I couldn’t imagine a time where the workplace would start to see the entrance of a generation who wasn’t here to witness 9/11 first hand. Well, that time is upon us, and that is how this new generation, referred to as Generation Z (or the iGeneration), is best identified as. That’s right, this young generation of workers will have been born after, or don’t remember, the event that changed our world.
This group of individuals currently make up about 25% of the world’s population; greater than both the Gen-X and Millennial demographic. By 2020, it is estimated that they will account for one third of the population, a future that is not too far away.
What will you need to know about this group of workers who will succeed the well-known and highly talked about Millennial generation? Let’s look in depth at Generation Z and get an idea of what we know about them so far. Hopefully, this will help you better understand, integrate, and effectively work with this new group of individuals as they start to enter the business world and workforce.
They Prefer Face-to-Face interactions are key
This group of individuals likes interacting with people the “old-fashioned” way. Due to the overflow of digital interactions, this generation is longing for a face-to-face conversation among their co-workers. In fact, in a recent poll of Generation Z workers, an astounding 72% say that they prefer having an in-conversation over other outlets of communications. They will not only look to having a “real-life” talk in-person, but also prefer it over apps such as Skype and Facetime.
Being open to more, these virtual outlets can really entice Generation Z to your company and keep them happy and loyal to your brand. Seeing that this group of workers enjoy having a conversation that isn’t just on a screen, can be a great way into finding different avenues for them to have interactions among their peers or fellow coworkers the “old-fashioned” way.
Focus on Their Individuality
Kids long for independence at a young age, and this generation proves that individuality is extremely important to their work ethic. An estimated 92% of Generation Z individuals have some sort of online profile or digital presence. Since they were born “social,” they grew up learning early on how to engage with each other and follow the online profiles of well-known celebrities. They had their own identity and voice from the start, so this became an integral part of themselves and their expectations in the work environment.
Use their individuality to enhance their career by giving them solo projects or tasks. Ask for their advice, or feedback, on something going on at work. Showing them that their individual input and ideas have an impact at their workplace will be hugely beneficial to both you and your Generation Z coworker.
Show Them the Bigger picture
As Millennials long for an experience in a working environment, Generation Z enjoys the bigger picture and knowing how their job will have an impact at your company. They are about making a difference, and they will want to know how their role can do that for your company. Gen Z looks forward to their future and making a positive footprint for those they work for and the causes they care about.
Gen Z’ers will also want to know if their position will evolve or make a big impact for the future of the business. Let them know of the possibilities that can happen with hard work, and how their role can evolve or grow, while also impacting the direction of the company and its mission in a positive way.
Don’t underestimate these harder and resourceful workers
While some may say that this group is not as ambitions as generations before them, that doesn’t really seem resonate with this generation of workers. When the recession hit, almost a decade ago, many Generation Z’ers had to help their families by working at a younger age in getting a part-time job to afford anything extra. Due to their ability to self-educate and research with the click of a button, this group is identified as being mature, self-directed, and resourceful.
This generation knows what it means to work hard and to be given quite a few work-related responsibilities without hassle. Do not underestimate them because of their age. Gen Z’ers are ready to work, and for some, have had to do so since adolescence. Be creative in giving them tasks that have never been done before, as they will be up for the challenge and can use their resourceful mindset to get the job done.
Understand that They are Big dreamers
This is one of the most entrepreneurial minded generations to come about. Due to growing up during the recession, and with the influx of digital networks, this generation believes that anything is possible or within their reach. In fact, 72% of Generation Z’ers polled say that they want to have their own business someday and make their hobby their actual job.
Use their entrepreneurial spirit to help with your own business. Engage their mind and ask for their feedback on business endeavors. You can be a mentor to them by sharing your own experience, expertise, and provide them with insight about becoming an entrepreneur in the future. This is a win-win scenario, and a great way to enhance your business while building the future with entrepreneurs like yourself.
Creativity is key to success
As they are entrepreneurial, Gen Z’ers also quite creative. With the mindset that they can do anything and make their dreams come true, so is their ability to think outside the box. Tap into their creative spirit and utilize that to assist in projects or digital endeavors.
Be open to their suggestions, and understand that they may do things a little differently because they seek uniqueness in all avenues of their life. In comparison to Millennials who are believed to be optimists, Gen Z’ers are realists. They work to succeed, versus Millennials who work to be discovered. They will give you their best end result because they want to help make your business successful, and not because they just want to get it done.
As you look towards the future of your company, and its workforce, take notice that it looks bright with this upcoming generation. They look forward to the uncertain future, and with that in mind, so should you.