Over the last few years, the main focus of adapting companies has been Millennials. Poor Generation Y has been wrongly labeled as “entitled,” “lazy” and “technology addicted.” But now the spotlight is shifting onto a new generation: Generation Z, or iGen.
This shift is going to mean major changes for companies, especially technology service companies. Welcoming iGen into the working world is, obviously, going to pose changes to the technical side of your business in order to ensure that your company functions at the same tech savvy level where Gen Z runs their lives.
Currently, the majority of Gen Z is still in the education system. But within the next decade, we will make up about one-fifth of the workforce. This shift is going to mean major changes for companies. So, get ready employers, because we are about to enter the workforce and we have a couple conditions when it comes to finding a job.
A new generation: Gen Zers are vastly different than Millennials.
As Baby Boomers exit the workforce and Gen Z enters, the ideals and culture of the workforce are going to undergo major changes. A pretty substantial shift in workplace ideologies took place when Millennials began to enter the workforce in the last 15 years or so.
According to a study done by Adecco Staffing USA for Fortune, many Millennials aspire to be financially stable. This may be due to experiencing a detrimental economic recession in the 2000s, making job security and financial stability the most desirable traits to Millennials.
Here is the good news about Gen Z: We are brand new to the adult world (having been born between 1995 and 2010), with many members of Gen Z still in school. We haven’t experienced any serious economic hardship in our lifetime (other than harrowing student loans), which means our must-haves in the workplace are enterprising and optimistic.
While Millennials are concerned with job security and financial stability, we Gen Zers are more concerned about job satisfaction, self-fulfillment and, most importantly, opportunity for growth. If you want us to work for you, you’re going to need to make a couple adjustments. Here are the top three things Gen Z needs in the workplace:
1. Job satisfaction: Gen Z is looking for enjoyable jobs with likeable managers.
We aren’t just working for a paycheck. Gen Zers want jobs that are enjoyable. We want a strong company culture. Casual, laid-back and fun companies are going to draw our attention more than rigid, formal companies with strict, regular business hours. According to Forbes, work-life balance is one of the most important career goals for Gen Z. Offer a flexible schedule. Gen Z isn’t down to sit in an office chair for eight hours straight if the work being done doesn’t require that schedule. Be ready to offer unconventional schedules or be ready to lose potential employees.
We also want managers that we like. Pretty simple, don’t you think? Offering constant feedback is one of the eight ways HuffPost says companies should prepare for Gen Z in the workplace. Give us honest and helpful feedback and do it face to face. Even though we are the generation of Snapchat and FaceTime, we crave actual human interaction. Gen Z doesn’t want to be communicated with through an email or a phone call. We like our meetings done in person. Always be willing to have beneficial conversations with your Gen Z employees and give us the feedback we need to achieve our goals and succeed in our jobs.
2. Opportunities for growth: Gen Z wants careers that will help them achieve lofty goals.
Gen Z is ambitious. According to a study by Universum of over 49,000 Gen Zers across the globe, more than half of respondents indicated an interest in starting their own company. We want to climb that corporate ladder, so don’t give us the job equivalent of a step stool.
If your company wants to fill job positions with this new group in the workforce, you have to have opportunities for growth. We want jobs that can evolve and change and move us higher up the company ladder. If the jobs you are offering are a dead end with no chance for growth or promotion, Gen Z is not going to apply. Give us opportunities to work alongside other employees, take charge of projects and hold leadership positions.
With ambition comes the willingness to make serious and drastic decisions when it comes to our career. Gen Z is willing to leave jobs if they feel that they aren’t moving toward their goal. Give Gen Zers jobs with opportunities to grow and advance in our careers and make sure you are assisting us in doing so.
3. Technology: Gen Z looks for updated software systems and a social presence.
We are the generation born into iPods and cable television. The media has dubbed us as “digital natives.” Gen Z knows technology, so you need to know it too. Companies with outdated systems are not going to be a first choice for Gen Z.
We have been adapting with technology since birth and we want a company willing to change with the times. One system update every five years is not going to cut it. Your company needs to have a solid social presence. We are talking about Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack and messaging apps within the company. Gen Z is the social media generation.
If you want to catch our eye, you have to join us online. Keep up to date with your technologies and social presence and you will be a strong competitor when it comes to choosing a career path.
Prepare: Gen Z demands change.
Gen Z is different than previous generations. We have new goals and preferences when it comes to the workplace. Companies are going to have to adapt their workplace culture – from hiring practices and benefits to training and communication – in the next few years to make themselves desirable to Gen Z employees.
Adapt, adjust and allow for change. Gen Z is ready to enter the workforce full speed ahead. Are you ready?
Not sure where to start? At Tigerpaw, we pride ourselves on a winning workplace culture. Watch our story.