Engaging Gen Z Students as Both Users and Employees

Gen Z Students

Gen Z students are filling up your rec centers, as both users and employees. How do you best engage with them this 2021-2022 academic year post-pandemic?

Strategies differ than with previous generations. Gen Z students are a whole new beast. Here are several ways to engage with your students this year to get them into your rec center as users and staff.

Euromonitor International Gives Four Pillars of Engagement Strategy

In this article, “New Strategies to Engage Millennials and Generation Z in Times of Uncertainty,” four pillars to help engage these demographics are given:

  1. Innovation: Gen Zers are looking to maintain fun in life, especially after the isolating year of COVID-19. They are up for collaborating with businesses and organizations to get what they want. For example, new services like virtual try-on or in-store fitting appointments are all the rage. Plus, social media, virtual venues, esports and digital gaming are big.
  2. Price: Value and affordability are essential factors now in Gen Z’s purchasing decisions. The article reports in 2020, “the global average annual gross income of people aged 25-29 dropped by 6% in real terms.”
  3. Values: Due to COVID-19, “new routines and needs have evolved around wellness, self-improvement and new ways of doing things” for this generation. Gen Z students are defined by their values and life priorities.
  4. Activism: Gen Z is taking activism online through social media and digital gaming. With the pandemic bringing about restrictions, many are discontent. “Consumers expect businesses to be more visible, active and transparent. They are choosing to boycott brands that do not mirror their values and instead are switching to those that are taking a stand on environment and social issues.”

Engaging Gen Z Students in the Workplace

In the article, “How to Upskill Gen Z and Engage Them in a Post-pandemic Workplace,” research shows Gen Z students are highly motivated by development and learning opportunities. It gives several others points to keep in mind when working with Gen Z employees:

  1. Use smartphones as learning tools.
  2. Deliver shorter format content and training.
  3. Gen Z students learn best by doing.
  4. Cross-train to help employees develop and grow within your organization.

The new generation is here. How are you adapting to meet them where they are at?

EXTRA CREIDT: Steve Bobbitt, the associate director for Programming at James Madison University, shares advice on Gen Z.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at heather@peakemedia.com.

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