammable venue also helps create good publicity for your workplace. The pictures your workers share when they’re having fun in your event shows that your company is enjoyable to work for. If you want to see every post about your event, encourage a photo competition with an official hashtag.
The Perfect Prize
You can’t expect your employees to join in on a competition, let alone go to your event if you don’t have attractive prizes up for grabs. According to Sustainable Brands, Gen Z prefers brands that are honest and transparent about their business practices. When it comes to raffle and competition prizes, give away gift cards from brands they trust like Everlane and TOMS.
For the grand prize, offer the ultimate experience: travel. According to a 2018 paper by Expedia, in collaboration with The Center for Generational Kinetics, Gen Z is more interested in adventure travel like exploring caves, hiking trails, or scaling mountains. This differs from the preferences of millennials and Gen X-ers, who like relaxing experiences such as trips to the beach or the spa. Tease these prizes in your email blasts and watch attendance go up fast.
Appease Their Hunger for Health
While Chick-fil-A and Doritos are on the Gen Z’s top 20 brands list, a recent 30,000-respondent survey from Nielsen begs to differ. It showed that 40% of Generation Z want the ingredients for their food to be sourced sustainably. To add to this, over 31% of Gen Zers are also willing to pay a premium for healthy food. This should prompt you to rethink your menu for the event if it’s filled with carb-loaded pasta and delicious but greasy fried chicken. Switch to a caterer that specializes in light and healthy food like salads, light cheeses, and delicious cocktail options made with sparkling water instead of soda.
The Gen Z workforce may live and breathe in the vast expanse of the internet, but they enjoy live experiences just as much as digital ones. Going the extra mile and providing an awesome experience for your young workers is worth the effort. After all, they are the future leaders of your company.
Get a Professional Team to Organize Your Event
It’s daunting to organize a company event in addition to your daily workload. The experts at MTI Events can help you throw an event that appeals to the Gen-Z, millennial, and Gen X crowd. We’ve helped businesses big and small in Kansas City and beyond organize their meetings, team building activities, trade shows, and more. Our team of professional planners makes sure that every event you create with us aligns with your company’s vision.
Contact us today to give your employees the great event they deserve.