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Employing Generation Z: How to Connect with the Connected Generation

By Jonathan McClellan | August 27, 2018 | Engage Employees

From their fresh ideas to their style and behavior, Generation Z requires a different approach to employee recognition and engagement. How do you create a unique employer culture and employee experience with a constantly connected “iGeneration”? Hallmark Business Connections is here to give you tips on motivating, recognizing and building employee recognition programs to include Generation Z.

Let’s start with the basics. Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z is the post-Millennial era.

Coming in on the tail end of the Millennials, Gen Z usually includes those born between 1995 and 2010, with the oldest fresh into the workforce at about 22 years old. By 2020, Generation Z will represent about one third of America’s population.

According to Huffington Post, Gen Z will represent one third of America’s population by 2020.

You may be recruiting this generation sooner than you think. Studies find more and more Gen Zers choose to skip higher education and head straight into the workforce. With a strong and almost intrinsic tech skillset, many Gen Zers are willing and able to self-teach a slew of digitally dexterous skills in a short period of time.

As this young, vivacious group asserts itself into the workforce with knowledge of a world many older generations still struggle with, they’re also aware of the competition presented to stay relevant.

Generation Z is technology-focused.

An article on Forbes states that Gen Zers use an average of five devices daily.

The first generation born into in an entirely digital environment, Gen Zers have not known a world without technology—a disconnect oppositely mirrored by older generations who may not fully understand the psychology of being raised constantly and effortlessly connected to the world.

Using an average of 5 devices daily, technology to Gen Z is not an optional or innovative addition to their lives, but rather an everyday part of their existence.

Gen Zers have a strong technological skillset invaluable to our world’s growth and adaptation to the ever-evolving tech and social media worlds. While the introduction of new apps or software may leave older generations scratching their heads, Gen Zs seem to have an instinctual technological connection that allows them to adapt to and learn new technologies seamlessly.

Generation Z is powerfully informed.

Millennial working on a laptop.

Gen Zers have grown up with front-row seats to a loud social and political environment and are learning to consume responsibly. Gen Zers tend to support socially responsible brands they can believe in and desire opportunities to be involved in the causes their chosen brands support through their own social reach. Similarly, they’re looking for the same in their job search.

Employee Recognition for Generation Z

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. When it comes to the job hunt, what does Generation Z look for in an employer? And more importantly, what should an employer do to ensure that their employee recognition program is optimal for the younger generation?

Generation Z wants inclusion for all.


First and foremost, it’s important to utilize an employee recognition program that works for all generations. Recognition done right builds an engaged community, yet the forced desire for sincere engagement can quickly create a disconnect between generations struggling with a surface understanding of each other. Build and nourish authentic connections with programs designed to recognize all types of employees, including the Gen Zers just entering the workforce.

Generation Z wants an authentic company culture.

Hallmark Business Connections finds that an authentic recognition program promotes 76% more engagement from employees.

Finding an organization with an authentic company culture of recognition is of upmost importance for Generation Z. This generation desires strong social impact, transparent visions and social contributions that, in turn, create a company culture that is authentic, charitable and highly prized.

Improving company culture starts with making employees feel valued and appreciated in both their careers and in their lives. Implementing a strong recognition program boosts company culture and will pique the interest of job-hunting Gen Zers. Add an authentic employee recognition program and you’ll see 76% more engagement, 50% higher productivity and 40% less burnout among employees. These stats ring true with all ages, but are vitally important to this new generation.

Generation Z wants personalization.

Award designs like this cheery orange on cream with an enthusiastic Well Done allows you to recognize them in real time.

Recognizing accomplishments within your employee community is key to inspiring more of the same, especially to Gen Zers who expect mutual connection from employers. As you consider generational adaptation, move beyond traditional recognition programs to provide unique and accessible recognition personalized to the individual. Providing seamless integration with your brand elements and real-time recognition anytime on any device, Hallmark Business Connections provides the 24/7 solution to creating and accessing rewards at a moment’s notice.

Generation Z wants options.

Keep the applause coming employee recognition award from Hallmark Business Connections.

As Gen Z seeks to support brands they believe in, make sure your employee recognition programs provide a variety of options and brands to choose from to keep employees motivated and appreciated. With over 100 years fostering authentic connections, a Hallmark card is instantly recognizable and can be personalized with messages that are relevant for every generation, too.

Want to start rolling out an employee recognition program built for all generations? Let’s start talking.

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