Welcome to the new kids on the block. Millennials are still experiencing a strong schism within the workplace and fighting their way to the table, but Generation Z is making its way to the interview. This year marks the first year that Generation Z will vote, enter into the workforce, and contribute their voice in the board room. What does this mean for businesses? I’m glad you asked. Check out these four distinct traits of Gen Z. Once you understand their strengths, you’ll be able to connect them with your vision.
Gen Z are Digital Entrepreneurs
According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine,“Nearly eight out of 10 members of Generation Z say they earn their own spending money, according to a survey by The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK).” What does this mean for the workforce? This means that the majority of this generation at a job interview already comes with career experience. They know what it’s like to create, reconstruct, promote and work long hours for a cause that they’re passionate about. However, they know what it’s like to be the boss, not necessarily the employee.
Gen Z is used to horizontal ladders – they’ve been raised in a time where they’re not expected to pay their dues, but exercise their potential. If companies want to tap into their talent, then they have to create structures of advancement that are flexible. For instance, Inc. Magazine recently wrote an article suggesting that, “Millennials value work-life balance higher than all other job characteristics such as job progression, use of technology, and a sense of meaning at work.” This includes their high value on family. In contrast, Gen Z places a high value on leadership and innovation. Therefore, if you want to attract Gen Z to your workplace, then you have to give them the freedom to create.
Gen Z values Integrity
This generation is expecting employers and fellow employees to operate with integrity and equality. Millennials fought for their seat at the table; however, Gen Z isn’t asking – they’re simply sitting down.
If you want to attract this generation to your organization, make sure that your core vision enables ALL to have a voice and contribute.
This generation will question your reasoning and purpose behind your leadership. They’re not looking to become YOU, they’re looking for ways to hold you accountable. This means that your organization needs to function from a place of morals and ethics when conducting interviews, engaging clients, purchasing wares or marketing products. Gen Z is not looking for perfection, but transparency.
Gen Z are Woke
I know its slang, but it’s the only word that I can use to describe their level of understanding. Millennials were shaped by the terrorism that occurred on 911.
Gen Z has been shaped by the terrorism that entered into their classrooms.
Whether we agree or disagree on the movement, March for our Lives, this was the first time that Gen Z stepped up to the mic and revealed their voice. This generation felt so strongly for the victims of Parkland, FL because they were all connected with at least one of them through social media.
This generation has grown up in a world where strangers are friends and nations are neighborhoods. Globalization has increased awareness for many within this generation because they’ve always had full access to the world via their phones. If you want to attract this generation to your company then they need you to be aware of what’s going on outside of your four walls.
Gen Z will not respect your localized vision, unless they see that you understand globalized issues.
Gen Z values Philanthropy
This generation is philanthropic to the core; however, they’ll expect philanthropy to be part of a company’s vision, not just a personal decision. This changes a lot of structure when it comes to an organization’s purpose and objective. Therefore, if you want to attract Gen Z, then you must have a greater impact outside of your company’s walls. They want to see that you care more about people’s needs more than your own wallet. This is imperative to attraction and retention. Gen Z will expect companies to have online giving, text to give, and hands on interaction. Years ago, employees were satisfied to give spare change to the Salvation Army around Christmas time; however, today, younger employees expect this type of giving to be intrinsic to the company and part if its core values throughout the year.
Well, there you have it. The next time that you’re trying to fill that position or conduct a long list of interviews, take a moment and assess your own company – see if it really does meet the standards of Generation Z.