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Managing Generation Z employees in Primary Care

Every workplace brings together people of different age groups, skillsets and backgrounds. But with the huge cultural changes in the last few years, it also highlights the stark differences between people of different generations working alongside each other, and primary care is no different.

So let’s just be clear before we start – this article is not telling you to dress like Justin Bieber, fork out for the latest iPhone or go be a TikTok sensation.

Who are Generation Z ?

Generation Z is the most recent generation (born between 1997 and 2012) and have played a strong role as a high-flying group of individuals. Having been raised during the recession, they have seen the struggle that financial instability can cause, and because of this, Generation Z greatly values financial health and stability in a job. An NHS Providers report stated that Gen Z were less likely to engage with a traditional workplace environment and likely to move jobs in a shorter time span.

Employee retention has never been more crucial, with statistics continuously suggesting that Millennials and Gen Z only want to stay in a job for three years or less. However, in order to keep your finest and brightest employees, you must first learn what motivates them and how you can design your workplace to match their demands. It’s not about having brightly coloured beanbags and pool tables, but finding the right way to encourage, engage and enthral these employees to get the best out of them.

Tips for Managing Gen Z Employees in the Workplace

Gen Z employees like to be in a creative and expressive workplace where they can work with some freedom and challenge the current ways of working. As a practice, you need to know how to find, manage, and retain them, as they will not hesitate to leave for what they think is a better place to work.

1 : Use Communication Tools

Born at a time when the internet and smartphones were getting their feet under the virtual table, Gen Z’s grew up using social media, text, and emails as preferred means of communication. They are a social bunch, both online and IRL (‘in real life’). As a result of this, the majority prefer texting to face-to-face discussion. The internet also gave them many channels for learning, such as YouTube and Facebook.

While they’re comfortable communicating digitally, it’s also important to create opportunities for face-to-face interaction. While you can use apps like Zoom to hold virtual meetings if they are based at another site, don't drag them to a physical meeting unless it's necessary; the phrase “this meeting should have been an email” applies here.

2 : Cultivate a Positive Culture

Like the millennials and Gen X that came before them, most of the Gen Z are looking for an employer with a positive workplace culture – they want to feel respected, valued, but also to enjoy the job, leading to an increase in their productivity and positive attitude.

It will be helpful to make time to engage with them, ask for their feedback, and make some in-roads to adjusting the culture. Encouraging them to do more and rewarding their efforts when they go the extra mile will give them the motivation to do their best.

3 : Embrace the Use of New Technology

This generation has grown up with little or no experience of life before the internet, social media, and smart phones - they spend most of their time with these devices. Technology is in their DNA – they don’t just want it, they NEED it! Multitasking is a skill for them, and they feel more at home when the organizations they work with make use of these tools for work.

We’re moving on from the days of the Lloyd-George paper copies to online access of patient records. Ensure that you meet the technological needs of this generation to improve work efficiency and productivity.

4 : Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Gen Z have grown up seeing the world from a much more ‘global’ perspective – if the recent Brexit hoo-ha has shown us anything, it’s that the new generation consider themselves more than just a nationality, but members of a global community. The majority of Gen Z employees are open-minded and prefer to work in an environment with diverse cultural, racial, sexual, and educational backgrounds and orientations. They will also like to feel included in the practice’s ‘goings-on’, as it enhances their involvement and learning.

5 : Mental Health and wellbeing is important

With so much tech and information at their disposal, Gen Z’s understand the implications of stress and avoid situations that put them in that state.

A study by Deloitte showed that some stressors can revolve around factors such as cost of living, job security, work, and harassment. If these aren't addressed promptly, they can take a toll on their mental health and negatively impact their productivity.

Encourage them to speak up about how they feel, and pay attention to their moods at work. This show of support and concern will give confidence in you as an employer and might build some loyalty to the practice and champion your goals.

Managing Gen Zs for Modern Workplace Success

Generation Z continues to stake their claim that age is no barrier in the workplace. They will want to push boundaries in a new tech-driven landscape, with an awareness of personal wellbeing and development as part of their work ethos;

  • Promote development opportunities like online learning, coaching, or in-house training
  • Allow them (where possible) to work independently
  • Embrace their entrepreneurial spirit by using their drive, motivation, and creativity.
  • Find the perfect balance between a great work environment and financial security.
  • Consider flexible working options or, if available, allowing unconventional office hours.

If you want your practice to succeed in the new post-covid era, you can learn how to manage and retain this new workforce; there will be no limits to what they can do if they feel at ease working in your practice.

Have you got any tips or experiences you’d like to share with new employees? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you're looking to get the best out of your new starters, Thornfields have a Workplace Professionalism course for all your new employees. Get in touch with us to find out more!


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Closing Date: 14 July 2022

Salary: £42,000 - £47,000 per annum, depending upon experience

Practice Manager - Pembrokeshire

Closing Date: 14 July 2022

Salary: £40,000 - £45,000, negotiable depending on experience

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Closing Date: 1 July 2022

Salary: Dependent on experience

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Salary: £60,000+ (depending on experience)

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