The time has come for Generation Z to enter the workplace. That’s an estimated 73 million new professionals to prepare for, and it’s not going to be easy. Just like every generation of people, they have their own preferences, outlooks, and conditions that make them unique.
The term Generation Z, or iGeneration, is classified as those who were born in the mid-90’s to early 2000’s, and it’s time you started prepping your workplace to cater for twenty-somethings who are techy, creative, innovative, and most importantly ready to make a difference.
Preparing for them is different to what you’ve previously experienced with the millennials that preceded them, and here’s what they will expect when they enter your workforce.
1. Offer career growth
This current generation of professionals will be centered on the growth they can endure with your company.
How can they get to where they want to be through your company? Are you offering them continuous learning, development and challenges so that they can reach their goals?
These are the questions you should be asking yourself. Generation Z is constantly thinking about their own aspirations and plans for the future.
What they want from you is hard work and to be given the tools to succeed, so that they can get to where they want to be.
2. Embrace competitiveness
Unlike millennials who enjoy the collaborative nature of work, Generation Z has been found to be much more independent and competitive.
This generation is applying for jobs thinking that they need to beat the next guy or girl to get there. Something along the lines of if you want something done right, do it yourself.
Ernst & Young ran a multigenerational survey of 1,800 people in the United States in order to gain insights into Gen-Z and found that the majority of them have a ‘do-it-myself’ mentality and a real entrepreneurial spirit. They have seen people their own age create successful companies, and this independent mindset is showing within their attitude to work.
3. Build a tech-centered workplace
Generation Z has grown up within the boom of technology, in a world where it is at the forefront of almost everything they do.
According to David Stillman, a Gen-Z expert, 90.6% of Gen-Z said ‘a company’s technological sophistication would impact their decision to work there’.
Technology is essential to them to stay connected with the world, and a workplace that relies on old technology simply won’t cut it.
If you want to attract a young, bright and motivated professional you will need to continuously upgrade your workplace’s technology to do so.
4. Communicate face-to-face
Surprisingly while Generation Z might be more immersed in technology compared to generations that preceded them, they have been found to prefer face-to-face communication over digital communication.
So drop whatever social messaging service you use at work, as David Stillman claims that 84% of Gen-Z prefer up-front communication because of the transparent nature of it, and the honesty that it provides.
They want their co-workers and leaders to look them in the eye and tell them what they are doing right or what they are doing wrong and establish a real professional connection with them.
Funnily enough, though, an American study found that the average attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds and it has been decreasing by the year. So good luck trying to get your point across to a Gen-Z’er in 8 seconds!
5. Motivate them with money
While making a difference and growing their personal career is of the utmost importance to Gen-Z, they are also motivated by money.
A lot of Gen-Z’ers grew up in the Great Recession where they experienced their family and parents lose their jobs, and the struggle they faced has caused them to value money differently to millennials who were less concerned with how much money they can make.
Generation Z, while they are the most technologically advanced generation of all time, have a very cut-throat approach to work. They want to win, they want to succeed, they want to make money and they want to have the best tools at their disposal.
That being said, we now have four different generations in the work place; Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Millenials, and Gen-Z. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I think people will appreciate the forward thinking, hard work, and transparency that Generation Z will bring to the work place.