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Gen Z vs The Workplace: are you ready for the new generation?

When it comes to what Generation Z wants, you might be able to find the answer on Tiktok.

But don’t be fooled; Gen Zers aren’t just avid gamers and witty meme-makers. This self-aware, diverse generation knows how to succeed and precisely what they want from future employers.

With a new generation in town, employers face a tough question: are you meeting the needs of Gen Z, or are you stuck in your old ways?

Gen Z… who?

Generation Z is the term for people born between 1996 and 2010.

Widely recognised for disrupting established working patterns and the generation to have little or no memory of life without advanced technology, Gen Z members expect more freedom and independence than their Millennial counterparts.

According to ManpowerGroup, Gen Z makes up around 24% of the global workforce. With Baby Boomers coming to retirement age, there has never been a better time to shake up business strategies to ensure you’re attracting, retaining, and motivating the 21st century talent.

Gen Z just can’t get enough of learning…

76% of Gen Z members believe learning is the key to a successful career, and overall, 43% of Gen Z prefer a fully self-directed and independent approach to learning.

It won’t surprise you that because Gen Z grew up playing on their parent’s mobiles or sitting down with a games console, their attention span can be a little short.

Their passion for self-directed learning is there, but follow these best practices to maintain engagement, and you’re on to a winner:

  • Bite-sized chunks
  • Team collaboration
  • Video, rather than text
  • Keep things mobile if you can

“New tech” isn’t a benefit, and Gen Z certainly aren’t buying into it

Gen Zers have grown up with social media, new shiny Apple products, and an internet connection that doesn’t get cut off when their parents want to use the phone.

Nowadays, it’s essential to provide this generation with a high-spec laptop, a second screen, all the gadgets that come with it, fast internet, and a mobile phone if needed.

It’s equally important to have software and tools readily available for the new generation to help them communicate, upskill, and learn new things while doing their day job.

If you’re thinking of adding “Laptop of choice” or “We use Adobe!” as a job perk, think again. This isn’t a benefit, this is expected.

Employer brands are important to Gen Z

With freedom, activism, and social networking completing the DNA of a typical Gen Zer, it comes as no surprise that Gen Z are top detectives when it comes to researching brands.

If your brand is lacking diversity, hasn’t adapted to a post-covid world, or doesn’t work on negative employee feedback (we’ve all seen the Glassdoor reviews), then don’t expect them to stick around for long.

The 2018 Deloitte Millenial Survey found that 61% of Gen Z are looking to leave their current jobs within two years.

Knowing this means you have the advantage of saving potentially hugely increased employee turnover and hiring chaos by having these conversations early. If the new generation is looking to leave, ask them why.

If they want to learn, develop and grow – provide them with the tools to succeed.

Not only will you be able to see the new generation flourish, but you’ll help cut hiring costs and strengthen your employer brand by investing in your teams and their career.

Remember, people talk – be an employer of choice rather than an organisation that is actively avoided.

Top tips for attracting and retaining Gen Z talent:

  • Be inclusive and transparent
  • Embrace diversity
  • Offer mental health support and prioritise their wellbeing
  • Ensure your employer brand is strong
  • Create clear career development strategies
  • Invest in technology – the good stuff… they know the difference

Want to know more about investing in your employees?

Our new eBook, ‘Empower your employees’, gives you the facts, stats, and dirty details on why you should be encouraging your teams to take ownership over their learning and development and how this can hugely benefit your business.

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Written by Mara Swann

Mara has a passion for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion across global workplaces and hopes to inspire learners to focus on their own careers with self-directed learning content.


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