Make room for Generation Z in the workplace

As we begin to see more and more of Generation Z in the workplace, we’ll also see a major shift in how employers change their ideas on company culture

As we begin to see more and more of Generation Z in the workplace, we’ll also see a major shift in how employers change their ideas on company culture

Attention all employers: One of the most highly anticipated generations is entering the workforce at an amazing rate, and many businesses will need to rethink their company culture to ensure robust recruitment and retention of what’s sure to be a bevy of top talent for years to come.

Introducing Generation Z, which has been part of the workforce for about three years now and will be entering in droves over the next five years.

Born between the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s, Generation Z is said to be facing an uphill battle establishing their young careers because their aspirations and employer expectations don’t exactly mesh with what’s currently available.

Add to that, each generation is met with strong stereotypes played up — or down — and that’s no different for Generation Z. For example, current Generation Z workers are painted as lazy, entitled, addicted to technology (is that even a negative?) and completely disenchanted with their parents’ and grandparents’ vision of the American Dream.

While there may be an inkling of truth to those statements, they don’t help employers preparing for this next batch of workers who are expected to represent 20 percent of the workforce within the next half-decade.

So in order to understand some of the most compelling Generation Z characteristics that help forge this group’s career aspirations and attitudes toward today’s workplace, Robert Half and Enactus recently surveyed U.S. and Canadian college students between the ages of 18 and 25 to help employers prepare for the incoming deluge of young professionals.

The results provide a wakeup call for companies trying to set themselves apart from others that will soon be in the hunt for this new wave of talent.

With that in mind, here are some insights to consider:

Motivating Generation Z in the workplace


77 percent of those surveyed said they anticipate working harder than previous generations but expect to be rewarded for it.

For members of Generation Z in the workplace, careers are about stability and growth.

Plus, Generation Z workers want a roadmap to success with actionable steps to improving their standing in the company.

Be careful, though, because if motivating your Generation Z workers isn’t on the agenda, don’t be surprised to see them look for opportunities elsewhere.


Managing Generation Z in the workplace


For those in leadership positions, managing Generation Z in the workplace is important and includes no-brainers such as hands-on training, regular feedback and mentorship.

This can be a positive for many companies looking to mold their young employees.

Generation Z workers will expect training by people who have sincere interest in their well-being, which means opportunities to build strong relationships can go a long way.


Communicating with Generation Z workers


The survey unearths some interesting facts about Generation Z such as their penchant for being tech savvy, especially with social media.

But, surprisingly, this is not how they want to communicate.

Rather, Generation Z workforce members prefer face-to-face interaction with colleagues, and team building collaboration is what drives them toward results and innovation.


Income level of Generation Z


The research on Generation Z suggests that while growing up in and around the Great Recession, Generation Z’s work ethic remained strong but their belief in fair compensation didn’t wane.

They understand the cost of living in metropolitan areas — where they want to be — are historically high, making it almost impossible get by on low-level salaries.

So, while company values and opportunity do play an important role in motivating Generation Z workers, the ability to pay rent each month is top priority.

This isn’t the first time employers have been compelled to make adjustments to cope with generational shifts in the job market. And it certainly won’t be the last.

But new talent and the fresh perspectives almost certainly foster innovation, company culture change and creative ideas.

Generation Z is looking to bring those benefits, and companies willing to pivot can have first dibs on these up and coming employees who will power the workforce of the future.


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