It has gotten to that point in time where everyone starts to feel a little old. The generation dubbed as digital natives, Gen Z, are starting to properly integrate into the world of work beside us and pursuing their dreams. Even if you haven't had to work with someone of this age yet, there is still no denying that they have had a difficult transition from school to where they are now. While covid has had a massive affect on all of us and made life a bit of a struggle, it is fair to say that they have one of the worst times. Not only has it bled into and effectively ruined some of the best years of their life but also affected their future. One study shows that four in five (78%) feel that their professional lives have been affected and two in five (39%) have said that they lost their jobs, were furloughed, or have suffered a temporary layoff from their employer. While it has been difficult on everyone, losing all sense of normality, they never had time to create that normality. For a lot of new workers this experience will stick with them and affect the way they work for quite some time - it's a bit of a disaster to put it lightly. They are a generation that doesn't know how to act in the workplace because they never got the chance to truly be there and now they are suffering the drawbacks. But now, we are finally coming out the other end and there a few things that you may find useful to know when working with your new colleges.
What Drives Gen Z:
Among other things, their strong values and optimism are some of the things that Gen Z are known for, even if it has fallen drastically since the start of the pandemic (from 93% to 83%). Now that the world is starting to return to the way it was, Gen Z are starting to truly get into the workplace & employers and employees are going to have to learn to work with the new values and ideologies held by their new employees.
If you plan on hiring and working alongside Gen Z, which will be just a tad difficult to avoid as it's predicted that at least 27% of the workforce will be made up of them by 2025, it will be useful to understand what drives them. As a generation, there are three values that they embrace according to the finds of one survey - achievement, significance, and challenge. The category with the highest percentage of the three is achievement, with 40% of survey respondents falling into this category. These people want to make the most of their life, live it to the fullest they can and wasting no potential. This type of person will not be content with finding one job and sticking to it, they will want to gain experience and resources to better themselves and get as far as they can. The second most popular driving factor is significance - sitting with 38% - all they want is for their work, their life to have some sort of significance. This is what they look for in a job and the company they will be working for, they want to make some sort of difference in the world and if the job doesn't allow them to do that them, they likely won't go for it. Things that they would go for are things like charities, if their company does something that works towards a bigger goal, they will be happy with their position and loyal to the business. The final drive, with 13%, is challenge. This type is always working towards something and want immediate feedback and gratification for what they have done as it allows them to move on quickly and improve. They believe it to be the thing that lets them grow professionally and personally, which interestingly they feel are more closely intertwined them generations before them who believed that they were two very separate things.
Though if we look at this not so much from a general view and more career based, Gen Z value financial rewards/security and career advancements above all else - some sources have found. Of course, other factors do play into deciding the job, but this is one has a big effect on whether it's a no go or not. Typically, their first few jobs are viewed as steppingstones, with very little commitment behind it. Not that they don't try with their jobs, it's more so that they have something nice to put on a CV to reach their end goal. A nice job they enjoy with financial security.
Gen Z are the most diverse generation the world has seen so far, and they expect to see diversity in their workplace. They care deeply about the level of inclusion. A study done in the US shows that 77% of the generation have indicated that a company's level of diversity affects their final decision to work there. So while they do have the desire for a successful career and want to push themselves above and beyond, it all ties back into the drive for significance - they want to make difference. It is important that they don't feel that they are sitting idle, at the very least they want to say that they support something in their everyday life. One study shows that workers from both Gen Z and Millennials feel that a lot of business leaders are simply sweet talking, which they are not satisfied with. If a company wants to keep them as workers, to keep their loyalty them they will have to be transparent in their views and ideologies.
They Are Tech Savvy:
It's just a tad obvious, they have been dubbed the digital natives after all - not knowing a life without things like internet. Technology has always been a large part of their lives and always will be and that's not a bad thing. The world is always changing, always developing and some people can't keep up with it. So, it's not a surprise that Gen Z is going after more tech-oriented job roles. It plays to their strengths and gives them a slight upper hand in their respective industries. After all, the only people they are going against are people who have had to learn it as they go - to Gen Z digital navigation comes naturally to them so it's not too much of a challenge. They also have the advantage of the digital skills shortage; employers are getting desperate for candidates who know how to manage technology as it grows more advanced and more prominent in the world.
To wrap it up, they will be useful to any business that wishes to keep up with the world in the ways that it's changing - bringing fresh ideas and solutions. Gen Z are eager to get to the workplace and get stuck in so now is the time we need to get them involved with everything going on in all sectors. Though, like with other workers, you will have to understand what they want from you and the job. It means you need to understand the previous points if you want to keep them as they are far more willing to act on their ideals then those who came before them.
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