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:
- Tasks that allow them to make a positive difference in the world.
- Improvement in brand awareness.
- A sense of purpose beyond the paycheck.
- The flexibility of work hours and the ability to work at their own pace.
- The ability to work in teams.
- A chance to increase skills and creativity
- 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.