HR Query

HR Query: How to Incentivize Gen Z in the Workplace

Gen Z has entered the workforce and is bringing unique skills and valuable perspectives to the organizations where they work. According to the World Economic Forum, the demographic is expected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025.

Gen Z is already shifting workplace culture and setting trends, ultimately forcing organizations to adapt to attract and retain this next generation of talent. So, what does it take to incentivize Gen Z in the workplace?

In this week’s HR Query, Archer Chiang, CEO of Giftpack – an AI-powered corporate gifting platform – shares why personalized gifting has proven to be a powerful tool to recognize valued employees, especially when nearly half of Gen Z places value in material goods.

Here’s what he had to say.

Why should companies invest in corporate gifting?

AC: Employees are the main asset of any company, and the most successful companies understand the value of showing their employees they are recognized in the workplace. Corporate gifting programs are one of the best and easiest ways for companies to recognize their employees – acknowledging their contributions from everything including day-to-day tasks, anniversaries, major milestones, etc. Showing employees their performance is noticed and appreciated improves their potential and helps to boost the morale of the team. Regularly recognizing employees’ hard work and success is a strong motivator. When team members see their colleagues being celebrated, it drives them to reach and exceed goals. This helps individuals grow while pushing the company to new heights as well.

How does personalized gifting reach Gen Z employees?

AC: Gen Z is the new frontier in the workplace. Employers everywhere are racing to crack the code and unlock the best way to reach this generation, foster company loyalty and motivate them professionally. A recent study by Bank of America found the desire to easily afford material goods is driving 45% of Gen Z to achieve financial success. Material goods can be a powerful motivator in the workplace. When employees respond to material goods, corporate gifting programs incentivize employees to achieve and reach new levels of success to reap the rewards. Awarding team members “Employee of the Month” or “Stand-Out Performer” are great ways to inspire workers to put in more effort and come up with better results for the company’s success.

The key to reaching any audience, like Gen Z, is the ability to personalize the gifts to the individual and ensure they are receiving the right gifts that will be most impactful. Many companies have recognized gifting is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to their employees – and generic corporate gifts like mugs, notebooks and t-shirts aren’t having the desired impact. AI technology is being used to select perfectly fitting gifts for any individual. When it comes to reaching Gen Z, companies can use AI to create a level of personalization not typically offered by traditional corporate gifting services relying on generic and impersonal options.

What gifts are most popular with Gen Z employees?

AC: When it comes to Gen Z employees, the top keywords they’re using when searching for gifts include work/life balance, form habits, personalization, and financial freedom. The most popular items Gen Z employees are selecting through Giftpack include:

  • DIY Swag
  • Personalized Painting Experiences
  • Baking & Gardening Experiences
  • Books
  • Alcohol and Plant subscription services

Why should companies be gifting outside of the holiday season?

AC: Companies should consider gifting outside of the traditional holiday season at the end of the year for many reasons. Top reasons to consider expanding your corporate gifting program beyond the holiday season, includes:

Differentiation and recognition – As companies compete to attract and retain top talent, anything that sets your company apart from the rest in a positive way will go a long way with employees. Gifting during non-traditional times allows companies to stand out from the crowd. Receiving gifts during the holiday season is more common and expected, making it difficult for a single gesture to make any sort of lasting impression. In comparison, companies gifting outside of this period are often recognized for their thoughtfulness and create a stronger, lasting memory with employees.

Building stronger relationships – By showing appreciation and acknowledging employees’ importance more regularly, companies can foster loyalty and goodwill that will last throughout the year, beyond the fleeting holiday season. This helps to increase engagement and forge stronger, long-term bonds between employees and their team leaders at the company.

Capitalizing on personalized opportunities – Majority of companies are sending employees gifts during the holidays, but not every company is recognizing the smaller moments and personal milestones throughout the year. Companies that take the time to send personalized gifts for these smaller moments like an employee’s birthday, work anniversary or professional milestone demonstrate how much they value their employees.

Boosting morale – A token of appreciation is a small act of kindness that shows gratitude, further boosting employee morale. Giftpack has found a 57% boost in employee morale and engagement from unique gifting experiences. Higher morale improves retention, and 59% of employees say they will stay at their jobs if they receive good gifts regularly.

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