Just as the workforce begins to fully integrate Millennials, a new generation is on the horizon: Generation Z. According to estimates by 2019, this generation – born between 1996 and 2010 – will have as many as 30 million members enter the U.S. workforce. So today, Ignitia explores what employers may expect from this emerging generation.
A Driven Generation
For starters, Generation Z is highly motivated. Having watched their parents struggle through the Great Recession, Generation Z does not expect anything to come easy. As such, they are prepared for a tough job market. And prepared to struggle to get ahead. Having heard the horror stories from their older Millennial siblings drowning in debt, and unable to find work, Generation Z has entered a survival mindset. Unlike Millennials however, Generation Z has no expectations of anything being handed to them and are fully expecting to have to work harder than their peers to get ahead.
An Entrepreneurial Generation
That said, Generation Z is very entrepreneurially minded. Generation Z has little interest in climbing the corporate ladder. Recognizing that Millennials have largely dispensed with the office culture of the Baby Boomers, Generation Z expects such benefits to come as the norm. Such benefits include making their own hours, and the ability to work from home. As such, many members of Generation Z also show a high prevalence for working independently. As the first generation born with technology in hand, they are very capable of finding answers on their own. But when they can’t, they expect their supervisors to provide answers to them quickly. As a generation that’s grown up during the startup boom, a way to satisfy Generation Z is to allow them to assume ownership of the projects they oversee. Such feelings of project ownership allows them to feel as though they are participating directly in a company’s success which goes a long way toward keeping them satisfied.
A Practical and Savvy Generation
As the first generation born into social media, Generation Z is extremely discerning. With a few simple searches, they will know what you’re company is all about. And they will do the research. Companies with a philosophy of giving are also largely appreciated. While they take diversity and inclusion as a given, they also surprisingly display a reported propensities toward Conservatism, especially with regard to financial matters.
A Stressed Generation
One of the greatest needs of Generation Z is the need to feel secure. Having never known a world that was not at constant global war with terrorism, or under the near-constant threat of seemingly weekly mass casualty events, security is of paramount importance to Generation Z. From the growing income gap, to record rates of student loan debt, and a shrinking middle class, Generation Z knows it has an uphill climb to face. And they feel it. Knowing this, employer are well served to provide atmosphere’s that feel safe and secure.
A Generation That’s Tough to Retain
As the first generation to grow up flipping between screens, Generation Z is excellent at multitasking. That said, their attention is fleeting. This goes for job interests as well. They will show no qualms about moving on to the next best thing. That said, they are extremely fast learners, are able to digest large amounts of data quickly, and are very open to new ideas. And they want real benefits from their work. While the novelty of a ping pong table or snacks may have been enough to satisfy Millennials, Generation Z wants more concrete benefits. They want a 401k. Healthcare. And an employer who respects them. That said, if you are able to keep them happy, you will be unlikely to find a more dedicated or capable workforce for the 21st century.