Up until recently, everyone was talking about millennials. They were the ones creating and changing the environment for themselves, but the time has come, and their place is taken by those who were born in the period from 1997 to 2010 – Generation Z.
Generation Z, iGeneration, Digital Natives, Zoomers: call them however you like, but one thing is for sure – these young adults can be the ones who can change traditional work ethics and shape the future workplace.
According to a recent report from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc, One-third (32%) of Gen Z participants believe they are the hardest-working generation. Interestingly enough, according to another research, Gen Z is also the one that won’t tolerate being forced to work when they don’t want to. So, taking into account all these facts, let’s try to find out what are the expectations of Generation Z at work and what do they need to feel happy and be as productive as possible at the workplace.
Generation Z is considered to be independent, creative, highly informed, extremely technology-friendly, and environment-friendly, and willing to learn new things every day but they expect a lot in return too, particularly when it comes to flexible work schedules, recognition, and innovations.
Flexibility in work is very important for Gen Z. According to the survey, one in four (26%) participants admit they would work harder and stay more loyal to a company that supports flexible schedules and is open to remote options. Though Gen Z is considered the true “digital generation”, yet 3 out of 4 also prefer face-to-face interactions to virtual meetings. It’s an extremely hectic world out there and what Gen Z wants is to find a job that motivates them and also fits around them just right.
Opportunities for Constant Personal and Professional Growth
Does Generation Z love to learn? The answer is – YES, Gen Z loves learning new stuff and getting educated. They know the value of education. In fact, specialists consider Generation Z the most knowledgeable generation – due to huge access to information thanks to the internet and the actual desire to learn new things. Therefore, HR professionals can deal with this in many ways – from tutorship to industry-specific training opportunities.
Gen Z doesn’t like wasting time. If you need them in their highest form, you need to be honest with them. Make sure to provide them not only with positive information about the job but also about possible problems that may occur on your way. Gen Z loves being a part of the team and likes to share their achievements with the group. First of all, don’t be afraid to discuss any topics or weak points your company may be facing with the crew. And if keeping up with the company’s rising issues is getting difficult, you can consider using employee engagement programs to conduct employee engagement surveys and have monthly feedback from every one of them.
Technology and Innovation
One thing everyone can agree with is that Generation Z is strongly connected with technology. It’s important to remember that Gen Z doesn’t remember the time before smartphones or the internet. They literally grew up with social media. So, it’s no surprise that not only they are connected with technology but they can also adapt very quickly to new changes and gadgets. Generation Z realizes the full potential technology and social media platforms hold so they are willing to take it more seriously than any other generation.
Individual Expression and Equality
Gen Z often avoids labels but value individual expression and are all for diversity and equality. And that’s why one of the most important expectations for Generation Z at work is a safe environment where they can express themselves and be sure that diverse points of view will be taken into consideration there. Also, it can be a huge advantage to have different opinions and people with different backgrounds at the workplace. Try to listen to everyone and don’t forget to make your employees’ voice.
Most Gen Z representatives start working earlier than others do. In fact, according to a survey, 7 out of 10 participants describe salary as their top work motivator, while 70% also describe health insurance as their top workplace “must-have.” Meanwhile, 58% say they’d be willing to work nights and weekends for higher pay. So, we can most certainly say that Gen Z’s approach to work may be more practical and money-minded than any other generation.
To be Appreciated and Recognized
Everyone loves being appreciated and important to the team. Even though financial stability is one of the most important things for Generation Z, what they really may need to feel happy is the appreciation that you can give to them. Yes, sometimes kind words and reassurance can make them more motivated and loyal. According to Cicero Study employees who are strongly appreciated and recognized are much more likely to come up with innovations and increased efficiency at work. Furthermore, workers report that employee recognition is most of the time more effective at increasing their engagement, performance, and loyalty than an additional annual or monthly bonus.
So, what can we say about this generation? Managing Generation Z in the workplace can be difficult but surprisingly very productive. If you can understand all the Generation Z characteristics in the workplace and take into account their every need, you may have the greatest team of young creatives who will be ready to take the workplace (and maybe the whole world) by storm.