The next generation to join Millennials in the workplace has been coined “Generation Z” or “Gen Z.” Gen Z refers to the group of people born after the Millennial generation. Generation Z represents the 23 million Americans born between 1994 and 2010, ages 7 to 23 years old. This year, the first group of Gen Z-ers graduated from college and joined Millennials in the workplace.
Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S. to date. They are also the most digitally connected generation thus far, having never known a world without the Internet, mobile phones or iTunes.
This young generation also has their own set of values, abilities, and preferences. They are open minded, adaptable, ready to problem-solve at any moment, and confident to serve as our future business leaders.
It might be easy to group Millennials and Gen Z together. Similarly to Millennials in the workplace, Gen Z differs from other generations when it comes to corporate ideals, and how they are changing the workplace dynamic. However, as more information emerges about Gen Z, it’s also clear they vary from Millennials in the workplace when it comes to their expectations about the companies they work for.
If companies want to remain competitive in today’s business landscape they simply cannot ignore these facts:
- Gen Z is made up of entrepreneurial and independent individuals who expect to create and run their own start-up companies someday.
- Those who decide to work for companies prefer a corporate office, thrive on opportunity and want to succeed quickly. They expect companies to show them how to attain a high-level position in a short amount of time.
- Gen Z is used to having everything immediately because of technology. They expect their employers to embrace new technologies and incorporate technology into the workplace.
- Because they have always been connected to the world through social media, Gen Z consider themselves global citizens and are well equipped for the global business environment.
- Gen Z professionals require more rewards and recognition than any other generation. They are used to receiving trophies and accolades for even the smallest accomplishments.
- This generation expects mentoring and coaching. To them the most important employee benefit they expect from their employer is training and development.
- Gen Z-ers also believe “communicative” is the most important quality of a leader.
- Gen Z wants to change the world, feels its’work is of value to society, and embrace the idea of volunteer work.
Be ready to meet Generation Z. This highly educated, technologically savvy and extremely innovative generation feels that it can achieve anything and is ready to compete with Millennials in the workplace.