Over the past few years, we’ve heard about millennials in the workplace. But now, about 61 million Gen-Zers are about to enter the US workforce. How does Gen-Z differ from millennials? And, what does this mean for companies?
How Does Gen-Z Differ from Millennials?
Here’s a brief overview of the two groups.
- Born between 1996 and 2015;
- 5 to 24 years old in 2020;
- Nicknamed iGen because they “learned to swipe a screen before they learned to speak”;
- Influenced by the Great Recession (2000-2008);
- Spent their childhoods with computers in their pockets;
- More focused on saving money;
- Would rather show off their individuality than buy a name brand;
- Often earn money from a side hustle rather than a traditional summer job;
- Question the benefits of a college education and worry about student debt.
- Born between 1980–1995;
- 25 to 40 years old in 2020;
- Nicknamed the Trophy Generation because they received participation trophies just for showing up;
- Influenced by September 11th and a period of economic growth;
- Spent most of their childhoods without cell phones or social media;
- More focused on the experience of buying a product;
- Love their name brands;
- Often worked traditional summer jobs (53% in 2005);
- Believe a college education is worth it, even if this means student debt.
How Will Gen-Z Impact the Modern Workplace?
It’s difficult to guess what the future will bring. However, these are a few predictions.
- Hiring Will
Become a Marketing Effort
Gen-Z probably is going to take their job search beyond the Help Wanted ads. They are looking for a great culture fit and an enjoyable day-to-day work experience. To appeal to this group, companies should look for ways to show what makes their organizations unique and fun. And, businesses shouldn’t underestimate the importance of their online presence. Gen-Z takes reviews seriously.
- Companies May
Need to Provide Additional Training
Although Generation Z is very tech-savvy, they may struggle with face-to-face interactions. Since they are more comfortable communicating through text, emoji, and video, this could leave them completely unprepared for a field such as customer service. Employers may need to bring them up to speed “on the skills that boomers and millennials take for granted, like handling calls and writing emails.” (CNBC, 2018)
Will Become More Important
Raised in an instant-reaction world with Likes and other social media rewards, “60% of Generation-Z’ers want multiple check-ins from their managers weekly, if not daily.” (Forbes, 2019) This could put an enormous strain on management. Some businesses are worried, but others are looking into technology portals to track, or even trend individual performance.
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