Gen Z and How They’ll Affect the Workplace
With the emergence of Gen Z in the workforce, we’re likely to see a number of changes within an environment that is quickly shifting to digital. OCG Consulting Recruitment Consultant, Ana Dragulescu, discusses some of their differences, and how they’ll affect the workplace.
What Makes Gen Z Different?Born after 1995, Gen Z are obviously the most recent generation to enter the workforce. But what’s not clear though is how different they are from Millennials and the impact they’ll have on a working environment that is quickly shifting to digital.
Gen Z versus Millennials:Are More Digital Savvy
They have grown up immersed in technology and are seen as digital natives (versus digital immigrants). Although Millennials grew up with the internet, it’s second nature to Gen Z. They can’t imagine a world without it and most likely won’t remember a time before social media and smart phones.
Have Higher Expectations
Those born pre-1995 will remember playing solitaire, coming home to dial up their Internet connection and being interrupted by family members wanting to use the phone. Gen Z on the other hand, had technology part of their everyday life. As a result, they expect information immediately. In my opinion, it seems that this new generation thrives on feeling valued and want their efforts and successes recognised. They look for strong leadership and expect coaching, mentoring and a hands-on approach to their development. If they feel utilised they’re much more likely to stay with an organisation.
Want to Make a Difference
It appears to me that Gen Z are more interested in finding fulfilling roles with values-driven organisations rather than jobs that simply pays the bills. A lot of candidates I meet from Gen Z ask questions about corporate social responsibility, which could be attributed to growing up in a society where environmental and political issues are highly publicised.
Have Stronger Virtual Communication
Gen Z has grown up in a world where they can freely express their opinions online and this is more important than ever. They do still value a personal approach though! It is expected that they will, somehow, manage to strike a balance between online and offline workplace communications.
The Digital ShiftLooking into the future, with companies shifting to a digital landscape, it brings about a lot of change. Throughout my recruitment career, I have come to learn that change is not something that some of us are open to. Gen Z however, have grown up with it and are much more willing to adapt.
Their immersion with technology and digital language makes it easier for them when it comes to going digital in the workplace.
How Will Gen Z Affect The Workplace?When the only constant seems to be change, it’s clear that this newest generation is going to affect the workplace. What approach could employers take when dealing with Gen Z?
1). Communication Channels will Need to be Different
Efficient online and mobile communication channels are just a given. The use of technology platforms and applications that allow for greater productivity, project management and remote learning will also be quintessential for Gen Z.
2). Highlight What a Company Has to Offer
What’s in it for me (or WIIFM) will become something all employers will have to highlight. Besides, Gen Z want to make the world a better place and know that what they’re doing makes an impact to the community. To be attractive therefore, positions will need to have a clear purpose, development opportunities and strong leadership.
3). Workplace Flexibility and Remote Working
In a society driven by virtual communications, Gen Z doesn’t believe that the traditional 9-5 office routine suits their needs. Given the role of technology and wealth of connectivity, Gen Z believe that they can remain connected regardless of where and when they work. Thus, workplace flexibility and remote working will become more prominent with their emergence in the workforce.
SummaryIt’s clear that those in Gen Z have a fresh approach that is going to affect the workplace. Although there are similarities with Millennials, employers are going to have to make an effort to cater for the newest generation. Being forward thinking, embracing differences and making some adjustments will be key to getting the best out of Gen Z and boosting business productivity.
What do you think the future of our business will look like? If you’d like to discuss this some more, or would like to request a copy of our ‘Future of Work’ whitepaper, get in touch with me.