Move over Millennials; it’s time to make way for Generation Z. This group will be entering the workforce in four short years, and employers need to take action now to get ready for them.
As with Millennials, Generation Z will push employers to adapt and change the way they think about work. Companies who take the time to understand who this group is and what motivates them will be poised to win the talent battle once they make their way into the work environment.
WHO ARE GENERATION Z?
Generation Z was born in the post 9/11 world, and the characteristics of this group greatly contrast those of Millennials. One of the biggest difference is that they were born and raised surrounded by mobile technology since leaving the womb. As a result, they’re natural multitaskers, progressives, and purposeful souls who are aware of their capabilities and the power they can achieve.
Like their Millennial counterparts, this group also has many issues that are important to them, such as:
- Human equality
- Gender equality
- Racial equality
- Sexual orientation equality
Here a few things to keep in mind when interacting with this group:
- Show them that you appreciate their new world views.
- Value their opinions and input because they have a lot of deep-rooted convictions.
- Treat them like people and value their collaboration with your branding.
- Capture their interests and inspire them.
- Allow them to inspire your brand.
- Be transparent and authentic to earn their trust.
Generation Z’s life experiences affect the types of jobs they seek and what’s most important to them. They highly value success, with professional and academic achievement ranking as the most important. Unlike their predecessors, Generation Z is perhaps even more success-oriented due to the shifting demographics over the years.
Don’t look to Generation Z to be “job hoppers.” Having grown up in a tumultuous time for economics and politics (they were only four when 9/11 occurred, and grew up during 2008 housing crisis ), Generation Z is incredibly focused on finding stable jobs, mostly in tech fields and health-care.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM GENERATION Z AT WORK:
- Less focused
- Better Multi-taskers
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- An immediate need for information
- Increased demand for work-life balance
- The need for frequent feedback from their managers
HOW DO EMPLOYERS ATTRACT GENERATION Z?
Companies will have to put effort into hiring Generation Z. This group of workers invests in positive work environments, with many saying a company’s diversity would be a deciding factor. Company marketing and branding are also crucial, given that Generation Z is Internet savvy and will be researching company reviews on sites such as Glassdoor.
CHALLENGES WE CAN EXPECT FROM GENERATION Z
WIDER GENERATIONAL GAP AT WORK
Generation Z prefers to have a Millennial manager over Generation X or Baby Boomers. Their entrance into the workforce will only increase the complexity of managing and working across generations. Managers already identify “managing multigenerational teams” and “different work expectations across generations” as challenges, and Generation Z will surely add to them.
Organizations will need to align training programs to be sensitive to the generational gap at work. To work around this challenge, continue to expand training programs, ensuring that they do not result in poor communication, collaboration, and engagement across the multi-generations that make up the workforce.
BLEND OF HIGH TECH WITH HUMAN INTERACTION
Generation Z prefers to work collaboratively with innovative co-workers and new technologies. Despite Generation Z being the first fully digital generation, they desire human elements at work. Most individuals in this group want to communicate face-to-face at work. Moreover, the two most essential aspects for Generation Z at work are “supportive leadership” and “positive relationships at work.” Technology is a must, but it’s not enough. Be prepared to deliver the technology they expect while providing the human element they crave.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Generation Z feels it’s more important to work with people with diverse education and skill levels; most think that having people of different cultures (ethnicities or origins) is an essential component of a team.
Diversity and inclusion drive company performance and improve innovation, but it is also instrumental in the recruitment and retention of next-generation talent. A company’s level of diversity profoundly affects their decision to work at a particular organization and has a substantial impact on whether they will stay with the organization for the long haul.
With fewer Generation Z’s prepared to pay for higher education due to high costs and what has happened with student loans, we can expect a surge of new employees sooner rather than later. We can also expect a new sort of generation, one more interested in workplace atmosphere and job fluidity with many expressing interest in inhabiting numerous roles within a company.
Get ready for Generation Z; they’re sure to bring a fresh perspective and skills to the workforce!
Curious about what to do after you've hired a force of Gen Z's? Here are 18 important skills your new team should master.