A new generation of workforce is entering the job market, and they are none other than the Generation Z or Gen Z. This generation is known for their tech-savviness, entrepreneurial spirit, and desire for work-life balance. They have grown up in a world that is vastly different from the one their predecessors had known, with the internet and social media playing a crucial role in shaping their worldview.
As Gen Z is entering the workforce, its impact is expected to be swift and profound as they have an entirely different mentality and approach to defining success.
But who is Gen Z?
- Since there is no universal agreement on how to define this demographic group, it is challenging. In general, those who were born between 1997 and 2012 are considered members of Gen Z.
- This is the very first generation that grew up having access to the internet and that’s why they are commonly referred to as true digital natives.
- It is also a generation that has seen the collapse of the economy by witnessing the 2008’s great recession thus they have seen their parents losing their jobs and even their grandparents returning to the labor to support their families.
- This generation’s characteristics are highly different as a result of growing up in the midst of technological advancements as well as the economic downfall.
How are Gen Z's work values different from Millennials?
Millennials and Gen Z grew up with different priorities that are related to the different circumstances in which they grew up . It’s important to understand these dynamics as millennials take on managerial roles and Gen Z enters the workforce.
While both generations value work-life balance and career growth, Gen Z:
- Has a preference for working as individual contributors to showcase their skills while valuing healthy competition
- Has a strong desire for work-life balance and prioritizes mental health
- Is focused on authenticity, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
Gen Z is often characterized by their ambition, drive and desire to make a positive impact on the world. They are a generation that values autonomy and creativity and they are known for their willingness to take risks and pursue their passions.
What should employers do?
To attract and retain Gen Z, employers need to adapt and provide opportunities that align with their unique values and preferences. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Foster a culture of inclusivity and diversity. According to a Glassdoor study, 56% of Gen Z respondents believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is essential.
- Provide flexibility. Gen Z values work-life balance and expects their employers to offer flexible hours and remote work options.
- Offer opportunities for career growth and development. The desire for employment security is one of Gen Z’s main traits, just like it is for their millennial predecessors. This doesn’t mean that they are looking for job stability with only one employer, but rather for chances to learn new skills and acquire experiences that will benefit them in the long run. As a result, during the hiring process, you must be prepared to discuss chances for professional advancement.
- Consider corporate social responsibility: You run the danger of alienating your Gen Z candidates if you don’t consider your brand in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR). You need to start considering your social effect and how you can provide additional value through CSR because early evidence indicates that this generation cares more about brand ethics, volunteering, and charity.
All in all, Gen Z’s entry into the workforce represents a turning point in the evolution of work culture. As employers navigate this new landscape, they must be willing to embrace change, adapt to new values, and find ways to connect with a generation that is both tech-savvy and values-driven. Ultimately, it will be those companies that succeed in creating a workplace that aligns with Gen Z’s priorities that will emerge as the leaders of tomorrow.