MReport May 2021

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26 | M R EP O RT FEATURE ing of current issues based on their work with their Gen Z counterparts. Once a company has Gen Z people onboard, they must be allowed to have their voices heard and to have changes made based on their input. Create formal and informal feedback loops to facili- tate this idea-gathering. Whether those are town halls, surveys, or a suggestion box, find the right fit for your culture and be transpar- ent about the feedback you receive and what you're doing about it. Additionally, as you keep a pulse on your own policies and how they can evolve with society, consider facilitating focus groups with various diverse employees across the organization to solicit their input. Bring them into the conversations where changes and decisions being made will affect them or your customers. Overall, it's not enough just to have some- one on board with your organiza- tion—you must make them an integral part and allow them to institute change. This not only adds value to your organization, but it also adds value to your relationship with employees and recruits. Next, make sure their work has meaning. Be clear about your company's mission and actively work to ensure that every em- ployee understands their role in driving that mission. Work that truly makes a difference brings motivation, especially for this generation that places a high value on belonging in and creating spaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It's important to note that "work" doesn't have to directly translate to what the employee has been hired to do. For example, allow Gen Zers to become involved in employee re- source groups and sit on diversity councils to help push the business forward in a way that also is related to the bottom line. You may not have hired them in a DEI role, but give them the space to find meaning there as well. Also, take a critical look at the way you view culture. When recruiting new employees, rather than hiring those that would be a "culture fit," hire the Gen Zers that would be a "culture add"— those that could strengthen your corporate culture rather than merely maintaining the status quo. So often we look for em- ployees who are going to be those perfect puzzle pieces and fit right into the organization as it current- ly is, rather than hiring disrupters and noisemakers to help innovate, bring additional value, and grow with the company. Seeking out and onboarding employees with new and fresh perspectives and a range of personal experiences will set your business up for success far beyond the bottom line. Another important point to keep in mind when recruiting Gen Zers is to ensure your tech- nology usage is on par. Not only will our Gen Z recruits heavily depend on different platforms but those will also likely be how you reach them in the first place when recruiting. Communicate with them through digital chan- nels and platforms they're already actively participating in. In doing this, you'll be going directly to the source. Finally, keep this generation's financial priorities in mind. While Gen Zers desire passion and meaning in their work, they also value financial stability. According to a recent report by Concordia University, St. Paul, the compensa- tion and benefits you offer Gen Zers will be another key element in their decision-making process. Additionally, promotion and career advancement opportunities are another key driver to build- ing trust with this generation, as noted in recent Catalyst research. Gen Z is a completely unique generation for many reasons. With its diverse makeup, or- ganizations would do well to understand their wants and needs and to start prioritizing DEI at all levels of the company if they want to be an attractive and viable option for this generation in the future. Gen Zers may just be entering the workforce, but they are setting out to change the world. . SUSAN SULLIVAN is the SVP of Human Resources for Genworth U.S. Mortgage Insurance. Sullivan is responsible for all HR accountabilities across Genworth's USMI organization, which includes driving the overarching people strategy for USMI and leading the Employee Relations, Internal Communications, Learning & Development, and Facilities teams. Sullivan earned a bachelor's degree in business & economics from St. Andrews Presbyterian University, holds multiple HR certifications, and has completed executive education programs at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of Virginia Darden Business School, and Duke University. The statements provided are the opinions of Susan Sullivan and do not reflect the views of Genworth or its management. As you keep a pulse on your own policies and how they can evolve with society, consider facilitating focus groups with various diverse employees across the organization to solicit their input.

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