How to manage Gen Z employees in deskless jobs

The latest generation to enter the job market is Gen Z. This generation, born between 1997 and 2012, is now entering the workforce in large numbers. And they bring with them unique attitudes and expectations about work. Gen Z is often considered a fresh challenge for businesses hiring and retaining employees, especially when it comes to deskless jobs.

By addressing these challenges, businesses can better attract, retain, and engage Gen Z workers in deskless jobs.

Four young workers sitting on a bench, using smartphones

Gen Z leads a connected lifestyle

Z is a generation of digital natives who are accustomed to a digital, connected lifestyle. They have grown up with smartphones, social media, and other technology. And now they expect to be able to use these tools in their work. But many deskless jobs in factories, retail and service industry do not offer the same level of technology and connectivity as office jobs.

This can be frustrating for Gen Z in the workplace. They may feel isolated and disconnected from their colleagues and the wider world. Without the collaboration tools and platforms common in office environments, it can be difficult for businesses to communicate with and engage these workers.

They are the first generation to have grown up with technology and the internet as a central part of their lives. This makes them much more comfortable with digital communication. This is why they may find it more comfortable to use than traditional phone calls or face to face conversations. 

Without a digital way of expressing themselves, Gen Z can easily withhold important information such as workplace feedback. They may even fail to communicate mission critical scheduling issues. Gen Z feels that digital channels provide a faster and more efficient way to communicate. This is why they prefer to send urgent information through text rather than phone calls or a knock on the door.

Furthermore, digital tools allow Gen Z workers to communicate from anywhere, at any time. This can be particularly useful for workers who are constantly on the go. Or for those who may not have a traditional office or workspace.

By actively implementing technology such as workforce management apps or employee communication apps for their employees, businesses can make it easier for Gen Z workers to stay connected and work together.

Gen Z appreciates flexibility

Another challenge of employing members of Gen Z in deskless jobs is the fact that this generation values flexibility and work-life balance. They have grown up in a time of economic uncertainty and rapid change. So they are usually looking for jobs that offer them the ability to manage their own time and schedule. 

But many deskless jobs are physically demanding and require workers to be on site at specific times. This makes it often difficult for employees to achieve the level of flexibility they desire.

To provide some flexibility, employers can consider offering dynamic scheduling options. Flexible work schedules can allow employees to choose at least some of the hours that they work. This could include options such as part-time, full-time, or remote work. Young employees can even be excited about job sharing arrangements. By offering a range of scheduling options, companies can help employees find a schedule that works best for them.

Gen Z loves to learn and grow

In addition, Gen Z workers are often looking for jobs that offer career advancement opportunities, learning and personal growth. They are eager to develop their skills and knowledge, and they want to work for organizations that will support their professional development. They also value regular feedback and support from their managers and colleagues.

However, many deskless jobs do not offer the same possibilities for development opportunities as office jobs. Often the work environment is dull and the tasks are repetitive, with no development opportunities in sight. This can make it difficult for businesses to retain and motivate Gen Zers. But there are usually still ways to provide useful trainings – and there is always room for feedback and support, even in deskless jobs.

By focusing on these upgrades, business leaders can still help Gen Z workers feel valued and supported in a deskless job.