Gen Z in the workplace
— December 14th, 2021
Generation Z refers to the generation that was born between 1996-2012, following millennials. They will soon surpass Millennials as the most populous generation on earth, with more than one-third of the world’s population counting themselves as Gen Zs.
Although Gen Z shares a number of the same characteristics of millennials, the largest generation in the working world, there are also some significant differences.
The main characteristic of Generation Z is racial diversity. As America’s demographics continue to shift, Gen Z will be the last generation that is predominantly white. A slight majority of Gen Zs (52%) is white; 25% is Hispanic, 14% is Black and 4% is Asian.
The Ultimate Guide to Internal Communications Strategy
What are Gen Z looking for?
One of the most important things to understand about Gen Z is that they are digitally native and have little or no memory of the world as it existed before smartphones. In fact, the average Gen Z spends around 3 hours 38 minutes a day on mobile devices, almost an hour more than their counterparts.
It’s hardly surprising then that a study from Dell Inc., found that 80% of Gen Z aspire to work with cutting-edge technology. When it comes to choosing employment, 91% say technology would influence job choice among similar offers. Thankfully, In today’s world, there is no shortage of ways organizations can integrate technology into the workplace
Unlike previous generations, Gen- Z are more interested in fitting work into their life and not the other way around. According to flexjobs more than 75% of Gen Zs say that workplace flexibility is the number one employee benefit they’re looking for.
Many Gen Zs only feel successful if they can find a career they can balance with their personal and family life without having to sacrifice a sense of security and stability.
Ana Recio, the executive vice president of global recruiting at Salesforce, told the New York Times that Gen Z have “proven the model that you don’t need to be in the office 9 to 5 to be effective. This generation is single-handedly paving the way for the entire workforce to do their jobs remotely and flexibly”.
Workplace development is also a huge motivator for Gen Z employees. To facilitate this, businesses should put further focus on professional growth. Gen Z stands out as a cohort that is wholeheartedly embracing continuous learning at work.
LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2021 found that Gen Z are seeking to learn their way up the career ladder and are highly motivated to grow their careers, with 76% seeing learning as the key to their advancement.
While it’s easy to assume an attractive salary is the most important factor in deciding on a job, it is not always that easy when it comes to winning over Gen Z. To attract these young workers, companies, and employers will need to clearly outline their companies values and culture. Gen Z are looking to work at a business whose beliefs and views line up with their own.
With social issues being at the forefront of many Gen-Zers minds, they will be on the lookout for companies taking action to drive the change they want to see in the world.
What are the benefits of Gen Z in the workforce?
Unlike their predecessors, Gen Z no longer feels the pressure to pursue the careers that are expected of them. They are instead exploring their own personal interests and are more inclined to examine more than one career path.
This makes them the most adaptable workers available to employers. Gen-Zers are highly capable of taking on a number of different roles within the organization and are continuously seeking ways to upskill and explore new areas.
They’re the future
There are more than 2 billion people in the Generation Z age range globally. By 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of the workforce. As Gen Zers graduate and enter the workforce, companies and organizations need to consider what the future of work looks like for Gen Z employees.
As outlined above Gen Z are also the most ethnically and racially diverse generational cohort in history and having this diversity in the workplace comes with a host of benefits.
Apart from increased productivity and innovation, other advantages of a diverse workplace include better company reputation, increased cultural awareness, and quicker problem-solving.
They’re great in a crisis
As the Covid-19 pandemic proves, Gen Zs are capable of finding ways to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Despite being cooped up and isolated, they found a way to be practical and make working from homework. They proved they are well-equipped to deal with a crisis if and when it arrives.
How do you retain Gen Z workers?
- Peer Mentoring and Coaching - Mentorship provides a way for employers to accelerate employee development simply by getting workers to talk to one another. Gen Z wants the leaders and peers in their lives to help them grow by providing helpful feedback and guidance and allowing them to ask questions when needed. When it comes to Gen Z, this is a far more effective approach than micromanagement or other authoritarian methods of leadership.
- Meaningful Diversity - In a recent Monster survey, 83% of Gen Z candidates said that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer. They want employers to recognize the differences between employees - their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education or national origin. Gen Z doesn’t just want to hear their company talk about diversity, equity and inclusion — they want to actually see them make changes, too.
- Varied Development Opportunities - Gen Zs want companies that will offer growth and potential leadership positions. One thing they definitely don’t want is to be stuck in the same position they started in. If they don’t see growth potential, Gen Zs will take their skills elsewhere.
The Ultimate Guide to Internal Communications Strategy
Generation Z is the youngest, most ethnically diverse generation present in today’s age. Like each generation before, Gen Z brings their own unique set of values to the workplace. Employees who belong to Generation Z have never known life without the internet or social media, and they are comfortable with rapidly changing technology.
Other Generation Z work characteristics include looking for jobs that offer stability, flexibility, and growth opportunities. They value freedom and security when it comes to employment, so employers should offer both if they hope to attract this generation’s attention.