Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, refers to the population born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. Bringing their unique perspectives, tech-savvy skills, values, and expectations, they are rapidly changing the workplace culture.
Often referred to as the “digital natives” since they have grown up entirely in the digital age. This generation has distinct characteristics shaped by the world around them and the technology that they have been exposed to since birth. Known to be highly connected, a lover of technology, and able to adapt quickly.
They are more likely than previous generations to advocate for equity and inclusion and challenge the status quo. Given their entrepreneurial mindset, they like to push boundaries and are looking for more forward-thinking work environments.
By 2025, Gen Z is set to make up 27% of the working population, therefore making it important for companies to adapt their work culture and approach to the new generation.
Gen Z Traits:
The term Gen Z gets tossed around in the media, but what actually defines them from previous generations?
Technology-Savvy– Born into a world where technology is at the tip of their fingers. Where information can be accessed in seconds, videos can be shared around the world instantaneously, and communication is done with the typing of fingers.
Wellbeing is a priority– They prioritize a balance between their personal and professional lives, valuing flexible work arrangements and looking after their mental health.
Entrepreneurial– They are open to exploring freelancing, side hustles, and innovative projects.
Embraces Diversity– They have a greater interest in human rights, LGBTQ+ equality, feminism, and race issues than previous generations.
Adaptability– Eager to learn and quick to adapt to new technologies and evolving work environments.
Independent– They prefer independence and working on projects on their own.
Employers need to be mindful of these traits when employing, engaging with, and managing Gen Z employees. It’s important to reassess recruitment strategies, company culture, and HR policies so that they align with Gen Z’s values and expectations.
Tips for Employers:
Here are some key aspects to consider when it comes to Gen Z in the workplace:
- Flexible working arrangements- Gen Z will soon make up more than 25% of the workforce and flexibility is important to keeping this generation happy. Providing more flexibility is crucial to staff wellbeing, which allows them more flexibility and a better work-life balance. Read this blog post about the benefits of flexible working arrangements HERE.
- Focus on diversity and inclusion- Identify areas of focus including inclusion and equity and update and introduce policies that build a more accepting environment.
- Education- Provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities for employees to continuously grow and learn.
- Importance of wellness- Well-being is important for everyone regardless of their generation. Make a conscious effort to focus on staff well-being by encouraging healthy habits and offering wellness programs. Visit Wellbeing Australia’s website for tips and ideas on how to support wellbeing in the workplace.
- Keep up to date with technology- Technology moves quickly and while it might not be a priority to be up to date with the latest programs and platforms, it’s important to be aware of what’s available and make purchases that are important for the growth of your business.
Keep in mind that regardless of their generation every staff member is going to be a unique individual. No two people are the same and what one person values might not be a factor for someone else. While it’s important to cater for Gen Z employees, don’t disregard your other employees because they all bring a unique experience to your workplace.
By understanding and addressing the changes brought forth by Gen Z employees, employers can create a workplace that is both engaging and inclusive to help attract and retain amazing talent!
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