Move over millennials, Generation Z are the new disruptors poised to reshape the future of work. Pew research defines Gen Z, as anyone born from 1997 to the present day. They differ significantly from previous generations due to their exposure to technology, fluency with digital tools, and propensity toward entrepreneurship and creativity.
The Gen Z Population is Growing
Yes, their numbers are growing exponentially. Generation Z now makes up 32% of the global population. A study by Deloitte found Gen Z will soon surpass millennials as the most populous generation on earth. As they enter the workforce in increasing numbers, members of Gen Z are demanding more of employers than previous generations. So, what does Gen Z want from their career? Here’s 5 things employers will need to focus on to attract and retain Gen Z workers.
Survey after survey shows flexibility is the number one criteria members of Gen Z are looking for in a job. And flexibility is often defined as the ability to work remotely. Industry experts say Gen Z workers:
“Will expect a high degree of independence and autonomy in whatever environment they’re in. That includes flexibility in terms of where, when, and how they work.”
2. Purposeful Work
Following closely on the heels of flexibility is purpose. This new cohort of employees are passionate about finding work that makes a difference. Many Gen Zs prefer to work for organizations that prioritize social impact and sustainability. The environment is a top concern for Generation Z, they want to work for companies that are environmentally friendly. And companies are stepping up to meet Gen Z’s demands one business leader saying:
“Failing to address Gen Z’s environmental concerns not only puts a company’s reputation at risk but also the future workforce.”
3. Tech Savvy Workplaces
Members of Gen Z are digital natives. They are the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology. They do not know of a world without smart phones and social media. They are tech savvy, and they want to work for companies that are as well.
A research study from Dell Technologies found 80% of Gen Z want to work with cutting-edge technology. When it comes to choosing employment, 91% say technology would influence job choice among similar employment offers.
As Generation Z becomes the rising generation in the workforce, the importance of diversity and inclusion is becoming increasingly emphasized. Gen Z is made up of individuals from various backgrounds including racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious and socio-economic groups. Pew research found nearly half of post millennials are racial or ethnic minorities. By understanding their unique perspectives on issues related to diversity and inclusion such as race and ethnicity, gender identity, religion and disabilities organizations can better equip themselves to design cultures that embrace diverse talents.
The increasing representation of Gen Z in the workforce means they are particularly important when it comes to creating a safe environment for underrepresented individuals. Their willingness to speak up against injustice has already been seen in their advocacy for social causes like Black Lives Matter which demonstrates their commitment towards making meaningful changes. Generation Z’s voices must be heard and respected in order to build a diverse and inclusive workplace.
5. Better Work Life Balance
Generation Z workers are increasingly prioritizing work-life balance. They care about their health and well-being. In the post pandemic era, organizations wanting to attract and retain top Gen Z talent should also focus on creating an environment that values collaboration, creativity, and innovation while promoting a healthy work-life balance. These workers are likely to be more engaged with their jobs if they feel supported in maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of work. With this generation making up an increasingly large proportion of the workforce, organizations must adapt to meet their changing expectations about work life balance or risk losing out on top talent.
The Gen Z workforce has already begun making its mark on the global economy. Employers must equip themselves with the resources needed to support this next wave of workers so they may reach their full potential and make Gen Z’s collective vision of the future a reality. By taking Gen Z into account when creating their workplace strategies, organizations can become leaders in the race to unlock Gen Z’s innovative potential and prepare for tomorrow’s increasingly digital world.
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