by Jeff Corbin | November 29, 2016

For the past 10 years or so, we have been obsessing over the needs of the Millennial generation – their desire for flexible work schedules, a preference for a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one, and the need to work for a company that is concerned with ethical and social responsibility.   This generation comprises over 36% of the current workplace and is expected to grow to nearly half (46%) by 2020 according to a study conducted by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.  But beware, Generation Z is hovering around the corner with similar but different needs.  Both generations grew up with digital technologies in the palms of their hands.   The main difference – Gen Z-ers never knew what it was like to live in a day without a mobile device by their side.

To prepare for the eventual influx of Gen Z-ers, consider the following:

Multitasking:  According to a report by Sparks & Honey, Gen Z-ers are able to multitask across at least five screens daily and spend 41% of their time outside of school with computers or mobile devices, compared to 22% of Millennials 10 years ago. 

A question to consider:  Is your company prepared to accommodate this technological requirement as Gen Z-ers really start to enter the workplace?

The Entrepreneurial Spirit:  Sparks & Honey goes on to note that Gen Z-ers are resourceful, adept and self-directed researchers.  A majority use YouTube or Social Media for typical research assignments and 33% prefer to learn online.  As compared to their Millennial counterparts, Gen Z-ers are more likely to want to start a business and hire others.

A question to consider:  How do you get the most out of and ensure the productivity of this up and coming worker while still allowing them to exercise their creativity?

Finding the Dream Job:  According to Adecco, Gen Z-ers (32%) state that one of their top three aspirations in the next 10 years is to find their dream job.  Millennials (34%) on the other hand want financial stability.

A question to consider:  If an employee performs well, it’s easy to accommodate their financial needs (so long as the budget exists).  However, how do you address those important issues that you can’t pay for but make for a better work environment and experience – e.g. workplace culture, good benefits, technology that is convenient and comfortable, as well as an open and transparent employer/employee relationship.

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