For nearly a decade, many companies and organizations have been focused on understanding Millennials; who they are, what they value, and what engages them in the workplace. Just when you thought you had Millennials figured out, a new generation enters the scene.
That’s right. Generation Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce – and their high-tech and hyper-connected upbringing will bring a new set of behaviors and expectations to the workplace.
Now we’re asking the million-dollar question: will Generation Z want to work for you?
First you need to know everything you can about Generation Z in the workplace. We have the scoop:
Who is Generation Z?
First things first. Who is Generation Z? According to Forbes, Generation Z is defined as those born between 1995-6 and 2010. That means the eldest of the generation are already in their late teens or early twenties and part of today’s workforce. With the youngest Gen Zers being just about ten years old, twenty-percent of the workforce will be made up of Generation Z by 2021.
What Makes Generation Z Different?
Different from their millennial predecessors, Generation Z takes more of a traditional approach to the workplace. While Millennials have been coined as idealistic, curative and seeking recognition, Generation Z tends to possess opposite characteristics such as realism, innovation and persistence. That means they know what they want and aren’t afraid of working hard to get it. They’re also on track to be the most culturally diverse and highly educated generation to date. Pair all that with a ‘do-it-myself’ attitude and you have Generation Z in a nutshell.
What Does Generation Z Care About?
As technology natives, it might come as a surprise to learn that Generation Z places a high value on human interaction. They enjoy working with a team but also thrive independently. Purposeful work, authenticity and transparency also top the list of ‘things Generation Z is looking for in a career.’ Feeling personally connected to their role is another. That said, financial stability is one of their biggest concerns - and the fear of instability might be the roadblock between Gen Z and their dream job.
Generation Z vs. Millennials in the Workplace
- Realists vs .Optimists
- Works Hard for Success vs. Wants to be Discovered
- Mobile Natives vs. Mobile Pioneers
- Future Focused vs. Now Focused
- Wants to Save Money vs. Wants to Experience
- Creators vs. Curators
How Will Generation Z Impact the Workforce?
Generation Z has different values when it comes to employment. While Millennials prefer a more relaxed and open work space, Generation Z values organization and structure. This puts a spotlight on the ‘open work space’ office concept that’s become quite the trend in recent years. This works well for much of the millennial workforce who enjoy teamwork and collaboration but might pose an issue for those seeking independence. Additionally, growing up during the Great Recession means Generation Z is more money-driven than previous generations. Along with a stable paycheck, they value career growth and may change jobs frequently in order to climb the ladder.
Why Should Employers Care?
Work forces today are made up of as many as four generations with diverse demands and declining levels of employee engagement. As benefits and human resources professionals, it’s your job to ensure employees have the best experience possible and to recruit and retain top talent. And in the coming years, more and more of that top talent will be Generation Z. Is your business adapting to the changes of the workforce? Now’s the time to reevaluate your company’s position in the labor market and whether it stacks up to the demands of the modern employee.
While we're just beginning to grasp the idea of Generation Z in the workplace, this self-learning, self-aware and innovative bunch is here to stay. As you're learning more about the newest generation to enter the workforce, don't forget about the existing generations that make up your organization. From Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z, our State of the Workplace E-book covers all bases.
Download our E-book for an honest look and key insights into each generation!