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The generation brought up with technology at their fingertips (quite literally) are now beginning their careers, and already form 25% of the global workforce!
Yes, that’s right. Gen Z are coming to your workplace soon – if they’re not already there!
Born between 1996 and 2010, this generation can sometimes get a pretty bad rap on their work ethic and ‘woke’ opinions.
But now that we are seeing a generational shift in the workforce, Gen Z are coming forward as one of the most career-driven, and success hungry generations. So, what is it that Gen Z needs to succeed in the workplace?
With access to technology and social media from such a young age, Gen Z are the first wave of ‘digital natives’.
Many older generations who didn’t grow up with technology saw this as a barrier to Gen Z’s learning. They viewed the significant hours on social media and technology as anti-social and the root of behavioural problems. And while there can be negative impacts (no, your eyes won’t turn square if you sit too close to the TV), technology has encouraged endless ways of communication and learning.
As Gen Z enter university and the workforce, we can see that this technology has actually provided Gen Z access to more knowledge and understanding than generations before them could even imagine.
And they haven’t stopped there.
76% of Gen Z members believe learning is the key to a successful career.
Maybe it’s the fact that their generation will have the oldest retirement age, but Gen Z are hungry to succeed early on and are eager to be competitive in the workplace. So, it makes sense that they demand learning. The more they learn, the more they will grow and succeed. And if their company provides a culture of learning, the more likely they are to retain younger employees
What is it that attracts you to work for a company? Role? Pay? Benefits?
There are so many factors that we put into consideration when searching for a new job – and in the past, salary has normally been the number one motivator.
However, these latest workers value salary less than their predecessors.
With access to social media from a young age, Gen Z had their eyes opened to the world, all the good and the bad, in a different way to previous generations. They developed strong views on critical topics including social responsibility and diversity. And in turn, Gen Z formed clear picture of what they want in a company… and what they don’t.
According to The Deloitte Survey, nearly half of the respondents have made choices on their career path and potential employers based on the organisation’s values and ethics.
To feel successful in the workplace, Gen Z wants a work environment that displays responsibility. They need their company to demonstrate commitment to a broader set of societal challenges and work in line with their values.
Gen Z, alongside Millennials, have grown up in a world that is far more diverse than previous generations. Equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) are not a ‘nice to have’ for this generation; it’s imperative and core to their personal identities.
83% of Gen Z employees said that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer. And they’re not wrong to choose these inclusive companies. Diverse teams are more innovative, more empowered, and engaged when they believe their company fosters an authentically inclusive culture.
Oh, diverse companies are also 33% more likely to outperform their competitors. A very tempting stat, which demonstrates that despite being in the early stages of their careers, Gen Z know a thing or two about what makes a productive team.
Once a very taboo subject, Gen Z are determined to break away from the stigma surrounding mental health. Whether this is down to greater exposure to a multitude of issues facing people in our society, 75% of Gen Z stated that wellbeing support in the workplace is vital.
And it’s not just about forwarding bulletins from mental health charities or providing fresh fruit; you have to live your commitment to mental wellbeing.
46% of Gen Z shared that they feel stressed or anxious most or all the time, so it is unsurprising that personal wellbeing holds great value.
Being fulfilled in their role and work environment is a great motivating factor for Gen Z. But we can’t always expect to feel that way. Some days are better than others, and Monday blues are bound to occur. But if enjoyment and wellbeing are not prioritised in the workplace, how are you going to retain your employees?
Gen Z need to feel the support from their company with their mental health and wellbeing, whether this comes in the form of support group sessions, flexible working, or simply a buddy to chat to.
Change is always scary, but sometimes it’s what needs to happen so that we can thrive. With multiple generations all together in the workplace, it’s understandable that we won’t always agree. But new workforces mean fresh, exciting perspectives that support innovation and growth. As we help pave the way for future careers, listen to what your workforce needs, and you can expect great success in return.