6 Ways Generation Z Is Changing the Workforce and How You Can Adapt
The global population of people under 25 is set to triple by 2050. While many of us see ourselves as Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Millennials, there’s another generation that’s poised to make its mark on the world…Gen Z.
When it comes to business, it’s safe to say that Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2012, is already changing the face of the workforce.
If you’re not doing what Gen Z wants you to be doing, you will get left behind.
In my experience, Gen Z is not only one of the most ambitious generations of people to ever exist, but also a generation that has been raised with a strong sense of self-awareness and identity.
In this article, we will discuss six ways the generation born between 1997-2012 is changing the workforce. The shift they are introducing to the workforce is having a massive impact on how people of all ages are working, where they are looking for employment, and how they perceive their work-life balance. We’ll also look at what it means for your business and how you can adapt.
The most significant recent change to the workplace has been the increasing reliance on technology.
This is great news for Gen Z employees! These Zillennials have already mastered the new digital skills required by the workplace. They have grown up with the internet, social media, and instant communication at their fingertips.
This is creating huge opportunities for them and their employers! They’ve learned to solve problems with data, numbers, and analytics. They often prefer technology-based solutions to face-to-face meetings. As our work lives become more and more digitized, Gen Z has the skills to become true leaders and innovators.
Gen Z wants jobs that are fulfilling and meaningful to them.
They want to work for a company they like, preferably one that makes a positive impact in the world. Zillennials are much less willing to work for free, and aren’t as loyal as previous generations…they are not the kind of workers who will be happy in an unpaid internship!
They value transparency and are open to change. They are comfortable working as part of a group and are often open to collaborative problem-solving. Family time is very important to them, and they seem poised to be at the forefront of establishing a work-life balance that is skewed towards the balance side.
Ironically though, Gen Z has shown they can be more ambitious than previous generations. They expect employers to provide incentives and training, and they are more than willing to learn new skills. While patience might not be their most cultivated soft skill, they are quick learners and are adept at switching tasks, reprioritizing when necessary.
Gen Z has become the largest generation since the Baby Boomers.
In a few years, they will also be the largest generation of employees in the workplace. Gen Z will be running our economy in the (near) future…
And they know it!
Unlike other generations before them – thanks in part to the internet – they seem poised to accept the challenge sooner rather than later.
Generation Z is creating a massive disruption in the workforce, and the workplace will look drastically different in the next five years. Your business will need to adapt or perish.
A generation of workers who are already disruptive.
For starters, they’re taking over the retail and hospitality industries, and they’re starting their own businesses at previously unheard-of rates. They’re even creating new businesses to serve the needs of the underserved. They tend to see freelancing as the answer to maintaining the freedom and elusive work-life balance that is so important to them.
Gen Z has already seen and experienced what happens when companies don’t adapt to new technology or the needs of consumers. They prefer to work for companies that are willing to listen to their peers while making necessary and appropriate changes.
In addition, they are more familiar with the world around them and interconnected than any previous generation (thanks internet!). Gen Z tends to be more accepting of differences and is willing to work hard for the social justice issues they deem important.
As such, Gen Z will change the workplace in ways we cannot even imagine yet.
We’re (already) living in the world of Gen Z.
This generation, which will reach the workforce en-masse in a few short years, is much more diverse, collaborative, and adaptable than the generations before it. These generational shifts are going to create massive opportunities and challenges for employers.
As Gen Z enters the workforce, employers need to make adjustments to match their needs and preferences. In addition to their own skills and knowledge, these new employees bring a different way of thinking about how to do business, communicate, and collaborate.
The best way to recruit and retain Zillennial employees is to provide them with a good working environment.
It is vital they have all the necessary resources to succeed, otherwise, they’ll simply leave.
It doesn’t hurt to make sure your employees are provided with a comfortable and efficient workspace…after all, they can’t collaborate and innovate if they’re stuck in un-comfy cubicles!
You can provide them with a budget to buy their own tools and supplies, or offer a stipend for continuing education. As trends evolve with Gen Z, it will be interesting to see what fringe benefits become most important to them.
At the very least, if you want them to stick with your company, make a plan for their career development and advancement. Helping them reach their goals will go a long way towards retaining them as dedicated, long-term employees.
The bottom line…
- Generation Z is tech-savvy and collaborative.
- They’re comfortable in a team setting.
- They expect to have flexible work options and more control over their schedules.
- They’re less loyal to companies and more focused on learning skills that’ll allow them to work for themselves. #teamfreelance
- They know how to use technology for good and don’t want to be micromanaged.
- They don’t want jobs that require long hours or routine work schedules.
Gen Z has been trained by their parents to be independent thinkers who question authority and expect to be heard. They are digitally native, social individuals that grew up playing games and communicating with friends online.
As a whole, they have different priorities and aspirations from previous generations.
Your business must adapt to the changes that accompany their entry into the business world or risk falling behind the tide of change Gen Z is bringing with them.
This is just the first in a series of articles Improve Growth will be writing so you can stay current with hiring trends associated with Gen Z’s entrance to the workforce.