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Gen Z in the Workplace: Four Things You Need to Know

Rachel Reed
12/12/19 11:06 AM

Generation Z, the world's youngest generation, is beginning to enter the workforce. Here's what you need to know. Members of Generation Z (born roughly between 1995 and 2010) are entering the workforce, with the oldest being around 24 years old. About half of Generation Zers are non-caucasian, making this the most racially and ethnically diverse generation to enter the workforce. Gen Zers were born into a digital society, with information readily available with a couple of finger taps. In fact, 21% of Gen Zers in the US (37% in India!) said outdated workplace technology is an employment deal-breaker.

What drives Generation Z?

McKinsey found that this young generation is driven by the “search for truth”. Status drives Gen Xers (born 1960-79) and experiences drive millennials (born 1980-94).

This generation feels comfortable not having only one way to be itself. Its search for authenticity generates greater freedom of expression and greater openness to understanding different kinds of people.

What does Gen Z expect from employers?

  1. They'll work hard
    New research by the Workforce Institute by Kronos reveals that when it comes to work, Gen Zers believe they are the hardest working generation, and 26% would work harder for a company that offers schedule flexibility.
  2. They need support
    The top two most important factors for Generation Z at work are "supportive leadership" and "positive relationships at work." They look to managers to coach, train, and support them in their career advancement. Only about half of Gen Zers claim their education has prepared them for the workforce. With 26% reporting their education has not prepared them for negotiating, and 24% doesn't feel ready for networking, this generation is banking on leadership to help fill in the gaps.
  3. They have anxiety
    While Gen Zers feel optimistic about their future professional lives, they also face emotional barriers to success like anxiety (39% of females and 29% of males).
  4. They want human interaction
    More than 90 percent of Generation Z prefer to have a human element to their teams, either working solely with innovative co-workers or with co-workers and new technologies. Nearly half (44%) prefer to work with their team or coworkers in person, and 42% of Gen Zers prefer in-person meetings to other, digital forms of communication in the workplace.

    Despite omnipresent digital access from birth, Gen Zers acknowledge the importance of in-person communication, and even recognize their own deficiencies in the area.


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