It seems like employers were just getting used to the practice of attracting millennials (Gen Y) to their companies, but now a new cohort is cropping up. Generation Z is the group that was born roughly between 1995 and 2012, and as the earliest individuals of this generation are graduating from colleges and entering the workforce, businesses are again having to adjust how they appeal to a new type of worker.
Baby Boomer, Generation X, and millennial employees are still extremely valuable to organizations, but as business management works to assess their needs, they often realize that members of the younger generation provide new information and skills that help progress their company. From unique practices in work culture to social media, information management and access to different demographics in age, younger workers can enhance any company's practice.
As with each generational change, there are some key differences between millennials and Gen Z. This can include their source of motivation, their communication preferences, and their values. By preparing to accommodate these preferences and world views, business managers stand to attract the youngest gen of new minds to work for them.
The looming question remains, how will employers attract this young gen to their company?
The things that Gen Z value in an employer are slightly different than what the millennial generation has wanted. These shifts in values are going to be important for successful businesses as they try and appeal to a wide variety of workers across many generations.
Generation Z are more motivated by security than their millennial counterparts. Millennials tend to be motivated by purpose and ideals, while members of Gen Z care more about their paycheck and overall job security. Most of this cohort were young children during the financial crisis of 2008, when they watched their parents struggle financially, and their whole lives have been defined by its repercussions. Consequently, they value the consistent paycheck and security that come with a good job.
But just because they value security, doesn’t mean they are stuck. Like millennials, gen Zers aren’t afraid to leave jobs that they dislike, or that don’t offer the right benefits and security. Nearly 40 percent of millennials and Generation Z workers agree they would leave their current job if an opportunity arose. Many of this younger group see first and second jobs as stepping stones to get them where they’d like to be down the line.
Fifty-three percent of Generation Z employees said they prefer to talk face to face, rather than over email or messaging programs. The technology that Gen Z has grown up with includes Skype, FaceTime, and Snapchat, all programs that allowed them to interact face-to-face, even when utilizing technology.
While millennials spent their time with email, instant messages, and texts, Generation Z grew up on newer tech that allowed for more person-to-person interaction. While some management will still find that email and messaging systems are beneficial, good business practices will include in-person meetings and video conferences to make younger, newer workers more excited about their interactions.
Gen Zers are known for their competitive and independent nature. Millennials are seen as very collaborative and teamwork-oriented, but are also independent when it comes to their merit and performance. Gen Z is seen as less teamwork oriented, and much more independent and competitive.
Generation Z is spending less time and money on higher education, preferring to demonstrate their independence and ability to compete by entering the workforce directly. They also tend to like their own workspaces, to have control of their own projects, and to receive rewards for their work. These elements are valuable to Generation Z, and organizations would benefit from incorporating them into their work environment.
If businesses are willing to adjust their business practices, they will see an uptick in the number of Generation Zers who are willing to work for them, and they will reap the rewards that these team members can bring.
Although some businesses get away with treating their workers as though they’re expendable, business managers seeking to recruit members of generation Z should know that won’t slide. Members of Generation Z aren’t afraid to leave a job if they don’t feel appreciated or that their needs are met. Valuing these employees and making sure they understand their roles are crucial ways that employers can attract and keep workers from Generation Z.
Younger workers don’t need to be coddled. On the contrary, they tend to appreciate constructive criticism and feedback, but it is wise to make sure they don’t feel like they could be replaced at any minute. That feeling will generally lead them to search for new opportunities rather than sit and wait to be replaced.
Younger generations are known for their entrepreneurial goals. Currently 72 percent of Generation Z high school students said they wanted to create their own businesses.
This is good news for business managers. This drive means that Generation Z employees want to learn a lot and are willing to try new projects and tasks.
Organizations can capitalize on this by shifting their culture to provide more freedom and creative opportunities to Generation Z employees, which will help them fulfill that entrepreneurial drive while benefiting the company as well. By helping workers meet their entrepreneurial drive, organizations are more likely to see positive results and even innovative new solutions for their company.
Generation Z employees are truly digital natives. While many employers think of millennials as exceptionally tech-savvy, Generation Z employees are on a new level.
This generation grew up with absolutely every single technological advancement you can think of; some technology that people their parents age and Baby Boomers don't even know about now. Millennials can remember the early days of dial-up internet, but Generation Z employees grew up with smartphones and social media. This means they are even more tech savvy than millennials in some ways.
Organizations will benefit from embracing technology as they try to attract Generation Z employees. Utilizing new software programs, emphasizing online and digital business practices, and a exhibiting a willingness to try new products are all ways that organizations can attract young talent through their embrace of technology.
Gen Z is also known for multitasking. Millennials are also known for this too, but the practice seems to have exploded with Generation Z. Organizations can focus on attracting Generation Z employees by understanding and encouraging switching between tasks, and seeing the benefits of a generation that does not draw a sharp line between working at an office and working at home. This means that they are likely to pull out their laptop before they go to sleep at night to jot down ideas or do a few more tasks. This can be really beneficial for a company if managers are willing to adjust their business practices to accommodate these new habits.
By adjusting your business leadership strategy to combine fun with competitive edge, your Generation Z employees will remain engaged throughout the workday. A little competition often will fire up employees, especially when there is an incentive.
Generation Z employees enjoy feeling rewarded for a job well done, and this extends to competition within the workplace. Business managers who are willing to hold a graphic design contest or give a prize for the most sales are likely to see creativity and productivity at their finest with Generation Z. Determine how to foster a competitive and rewarding environment in your organization to best engage the younger generation.
Thus, while some employers believe that the youngest groups have little to offer their organization, but that’s simply not true. Millennials have proven their worth as entrepreneurial, educated, community-building, and digitally savvy workers. As a group, they have helped offices save time, take risks, learn and adopt new software and programs, and foster a greater work environment as a whole. Experts similarly believe that post-millennial groups will have a lot to offer their employers, when given the chance.
Businesses can attract Generation Z employees in a variety of ways. As they learn to adjust their business practices and culture, and determine what this younger generation values in a job, they’ll be able to create job offers and an office that will attract generation Z. The younger generations always have great things to offer an organization and can enhance any workplace with their knowledge and drive. Discover how you can work to make generation Z employees flock to your organization now.