How the Care Sector can adapt to the wants and needs of Generation Z care workers

As more and more of Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012/15) join the workforce, employers are starting to see the face of their businesses changing radically. Today’s employers need to pay close attention – employee turnover rates are returning to pre-recession levels and Gen Z will soon rapidly outnumber Millennials and Baby Boomers.

The ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report from Skills for Care revealed that the care sector isn’t bucking the trend and data shows that providers already have difficulty retaining Generation Z care workers. Between April 2019 and March 2020 turnover rates amongst those under 20 years old was a worrying 46.9% (30.4% across all ages).

Preparing your workplace for Gen Z

Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012/15) are digital natives. For most of their lives, they have utilised digital platforms and technology for entertainment, education and communication.

A recent research project by Hubspot suggests roughly 75% of Gen Z most frequently use a smartphone over computers and other devices and 73% use their internet-connected devices to communicate with friends or family.

To ensure that the care sector is well prepared, providers must examine these behaviours and cater to what younger workers expect. Mobile apps, fast and reliable connectivity and task management is essential in providing an attractive and accessible career path for this generation and future generations.

Therefore, organisations leading with a tech-first approach, where scheduling, feedback and communication is an intrinsic part of the workday, are already a step ahead. And a suitable care management system is the perfect place to start.

Why you should change the way you work

It’s easy to think that this new generation will adapt to the ‘old ways’, but with an ageing population (of those aged over 64) projected to increase by 34% between 2020 and 2035, the proportion of people needed to work in the care sector could rise by about 520,000. This means time is ticking to create a workplace that works for Generation Z care workers.

With Gen Z there is no separation between the online and offline worlds. The generation has a symbiotic relationship with technology – and the workplace is no exception. Essentially, they do not know a world without smartphones, and according to the Monster Multi-Generational Survey, 39% said a smartphone will be “essential” to their jobs. In short, it’s time to say goodbye to paper timesheets and long phone calls and hello to auto-scheduling and instant messaging.

And there’s a positive reason to make the change. Tech makes Gen Z feel more productive and enables them to accomplish more – by providing clear KPIs to work towards and offering the sense of security that they crave.

Why should the sector care about Gen Z

More self-reliant, technologically savvy and ambitious than previous generations, the data from Monster’s survey found that Gen Z possesses characteristics that are extremely valuable to employers especially care providers, such as their appetite to work remotely and a willingness to work nights and weekends (58%).

And while salary is important to this group, it’s not the only thing driving them to work hard: 74% rank purpose ahead of pay (vs. 70% of Millennials, 66% of Gen X and 67% of Boomer respondents). In other words, these young people want to care about the work they do, and it’s important that they feel like they are making a difference.

The emergence of Generation Z in the workplace will inevitably change the care sector. Being raised in a complex digital environment, where tech is second nature, is something employers can use to their advantage. Implementing great technology that helps employees achieve their purpose, whilst allowing them to work remotely will attract employees and get them to stay.

For more information on how you can transform the tech in your business in readiness for Gen Z, please get in touch.