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Generation Z is Here: Is Your Company Ready for the New Kids on the Workforce Block?

A short time ago, Millennials were the new kids on the workforce block. Now, as Millennials move into management positions, Generation Z, born between 1994 and 2010, will begin to fill their seats. It’s time to prepare!
Although each generation brings unique qualities and strengths to the table, this new group of incoming candidates has the perfect blend of newness, business savvy, and technical acuity to provide the business community with innovative perspectives.
The Rise of Generation Z
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Generation Z makes up 25 percent of the population, and trail behind Millennials by just one percent.
Although these two groups share a few similarities, the differences are surprising. Interestingly, this younger group enters the labor pool with traditionalist career perspectives, similar to the Baby Boomers.
The Z Factor
Remember the cliché, “born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth?” Gen Z’ers came into the world with a cell phone to their ear, an iPad in their hands, and exceptional social media smarts. One of their most valuable attributes is their ability to work in the forward-moving digital environment in which we live. They are comfortable with new technologies and welcome learning challenges. They have an affinity for technology and enjoy multi-tasking.
12 Traits of Gen Z
 Accenture shares the following results from their surveys of both Millennials and Gen

  1. Flexible and prepared, 2017 grads checked out the job market before selecting a major, and are more than willing to relocate, if required.
  2. They bring traditional values, a defined career path, and stability.
  3. Sixty-two percent will stay at a job for at least three years and predict that throughout their entire careers, they will work for four or fewer employers in their fields as compared to Millennial job-hoppers.
  4. A confidence generation, they gained this trait from their Baby Boomer parents.
  5. Unlike Millennials, 74% of Gen Z’ers prefer communicating in person.
  6. They have excellent problem-solving skills.
  7. They’re management savvy.
  8. Sixty-percent embrace artificial intelligence and think it will have a positive impact on their jobs.
  9. Seventy-one percent of Gen Z’ers believe in the phrase, “if you want it done right, do it yourself,” (A Baby Boomer and beyond phrase).
  10. Sixty-nine percent prefer not to share workspaces and favor autonomy
  11. They take cybersecurity more seriously than their predecessors.
  12. Seventy-five percent of Gen Z would like the opportunity to work in several departments with one employer.

Advice for Addressing Generation Z  

  • Embrace this new generation, and prepare for their arrival.
  • Engage a new approach; the use of multiple online channels is an appropriate lure.
  • Expand any offerings you extend; they crave diversity.
  • Provide feedback often.
  • Invite them to a meeting instead of emailing, or texting.
  • Teach problem-solving skills; this generation loves to learn.
  • Let them “own” their work and run with a project.
  • Keep their attention in focus, encourage against multi-tasking, instead teach them to focus on one project at a time.
  • Encourage them to share their ideas.
  • Give them the freedom to express their entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Offer Gen Z what they deem as “must-haves” – Healthcare and retirement benefits.
  • Share company goals and outcomes.
  • Keep them busy with projects that present a challenge and produce tangible results for the company.

In conclusion, it’s time to begin planning on how to work with, Generation Z. They differ from all other generations and lean toward traditionalist values. They seek stability, want their voice to be heard, like to be challenged, are autonomous, value health and retirement benefits over salary, and are the most technologically advanced group thus far. Proper preparation for this incoming generation will deliver a new wave of success for companies.

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