Right now, the workplace has a rather complex and layered set of employees: As the Baby Boomers retire in increasingly larger numbers and the older members of Generation X even begin to consider that as well, employers will have a majority of the workforce coming from Generation Y, also known as the Millennial generation. However, employers also need to look at a new group entering the workforce: Generation Z, born between the mid to late 1990s and the mid-2000s. They will graduate from college and look for jobs within the next few years, and once again, they have a different way of functioning as employees. So what do you need to know as an employer?
- They’re even more tech-savvy than millennials. Gen Z was born four years after the introduction of the Internet — they have never known a world without it. They’ve grown up in the age of Facebook and Twitter, and they have a digital knowledge that surpasses many of their older colleagues. Thus they have a great deal to offer regarding connecting with other clients and companies, as well as creating platforms to keep the company running efficiently and connecting it with others. However, they may need reminders that technology doesn’t always work, and sometimes they need advice on how to build strong relationships face-to-face because they so often connect remotely and in short bursts.
- They strongly value a work-life balance. Again, similar to millennials, gen Z employees want a workplace that recognizes the need for a life outside of the job. Within the workplace, gen Z wants a combination of open spaces where they can collaborate in a team atmosphere and quiet, closed-off places where they can focus independently when they really need to get something done. Offices may want to consider this arrangement in future planning. And, to their credit, gen Z does have a strong work ethic, so if you can allow for a flexible schedule, you’ll get the most out of them when they’re “on the clock,” leading to more productive outcomes.
- They prefer a strongly defined chain of command. Interestingly, while they want the opportunity to share ideas with a manager, gen Z likes to know who’s in charge. They also prefer a more teacher-based approach to leadership, which can work well with millennial managers who prefer a more open working relationship in terms of managers and employees. And the managers who can harness gen Z’s work ethic through a combination of motivation and mentoring will likely get the best results…and potentially encourage them to stay on longer than they would otherwise — gen Z tends not to see themselves at the same job for more than a couple of years at first.
Each generation has its preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. Generation Z is even larger than generation Y, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about how to work with them now. For help accomplishing this successfully, reach out to our recruiting team at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today.