Mentoring, flexibility will help attract, retain Gen Z workers

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Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, will make up 27% of the workforce by 2025 — and businesses looking to recruit members of this labor pool may want to consider some distinct management techniques.

Particularly if those techniques can leverage smart phones.

Members of the demographic group average 45 hours a week on their phone, making it an extension of their body and brain, and this YouTube generation loves to teach themselves things, said Better Together Group co-owner Hannah MacDonald, during a webinar organized by Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic.

Since their first thought is to go online for research, they are more likely to find out things for themselves in the course of their careers, she added.

young and old truck driver
(Photo: istock)

Not limited by time and space

MacDonald also observed that Gen Z actively uses social media to connect with family, friends, classmates, and even co-workers. “Our concept around communication is different, the 9-5 guidelines don’t make sense. Our boundaries are limitless as we can talk to anyone at any time,” she said.

This means that Gen Z members are out-of-the-box thinkers who are adept in building and maintaining long-distance relationships. Some of them were in school or graduated during the Covid pandemic, which made them self-motivated, self-organized, and good at time-management skills.

(Photo: iStock)

Stuck at home during the pandemic, however, they lack real-world experience and may not have learned how to dress properly for work, look managers in the eye, or shake hands. Employers can help address these issues, though.

They also value flexibility, she said, recommending strategies like flexible working hours or days, different offices, or jobs split into various tasks.  

“Listen first before rushing to offer a solution.”

Hannah MacDonald, co-owner Better Together Group

Bosses and supervisors must take the time to find out how these workers are making an impact by doing their tasks and generating results, MacDonald said.

“Listen to learn, learn to understand, understand to speak,” she added. “Listen first before rushing to offer a solution.”

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Leo Barros is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been a journalist for more than two decades, holds a CDL and has worked as a longhaul truck driver. Reach him at

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