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Posts Tagged ‘Gen Z’

What organizations should expect from Gen Z at the workplace

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Image source: Akson | Unsplash

In recent years, Generation Z represents the most diverse group to enter the labor market and is anticipating that their employers will place a high value on diversity. They, along with the upcoming younger generation, need leaders who support a diverse and inclusive work environment. As Gen Zers steadily enter the workforce, their cohort brings fresh and unique perspectives to all aspects of employment. It is an exciting potential for the future, but integrating Gen Z into the workplace culture will require some thought and planning. 

Over the next few decades, two billion more people will enter the workforce. With baby boomers retiring in droves, Gen Z is poised to take on increasing numbers of key responsibilities in the workplace. Although this should be cause for celebration, the changing conditions is also cause for anxiety because Gen Zers will be expected to perform more duties compared to when previous generations were at their age. They will need new challenges and opportunities to learn.

Expectations in the workplace

Gen Z is the latest wave of young professionals to enter the workforce, and they will soon function mainly under the leadership of Millennials, which is a cause of concern because this means that they will have young mentors. While they tend to have a reputation for being more introverted and risk-averse, Gen Z workers are also incredibly technologically savvy; this brings a heightened need to have a mentor. Most of them haven’t had a mentor yet, so they are looking for guidance from experienced professionals. They are also looking for access to systems that will allow them to compete with other companies, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) market.

According to the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) study, while traditional workplace expectations are being adapted to suit Gen Z, Gen Zers want certain things in the workplace. Whether they’re working in a traditional environment or industry, Gen Zers want employers to implement policies that support their needs such as security and safety at work. While they don’t like the idea of an open office environment, Gen Z professionals don’t mind interacting with individuals they don’t know well, as long as their co-workers can relate to them. They also want to feel included in the larger conversation at work; they want to feel heard and they do not want to feel alone.

Unlike Millennial employees who prefer digital communication such as email, 53% of Gen Zers choose to chat in person; while technology is second nature to Gen Z, workers in this demographic crave a personal presence in their work interactions. Maybe this is why more than 90% of Gen Z employees say they prefer the human element in their professional teams with innovative peers and tech-savvy co-workers. It is not surprising that Gen Z wants “interpersonal interaction at work”; they prefer a work environment where new ideas can be proposed. Organizations that want to attract attention in this age group should strive to create a culture that welcomes and promotes team participation.

Expectations from Gen Z

Today, Gen Z is the most influential group in the consumer market. They are more tech-savvy and conscious about sustainability and environmentally-friendly products. Organizations should develop an understanding of what to expect from this generation so they can appeal to this group.

According to the CGK report, the most prominent jobs in demand for Gen Z are those that require interpersonal and leadership skills such as sales, marketing, and human resources. They are more likely to view their employers as providing an environment where they can learn and develop their skills. It also notes that they are less interested in job-specific qualifications and more interested in flexibility and personal values which may have implications for organizations that wish to attract Gen Z talent. The report also found that Gen Z prefers to work for organizations with strong moral and ethical values. 

Organizations should expect complex demands from Gen Z employees because they know what they want and will not settle for anything less. Organizations need to be prepared for the new generation’s high expectations. This can be done by investing in their employee’s future career development and being transparent about their company values, mission, and culture.

Conclusion

In a digital world, it’s no surprise that the workforce will be facing new challenges. Organizations need to be flexible enough to adapt and find ways to retain and attract top talent. Leaders also need to create a culture that brings together their workforce and integrates technology to enhance the employees’ work experience. There is still a lot of change in store for Gen Z, and the best approach for any organization is to remain flexible and evolve to meet the demands of the next generation of workers.

How to prepare the organization for Gen Z

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As organizations attempt to integrate Generation Z into their existing multigenerational work – a mix of Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials – organizations need to understand the job preferences of new generations. Employers often assume that Gen Z workers have the same needs in the workplace as millennials, but that is not the case. Gen Z is a workforce with statistics that suggest that this generation has very different values and career expectations from Millennials.

Preparing the organization

The number of Gen Z workers will make up about 27% of the workplace by 2025. As such, companies should think about how working methods are managed and how employees need to evolve to respond to changing workplace expectations. To attract and retain new talent in the business, organizations need to prepare for upcoming workplace changes, consider what is important for the new generation of employees, and make appropriate changes to processes and corporate culture. 

Organizations need to familiarise themselves with the priorities, career expectations, and working methods of the new generations to avoid generational conflicts and ensure lasting business success. According to Jason Dorsey of the Center for Generational Kinetics, it is assumed that Gen Z is the first generation to change the working behavior of previous generations, not vice versa. Stereotypes aside, the most important thing is that the way they learn and work will have an impact. 

For this reason, they tend to have very high expectations from their organizations, which leads them to work harder.  This generation was also often told by older generations how to be successful, starting with Gen X, the predecessors of Gen Z. This may contribute to Gen Z workers being hyperfocused on “doing well” rather than being focused on the outcomes.

Understanding Gen Z

Gen Z consists of people born between 1997 and 2012 which are a new generation of employees entering the workplace. Their behavior and values are much different than previous generations of young people. It’s important to realize that the characteristics they are exhibiting now are likely to be permanent. 

The Gen Z generation employees still consider themselves to be “young adults” in the workplace. Their approaches will evolve and differ from the older generation. With a change in mindset, priorities, and working practices, this group has the potential to bring a wealth of innovation as they enter the labor market. 

Just like Millennials during the Economic Crisis in 2008, Gen Z job seekers have their own expectations of what the job should look like. In the future, the workforce will consist of three primary generations: Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X. As they mature and gain experience, Gen Zs can provide enormous value to their companies and organizations.

What Gen Z wants from an employer

As a younger generation, Gen Z brings new insights and ideas to the workforce and natural digital literacy makes them more willing to try new things and develop new strategies. Gen Z is also aware of how the world of work needs to change: 62% believe that technical and hard skills need to change and 59% believe that their jobs in 20 years will not exist the same way, which shows your company needs to invest in education, skills, and job security to attract them. The following are the types of jobs and skills that Gen Zs are expecting to find within an organization:  

  1. Tasks that allow them to make a positive difference in the world.  
  2. Improvement in brand awareness.  
  3. A sense of purpose beyond the paycheck.  
  4. The flexibility of work hours and the ability to work at their own pace.  
  5. The ability to work in teams.  
  6. A chance to increase skills and creativity  
  7. Non-traditional career opportunities and job roles.  

As more employers introduce millennials into non-traditional roles, the Gen Z workforce expects the same consideration in their career path. This makes the workplace of Gen Zers an interesting challenge and opportunity for companies. Companies that can demonstrate a clear career path to Gen Z will be able to retain employees as the generation grows up and ages out of their entry-level roles.

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