When many company leaders picture the younger portion of the workforce, they focus on Millennials. However, the oldest Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – are now in their late 30s.
“A new generation – Generation Z (Gen Z) – is starting to launch their professional lives, and their influence is going to be substantial. They have different views on life and work than the generations before them, including Millennials. Additionally, Gen Z is 61 million people strong, making it larger than Generation X”.
Understanding how Gen Z will impact the workforce gives companies a chance to get ahead of the curve. If you are wondering what changes you can expect as Generation Z arrives in the workforce, here’s what you need to know.
Gen Z may be the most socially conscious generation to date. They are highly aware of social issues and are often focused on concepts like diversity, inclusivity and equality. Even their approach to communication differs due to their fondness for technology.
Digital and Mobile Technology Natives
While Millennials are certainly digital natives, mainly growing up with home computers and the internet being part of their household, Gen Z takes this further. Generation Z is an entire generation that doesn’t remember a time without the internet, and most are even unfamiliar with the age of dial-up.
Additionally, the oldest members of Gen Z (those born in1997) were only 10 years old when the first iPhone launched. Smartphones are a part of their generational culture, and many can’t imagine life without one.
Even their approach to communication differs due to their fondness for technology. Social media and messenger apps are often favored over voice-based communications, including phone calls and in-person conversations.
As a result, companies need to be prepared for two things. First, Gen Z is going to favor employers that embrace technology, particularly early adopters in the mobile arena. They want to be able to handle at least a portion of their tasks on smartphones, often preferring those devices over traditional options like laptops and desktops.
Second, Generation Z’s social skills are different. They might not feel as comfortable communicating verbally and, therefore, may rely heavily on technology-based options that allow them to sidestep it when possible. Employers need to be prepared to offer the right solutions, such as a robust unified communications platform with a messaging component, to ensure Gen Z can thrive in their workplace.
Culture-Oriented and Socially Conscious
Further, they often favor cultural fit when exploring work opportunities. They want environments where they feel like they can fit in. Additionally, they want to find a role with an employer that has a mission they can get behind, allowing them to feel like part of something greater and as if their contributions make a difference beyond positively impacting the bottom line. If you want to attract Gen Z workers, you need to put your culture on display and have a well-crafted mission and value statements that speak to ideas that ring true with them on an intrinsic level.
Similarly, work-life balance and flexibility are incredibly important to Gen Z. Whether that involves remote work opportunities or flexible schedule depends on the person, though many seek both.
Ultimately, Gen Z is going to leave its mark on the work place quickly, particularly when it comes to technology and culture. By understanding what is on the horizon, you can position your company to appeal to these newly minted professionals, ensuring your organization can thrive today, tomorrow and for years to come.
If you’d like to learn more about the newest generation in the workforce, the professionals at Techwish can help.