Generation Z, or Gen Z, is the emerging workforce and will soon surpass millennials in workplaces. Today, Gen Z makes up about 32% of the global population and is starting to take over workplaces. While every new generation in the workplace brings new challenges, Gen Z is particularly different from those that have come before them. They are digital natives who have grown up in a world of constant change and instability. As a result, they bring a unique set of skills and perspectives to the workplace. In this article, we will explore how to understand Gen Z in the workplace. We will discuss their values, work ethic, and how to manage them effectively.
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z is the generation born roughly between 1996 and 2010. This generation is a very connected generation, having grown up with technology and the internet. They are often described as tech-savvy, independent, and entrepreneurial. They are also the most diverse generation in history, with more ethnic and racial diversity than any previous generation.
At the same time, Gen Z is more likely to be independent and self-reliant than previous generations. They have grown up in an age of economic insecurity, and many have had to take on more responsibility at a younger age than previous generations.
Gen Z is also very passionate about making a difference in the world. They are witnessing the negative effects of climate change, economic insecurity, and political turmoil. As a result, they are motivated to create positive change in the world and more likely to prioritize financial stability and job security than other generations.
The Differences Between Gen Z and Millennials at Work
While Gen Z and millennials have many similarities, there are some key differences that business owners should be aware of, as follows:
- Gen Z is more likely to be tech-savvy and independent than millennials.
- Gen Z is more active towards receiving feedback and mentorship from their managers, which can help foster a productive workplace.
- Gen Z prefers direct communication over other methods. But they are also more comfortable with digital communication, such as email, text, and social media, than millennials.
- Gen Z is also more likely to be open to criticism, which can help foster an environment of collaboration and mutual respect.
- Gen Z is more likely to prioritize financial stability and job security.
- Gen Z is more likely to be proactive and take the initiative in their work.
Overall, Gen Z is more eager to learn, take on challenging tasks, and make an impact. That’s why understanding and managing them rightly can help foster a productive and dynamic workplace.
Tips to Understand Gen Z in the Workplace
Gen Zers are currently the youngest employees in the workforce. As digital natives, they are extremely comfortable with technology and have high expectations for the workplace. Here are a few tips to help you understand Gen Z in the workplace:
The best way to understand Gen Z in the workplace is by simply listening to them. You should become more open with them and let them feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you. You have to build a trustworthy environment in the workplace where Gen Z does not feel alone or influenced by higher management. Moreover, Gen Zers are often looking for ways to make an impact in their workplaces, so they appreciate when their ideas are heard and taken seriously.
Feedback and Guidance
Gen Z employees are hungry for feedback and guidance. They require continuous mentorship, which helps them reach their full potential. So, if you have Gen Z employees that are doing great or struggling with their work, give them feedback and guide them to the path towards success. They always appreciate feedback that is honest and constructive. However, you should prefer face-to-face interaction because 75% of them prefer to get in-person feedback from their managers.
Opportunities for Growth
To understand Gen Zers and make them reach their full potential, you should give them opportunities for growth. They are eager to learn new skills and use them in their work. You can switch them to different roles, let them acquire new skills, and eventually let them find the areas where they feel more dedicated. This way, you are not just helping them enhance their skills but also making them competitive and valuable assets.
Individual or Collaborative Tasks
Gen Zers have mixed opinions about taking tasks individually or working on tasks in the form of teams. Some like to take on individual tasks to better showcase their skills, while others like to work in a collaborative environment. So, you should understand what are the preferences of Gen Z workers around it. This way, you can better utilize their skills and give them a work environment where they feel more comfortable working in.
Gen Zers term themselves as the hardest working generation, and even 34% of Gen Zers believe that they cannot use the vacation days when they want to. But they have seen to showcase more hard-working commitment with a longer stay at those companies that offer flexible schedules. So, try to have a flexible workplace where Gen Zers can blend in easily and feel less stressed. This way, they can feel more comfortable and even work harder without complaining.
Opportunity to Contribute
Gen Z is from an age where political unrest, climate change, and other economic concerns are becoming more prominent. Since they are the generation that is going to lead the world, they are more into opportunities where they can contribute some role. So, if you realize that the Gen Z workers in your corporation are trying to engage in some contributing activities, then arrange some initiatives for them. This could be research to reduce carbon footprints in your corporation, initiate a welfare program, strategic planning on a greener workplace, etc.
Gen Zers are the newest generation to enter the workforce and have some unique characteristics that make them great employees. From their love of technology to their desire for purposeful work, understanding what makes Gen Z proactive can help you create a work environment that meets their needs and lets you grow your business. With a little effort, you can make your workplace more attractive to Gen Z and set yourself up for success in the years to come.