Following close on the heels of the Millennials (also known as Gen Y), the Gen Z cohorts may already be in your office and if not will shortly be sitting in front of you for an interview. As a manager, what do you need to know about working Gen Z?
Who are Gen Z?
Generation Z refers to those born from the late 90’s. As a guide that’s generally between 1997 and 2012, so they are currently between 9 and 24 years old. There is also a whole host of other labels that have appeared that you may have heard, such as Gen Tech, post-Millennials, iGeneration, Gen Y-Fi, and Zoomers. These labels should give you, as a manager, a big clue as why Gen Z are the ones to watch.
Why are Gen Z different?
The younger generations have never been more critical to your organisation’s future. When it comes to Gen Z they are leading the way tech wise. They have grown up cutting their teeth on tech, if it wasn’t ‘smart’ they didn’t want to know. Gen Z don’t know a world without the internet, they received their first smart phone at 10 years old, and before that they played on their parents’ phones and tablets.
Being the first digital generation, swiping is second nature to Gen Z. So, while Millennials (aged 25 to 40) are powering and leading the workforce, tech savvy Gen Z are ready, waiting and wanting to take on their new roles and careers.
In addition, Gen Z are also extremely socially savvy, we’re talking social media. They have virtually lived their lives through the various social networks and platforms.
The workplace and Gen Z
Gen Z is the newest generation entering the workplace, and by 2025 will make up about 27% of the workforce. It’s not all good news though, many Gen Z are graduating university or college to begin the search for work and careers. The pandemic has hit them hard, Gen Z is an age group that sees many in the service industries like restaurants and travel, where they found themselves being furloughed or out of work.
In addition, those finishing school and uni have had a very different ending to the ‘normal’ traditional experiences. Some economists are predicting that this may affect their future employment prospects, with Gen Z missing out on gaining valuable experience and training. Whether this impacts them later in life, and their ability to climb the career ladder will remain to be seen.
The impact of Generation Z
Like any new generation, the ideas and expectations of Gen-Zers will have an impact on the world of work. As a manager, you’ll see the different attitudes that will undoubtedly shake up the business culture and work life as we know it.
Whilst it may be hard to imagine someone who may not even have been born when you started working, having an impact in the workplace, get ready because Generation Z are value driven when it comes to their jobs and careers.
Despite a reputation for being ‘unmotivated’ by the older generations, Gen Z are not slackers, they are willing to work hard for financial security, especially having witnessed the debts of their older Millennial counterparts. Diversity, equity and inclusion are high on their list of important issues too.
Employing Gen Z
As Gen Z enter the workplace, employers and managers are likely to benefit from a greater level of empathy and adaptability from this new generation. Having been tested by a global pandemic, any skill gaps can easily be filled through mentoring support or help developing particular skills that are lacking.
Organisations should take full advantage of this up and coming generation and what they will bring to the workplace. Understanding what motivates Gen Z will help managers to create the perfect workplace to attract, nurture and let Generation Z thrive.View the Blog