by Jeff Corbin | November 29, 2016

Generation Z young adults sitting on steps with technology at their fingertips

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? Gen Z-ers may appreciate specialized business communications beyond generic emails and newsletters. Programs like theEMPLOYEEapp were developed with the EMPLOYEE in mind and are more than just a newsfeed, but rather a go-to solution that provides employees fast and easy access to the information, documents, and tools they need to excel in their work.

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? Keeping a Gen Z-er engaged as an employee is vital to their satisfaction in the workplace.

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.

These changes and accommodations hint at a counterculture coming, but also conjure up elements of the Baby Boomer generation and their preferences, many of which are still prevalent in offices around the world. Organizations may find it necessary to make slight changes to better accommodate and appeal to this new generation of workers. Given time, Generation Z workers will thrive within the workplace. Paying attention to their needs will only serve to speed up the adaption and success of Gen Z-ers in the workplace.

Need help implementing innovative communications and technology tactics to attract these generations? See how the EMPLOYEEapp applies to your industry.

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