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Friday Feature: The Three C's Generation Z Wants in the Workplace

Today's post is courtesy of Gina Cincotta, a Gen Z intern at Kronos.  Although it seems like we've been talking about Millennials forever, Gen Z will shake things up further at work.  Read on to hear what one Gen Z'er thinks is in store for their employers.

I'm a member of Generation Z. Born between 1995 and 2010, we follow on the heels of the Millennials. They were born into the era of digitalization, making them more knowledgeable about technology than any demographic that preceded them.  Until we came along, that is.

Why should you pay attention to us? - Gen Z is beginning to enter the workforce and is the future of your company. According to Nielsen's new Total Audience Report from late 2017, Gen Z makes up of 26% of our population, making us the largest group of individuals over Millennials and Baby Boomers.

What are the three C's Gen Z's want at work?

  1. Change: One of the most important things Gen Z wants is constant change in the workplace. Gen Z was born into a period where everything was always changing around them–from flip phones to the iPhone X and from VCRs to DVDs to livestreaming. Gen Z (also known as iGeneration) were born into a world of booming technology, and they therefore were born to evolve and to adapt much more quickly than previous generations. These digital natives are knowledgeable about all social media platforms and according to Julian Smith from The Drum, “research suggests that their brains have evolved to process more information at faster speeds, and are cognitively more nimble to handle bigger mental challenges.” Therefore, Gen Z will get bored at work quickly unless there are multiple tasks to complete and a constant change in their day-to-day work.
  2. Challenge: Gen Z loves a good challenge. A great way to keep them focused and busy is to constantly challenge them with something new. They have a craving to learn and know everything. On top of this, they are multi-taskers. According to a report by Forrester Research, 84% of Gen Z “multitask with an Internet-connected device while watching TV–using on average 1.5 other Internet-connected devices (e.g., laptops and cell phones).” From shopping in a store, to sharing a post on social media, to talking to their friends (all the while not walking into anyone) Gen Z can do it all –and at the same time!  According to Dan Schawbel from the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, more than “72% of high school students want to start a business someday” and “61% would rather be an entrepreneur instead of an employee” when they graduate. Even more so, more than 60% of Gen Z said they want to make an impact on the world. So make sure you have plenty of challenges for Gen Z and lots of opportunity for them to grow and learn, or they may begin to look for opportunities elsewhere.
  3. Competition: Gen Z thrives off competition. They want to be viewed as independent and therefore prefer to complete their work on their own and be evaluated one-on-one. According to a Forbes article, Gen Z. prefers to “manage their own projects so that their skills and abilities can shine through.” They are willing to work hard and play hard, but want to be recognized for it. “In fact, 77% of Gen Z anticipate working harder than previous generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling career.”

With their entrepreneurial characteristics and preference to be viewed as an individual, companies need to find a good balance between solo and collaborative projects for Gen Z. This means giving Gen Z spaces within the office that they can utilize when they want to work more privately.  Companies also need to provide a broad spectrum of opportunities for Gen Z to grow and take on larger roles. According to a Robert Half Survey, 64% of this generation ranked career opportunities as their main consideration in pursuing a full-time job.

Instead of focusing on where they will fit into your company, they are focusing on where does your company and position fit into their life.

What will your company do to create a work experience and environment that caters to Gen Z?

Share your insights!

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