Internal communication

Generation Z (Gen Z or Zoomers for short), born between 1997 and 2012, has grown up in a world of rapid technological advancements and limitless information at its fingertips. Innovations like smartphones and social media have shaped how Gen Zers communicate in ways that are distinctly different from generations before them.

As Gen Zers start to enter the workforce, their communication preferences are increasingly relevant to internal communicators. Understanding their needs can help engage them more effectively, and many of their preferences translate to best practices that can help reach other generations too.

Here are five key things to know about Gen Zers and how to bring them to life in your employee communication efforts:   

Gen Zers prefer—and expect—face-to-face feedback.1  They may be the most digitally connected generation, but they value in-person connections.

Put it into practice:
Include a balance of push and two-way channels in your mix.

Zoomers respond best to visual, short-form content.2  With the ability to send and receive texts, photos, videos and more all from the palm of their hand, they’re accustomed to quick bursts of media-rich communication.

Put it into practice:
Keep communication bite-sized to capture employees’ attention and look for opportunities to break up text with a visual element.

Gen Zers use each social media app for a specific purpose—TikTok for funny videos, Twitter for news and Reddit for research.3,4  This approach helps them tailor their experience to their interests.

Put it into practice:
Choose the right communication tool for the objective you want to achieve.

Generation Z values authenticity.1,4  The internet is filled with misinformation, false advertisements and disingenuous social profiles, spurring Gen Zers’ desire for honest and transparent communication.

Put it into practice:
Encourage leaders to be authentic. Being genuine and relatable can help leaders better connect with and motivate employees.

Zoomers appreciate personalization.5  From targeted ads to entertainment recommendations to “for you” content on social media, tech algorithms have made highly customized digital experiences the norm for Generation Z.

Put it into practice:
Start by gathering information via surveys, focus groups, channel metrics, etc. Then use what you learn to make data-driven decisions about your communication.

1 Nguyen, Tien Viet. “5 things you should know to effectively communicate with Gen Z in the workplace.” Grove HR. Accessed March 16, 2023. https://blog.grovehr.com/generation-z-communication-in-the-workplace
2 Jha, Maithili. “Communicating with Generation Z in the Workplace.” Contact Monkey. Updated March 27, 2023. https://www.contactmonkey.com/blog/gen-z-employees
3 GlobalWebIndex. “Social—GlobalWebIndex’s flagship report on the latest trends in social media.” Flagship report 2019. https://www.gwi.com/hubfs/Social%20Report.pdf
4 Hughes, Joanna. “Communicating with Generation Z: Everything You Need to Know.” Keystone Education Group. August 24, 2022. https://www.keg.com/news/communicating-with-generation-z-everything-you-need-to-know
5 Jankowski, Paul. “Gen-Z To Brands: Show Us You Know Us.” Forbes. July 1, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauljankowski/2020/07/01/gen-z-to-brands-show-us-you-know-us-by-personalizing-your-ads/?sh=1ae611c15aee