While Millennials have been all the talk since a while in terms of workforce, there’s a new generation now taking over. Generation Z is graduating and entering the workplace.
To give you a little background, Gen Z was born between 1997 – 2010s. They make up 26% of the U.S Population. 98% own a smart phone, 92% have a digital footprint, 50% are connected online for 10 hours a day and 80% say they feel distressed if kept from their electronic devices for too long.
From this information it’s safe to say that Gen Z is technology native and it will be no surprise if they flood the tech industry in the coming years. However, as compared to Millennials and Baby Boomers, they are very diverse in terms of skills and knowledge. While Baby Boomers central identity is based on family and religion. Gen Z is more success oriented than any other generation. They value success, professional and academic achievement.
Learning from past generations, they are also not college oriented. 75% say they don’t consider college as a path to success and will directly enter the workforce with their skill set. Companies such as Apple and Google are also taking notice of this trend. Instead of hiring people with degrees, they are hiring employees who have the skill set to get the job done regardless of their qualifications. If more companies follow in these footsteps, there will be a paradigm shift in the workplace. It will mean more Gen Z’s entering the workforce sooner than the other generations ever did.
Apart from the standard workplace, Gen Z does not have much trust in the corporate world. Most of them are already earning money integrating two tools: their skills and technology. All they need is a good internet connection and they are good to go. They are already running successful online businesses, YouTube channels, their own start-ups or doing free-lance work. This shift is also causing employers to work harder so they can attract Gen Z as they are more interested in a good workplace environment and job fluidity. The more diverse and inclusive the company is, the more this generation will be willing to work there.
Employers, who fail to meet the needs of this upcoming generation, will witness corporate death. Adaptability is the key factor in keeping Gen Z interested. They are fast paced, diverse and success oriented. This stems from the fact that they have witnessed their parents drowning in debts, the workplace not valuing them, giving their all to a corporate world that gives bare minimum in return. This corporate culture is slowly shattering, power dynamics are being disrupted and the corporate world is gradually changing for the good.
All these values that are inherent in this generation is actually a steppingstone to the creation of good workplace environments that has been much needed since the start. While people may have been working, there has been an increase in de-motivated workers, burn-outs and work-related stress. Companies since long have just used people as machines and never really given workers a safe space where they can perform up to their full potential.
With Gen Z coming in gradually, workplace environments have actually changed drastically to make them stay. These new behaviours, expectations and preferences in the workplace will change the game and hopefully bring about a positive change. Employees have usually been at the short end, working hard and not getting much in return except a salary. These changes however will make the employers work harder and smarter to cultivate a culture that benefits its employees in the long run. It might create a paradigm shift with people being happier at work. While there is still a long way to go in the years to come.
A few changes being made in this culture are:
1. Progressive Approach to Learning and Development
Skills needed these days are distinct than what employers used to need. The ways in which these skills are learnt have also changed. Research shows that employers who provide developmental leadership programs or outside training are more likely to keep Gen Z employees for a longer period of time.
2. Balance between Work-Life
If employees are made to work long hours, they are burnt out and don’t perform well. To keep Gen Z interested in working, this balance between work and life is crucial. If employers don’t strike this balance right, there will be a definite increase in the labour turnover of Gen Z, and other employees as well.
3. Lower Generational Gap
Research shows that Gen Z prefers Millennials as their boss, then any other generation. This is because, the generational gap here is lower and both of them can easily relate to one another which leads to better communication skills, collaboration and engagement. All very important for any company to progress as the work expectations of all generations is different. Keeping a minimal generation gap will help employees stay.
4. Employer Branding
While looking for jobs, Gen Z uses platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
Making a brand video that represents all the values Gen Z is attracted to is very important as this generation uses different platforms while looking for jobs. Creating an attractive branding is vital to grab their attention and keep them interested in the posting.
5. Frequency of Feedback
Gen Z wants to maintain a close relationship with their employers to work better and more productively. Research shows that they want constant communication and feedback from the employers. This helps them retain more information, build a good rapport with the employers and increases their chances of staying at the job.
This generation feels it is important for a workplace to have people with diverse knowledge and skills. This exchange helps everyone in the company grow and be more inclusive. It increases innovation, performance and helps in creating a more inclusive environment at work.