Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! Let’s give a big welcome to Generation Z!

By Joe Cuticelli and Jacquelyn Kung

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! Let’s give a big welcome to Generation Z!

No One Is Talking about Generation Z

This is the newest generation in our workforce, and they are taking senior living communities by storm.

This generation, born between 1998-2014, is THE generation that will care for us.

More importantly, they have the potential to, at least partially, solve our sector’s workforce challenges. For this reason, we need to act NOW to win their hearts.

First, let’s introduce them.

Who They Are

Born and raised next to home computers and iPhones, Generation Z are tech natives. They wake up checking Snap. They gobble up visuals and video, watching six-second RIPVine videos on their Instagram feeds. In fact, Sodexo’s research (Sodexo is a Senior Housing Forum Partner) shows: 52% of them order FOOD online. 

More surprisingly, they are a generation that prizes stability. After all, they saw their parents scramble during the Great Recession, and they were raised to fear shooters at school, at the movie theater, and frankly, anywhere they go.

Purpose Is Key

When it comes to work, this is a generation that seeks PURPOSE. They are engaged by having a higher purpose to their work.

Stability and purpose . . . these workplace benefits should sound familiar to us in senior living. And it’s true: we offer both things in droves.

Love Me

How do we get Generation Z to love us?

The good news: Sodexo and Great Place to Work Institute has found that this is a generation that already LOVES working in senior living. In fact, our data shows that this may be a generation that is even MORE engaged with our work in senior living than Generation X (born 1965-1980) and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964).

The bad news: At ages 16 to 20-years-old, our data shows that Generation Z are often still transients in our industry . . . they are going to school, they work part-time, they have places to go.

But, can we change that?

We think so.

Capturing Their Hearts

Here is what our industry needs to do to capture their hearts — and careers:

  1. Offer career pathing:  Remember how you were at age 19? No idea what to do with life? These kids are the same. Let’s offer them a path to a great, rewarding, stable career.
  2. Make it fun and purpose-filled:  Let’s build on the greater purpose of our industry and jazz it up with some fun. Our residents can help, and with more peers in the workplace, Generation Z will stick with us.
  3. Build leaders:  Let’s coach Generation Z to be young leaders, to help us attract and retain their talent.

What other ideas do you have?

Please share. We are excited about this new Generation hitting our communities — and we believe this is a generation that will take care of us, literally and figuratively. What do you think? Please leave your comments.

For more information about Sodexo, please visit their website.

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