What Employers Should Know About Generation Z
Baby Boomers, and Generation X, and Millennials, oh my! Now, a new wave of workers will begin to fill today’s workforce- Gen Z. Although there are discrepancies as to when Generation Z begins, these 61 million young adults and teenagers are said to be born in 1995…ish (the beginning birth year is open to interpretation). With the oldest in the generation being roughly 23 years old, business owners and organizations are going to see a lot more of Generation Z, and they are bringing with them their own ideas of their ideal employer.
According to The Center for Generational Kinetics, studies show that Generation Z is made up of hard workers and those who are financially aware. Based on those surveyed, 35% of Generation Z plan to start saving for retirement in their 20s. Where Millennials grew up in a time of economic turmoil, Gen Z was born into it. For them financial uncertainty is the norm.
But Generation Z is looking for more than just a place to make a living. They’re also looking for a company that values community and culture as much as they do. Conveying a workplace culture may take more than just a job description from recruiters. In regards to your company, these are the types of questions that appeal to Generation Z. “What makes it unique? What makes it fun? How do you visually show that?” says Heather Watson, behavioral designer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. These are all selling points to job seekers of Generation Z. So how do you create a positive work culture? Tips such as sharing notes of gratitude, focusing on employee wellness, listening to employees likes and dislikes, or organizing a service day can help with recruitment and employee loyalty.
Most of Generation Z has grown up with easy access to a smartphone and members are highly tech savvy as a result. Because of this, training processes are expected to evolve and adapt to those of Generation Z. According to Forbes, Generation Z is full of fast learners “who absorb and process information with lightning speed because of their constant digital connectivity.” Changing the pace from a classroom training environment to an informal training process will help Generation Z stay engaged in the continuous learning process. Although Generation Z is ahead in the tech world, they may lack soft skills, such as writing emails and face-to-face conversations. Incorporating mentorship programs into the training process can help those entering the workforce acquire those soft skills. Creating short YouTube videos can become an effective tool for engagement during the training process as well.
According to Ken Gosnell of CEO Experience, “Generation-Z could very well bring artificial intelligence (AI) and technology, but also a greater need for the human touch in the workplace.” In a report shown on Indeed, jobs such as iOS developers, computer vision engineers, machine learning engineers, and audio engineers, are among the top postings receiving higher shares of interest from Generation Z. In addition to this, among those receiving higher shares were positions such as daycare assistant and beauty consultant. Positions that require human interaction are still as desirable as those with technology. Gosnell says that being open-minded and listening to Generation Z workers can help you understand what they value most in their working environment and what skills they can bring to your organization.
Understanding Gen Z’s values can help prepare you to attract and retain this generation of burgeoning talent. Company culture speaks more to this generation than others in the past, and with Generation Z immersed in technology, leaders can expect to introduced to new and improved methods of learning and ideas.