Generation Z, those born between 1995 and the early 2000s, is transforming the workplace. But what do you know about how these new entrants to the workplace?
Employers shouldn’t confuse “Zers” with millennials, who are a generation older and markedly different.
So much is written about how millennials like to approach work but we have a new generation entering the workplace now. Managers need to be aware and that they have a distinct approach to work and can't simply be lumped with other young people in the office, especially millennials.
So here’s what you need to know about Generation Z:
Generation Z is ambitious and hardworking
Compared to the millennial generation, Gen Z is more competitive and independent.
Millennials were raised to believe in collaboration and inclusion, which are positive traits that extend to their work ethic. However, the view that everyone wins if everyone works together isn’t necessarily realistic.
They are a very competitive and driven generation.
It’s important for millennial managers to realise they need a different approach with their youngest charges.
Get Z is a generation that’s going to be much more independent and very competitive, Millennials might dismiss this generation as not loyal, not team players. But it’s just not true. They’re looking through a completely different lens.
Generation Z babies are digital natives
Employees who belong to Generation Z have never known life without the internet or social media, and they are comfortable with rapidly changing technology.
It’s a trait increasingly referred to as ‘phygital.’
Phygital has blurred the lines between physical and digital. They see no line at all. This generation has only known a world where their phones are smart.
Because Zers are digital natives, they can serve as authority figures on the technology that is so important to the modern workplace. They are quick to streamline processes, and they have less hesitation or fear to try something new.
Studies shows that Gen Z felt the other generations over-thought a lot of things and took too long.
So, they are going to be keen to try things to get them done while cutting out a lot of the deep, long processes.
Generation Z is looking for alternatives
Economic and political events including the 2008 economic crisis, have critically shaped the worldview of Gen Zers. While millennials are often seen as having an ‘undeserved’ sense of entitlement, Zers have an attitude more in line with their Generation X parents.
The difference can be described as ‘This job is lucky to have me,’ versus 'I’m so lucky to have this job.’ Studies show that 76% of Gen Z said they are willing to start at the bottom and work their way up.
Gen Zers are seen as the do-it-yourself generation, partly because the internet provides unprecedented opportunities for self-education and knowledge. In many countries reason for the change lies partly with the increasing burden of university debt.
The younger set is hyper-aware of the debt that millennials have, and they don’t want to be saddled with the same load. They want to find a deeper connection between an expensive education and what they will do with it.
Linda Trim is the Director at workplace specialists Giant Leap.