Previous generations are quick to call both Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (people born from 1997 onwards) lazy, self-absorbed, and narcissistic. At least one of the more positive assumptions about them is they’re both tech-savvy, which comes in handy in today’s work requirements and environments.
Today, the labor force is composed of a fusion of Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zs. The age diversity demands different levels of engagement and benefits from a company. To meet those needs, organizations need to find a healthy compromise in their work environment and culture. Of course, open communication is vital to the success of the process.
In this blog post, we’re going to focus on millennial talent and Gen Z employees, since the former was reported as the largest population in the U.S. workforce (35% or roughly one-third) as of 2016. Meanwhile, Gen Zs are gradually rising to step into the employed life (around 25% of the population) themselves.
Millennials and Gen Z Workplace Behavior
Creating a workplace where millennials and Gen Zs thrive doesn’t necessarily mean you should scrap all strategies, practices, and principles that worked for the previous generations. The crux of the matter is that they desire the same (traditional) benefits as the past generations—good compensation, incredible corporate perks, fair benefits, an opportunity for career growth, a healthy company culture, and work-life balance.
However, their unique backgrounds and working habits have led companies to approach them in a new light. For instance, since both generations are predominantly digital natives, they view the traditional 9-to-5, cubicle-sheltered job as outdated. Hence, a lot of today’s companies are implementing flexible work hours as long as they accomplish their tasks and reach the required work log.
Here’s what the numbers reveal about the workplace behavior and mindset of millennials and Gen Zs.
- 57% of Gen Zs believe that technology enables them to perform more productively.
- Over 60% of 18- to 34-year-olds said their work productivity suffers because of poor work-life balance and unrealistic professional demands.
- 75% of American millennial employees claim that work environments should be fluid and flexible.
- Both millennials and Gen Z workers are twice as likely as Baby Boomers and Gen X to disconnect at work.
- 67% of Gen Z employees are only comfortable with their manager checking in on them for only five minutes or less.
- 52% of Gen Zs say they’re most productive when they work around noise or talking with other people.
- Gen Z employees stated that ‘co-workers who like to collaborate’ are the type of worker who would encourage them to do their best work.
- 36% of employees and roughly half of millennials would consider leaving their job if it failed to provide learning opportunities.
- 55% among millennial and Gen Z employees say they intend to stay with their current employers for at least 5 years due to greater flexibility.
Now that you have a pretty good picture of what both generations look for in a workplace, you can develop strategies that can help bring out the best performance out of your millennial and Gen Z employees. Some examples are career path development, open space/traditional space layout, work from home policy, and games at work to alleviate stress, among others.
Effective Ways to Keep Your Millennial and Gen Z Employees Productive
If you manage to keep millennial employees productive and your Gen Z worker happy in your company, they can be instrumental to your business growth and success. Take inspiration from this infographic to further understand how you can promote productivity among your millennial and Gen Z workforce.
About the author: Jomel Alos is a Consultant at Guthrie-Jensen Training Consultant, a management training and consultancy firm in the Philippines. He enjoys sharing his knowledge on human resource solutions, as well as helping businesses achieve greater growth, competitiveness, and profitability. When he’s not working, he’s watching TV shows about designing like Tiny House Nation, Forged in Fire, and Ellen’s Design Challenge.