Workforce Trends

Get Prepared For The Generation Z Workforce: Facts, Predictions, and Implications

Generation Z Workforce

It’s early days for Generation Z (also known as iGen or Post-Millennials) in the workplace. Researchers and writers paint their own pictures of this post-millennial population with different characteristics. Some say they’re confident, entrepreneurial. Others say not so much.

So What Do We Know About The Generation Z Workforce And How Can HR Professionals Prepare?

The following facts, assumptions, and implications will assuredly stimulate dialogue and trigger new ways of thinking.

FACT: There are 65 million of this generation in the United States.

FACTThey make up the largest percentage of the population (25.9%).

FACTBy 2020 they will account for one-third of the U.S. population.

FACTBorn between 1995 and 2010, the oldest are just entering the workforce.

Generation Z's Financial Standpoint

EARLY OBSERVATIONSThis demographic cohort following the millennials aren’t big spenders. They’d rather save.

EARLY OBSERVATION:  When it comes to work, they value salary over anything else.

ASSUMPTIONMany will opt out of a traditional post-secondary education to avoid the associated debt load that comes without a job guarantee. They’re motivated to get a jump on their careers and build their bank accounts as early as possible. Online learning will fill their knowledge gaps.

ASSUMPTIONThey’re big on individuality and independence. Self-learning is a case in point.

IMPLICATIONSCompensation will be a key recruiting, engagement, and retention tool. Although a horizontal experiential structure or vertical corporate-ladder structure may not allow for many promotional opportunities, an outline of compensation benchmarks with a clear incremental income path may be helpful. Organizations may miss hiring self-taught, evolving top talent if applicants without formal higher education are overlooked. Online training will play a huge role in professional growth and development. Budgets will need to address increased internal and external learning requests.

A Technology-Driven Generation

FACTThe Generation Z population grew up with mobile devices.  They don’t know a world without. They’re the first true digital natives.

OBSERVABLE FACT: They’re finessed multi-taskers. As students, they’ll create a document on their school computer, do research on their phone or tablet, while taking notes on a notepad, then finish in front of the TV with a laptop, while face-timing a friend.

OBSERVABLE FACTGen Z tends to expect everything to be available “now.” The bulk of their communications are tweets and sound bites and quick video clips of information.

ASSUMPTIONThey process information faster than other generations.

IMPLICATIONSFormal, carefully crafted corporate communiques and scripted long-winded presentations won’t fly. This hyper-digital group will be looking for written and verbal informality. They’ll want to get information and answers fast through their mobile devices. Organizations will need to anticipate and accommodate these expectations.

Food And HealthWise 

OBSERVABLE FACTThey’re a health-conscious bunch.

OBSERVABLE FACT: Rather than consult doctors and other medical practitioners, they tend to turn to friends, family and online sources for health information.

IMPLICATIONSFrom nutritional, organic and healthful cafeteria options to fitness programs and wellness support resources, health and well-being will take on a heightened role in recruitment, retention, and engagement among this group.

The Most Diverse Generation

generation-z-diversity

FACT: Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation in America. The Census Bureau found that 48% of Gen Z is non-Caucasian.

FACTMembers of Gen Z are also the most likely to say they have friends of a different sexual orientation (59%).

OBSERVABLE FACT: A recent data-driven report suggests they’re a remarkably diverse cohort, on track to be the last in America with a Caucasian majority. As kids of the Obama presidency and the Clinton candidacy, they’ve never lived through a time when people of either gender or any racial background couldn’t become President.

IMPLICATIONSDiversity and inclusion will become a stronger driver of employee engagement more than ever. Generation Z will expect their egalitarian racial, sexual, and gender principles to be mirrored by their employer.

Generation Z’s Top Five Drivers:

Generation Z

Millenials

Salary
%
Making a Difference
%
Having an Impact
%
Work-Life Balance
%
Job Security
%
Salary
%
Making a Difference
%
Having an Impact
%
Work-Life Balance
%
Job Security
%

Are these facts, observations, presumptions and implications truly unique to Generation Z? Or are they reflective of an inexperienced mindset that mirrors the sentiments of preceding generations in their youth? There are distinct differences to be sure: digital savvy being one. How these differences play out lies firmly with your organization’s ability to detect and respond to change. Employee survey solutions like entry surveys, stay surveys, engagement surveys, and exit surveys are your window into their world.

author patricia bell newson

About Patricia Bell Newson

A graduate of Canada’s leading Journalism Degree program, Patricia Bell Newson is an accomplished writer and communications specialist. As a key member of the TalentMap team, Pat leads the company’s thought leadership with full force producing weekly content on employee engagement and best practices in employee surveys. Pat’s experience in advising leaders on strategic approaches to sensitive issues, priorities, and policies together with her ability to research and easily grasp various concepts regarding the workplace has been a great asset in creating valuable insights for HR leaders.

If Pat ever takes her mind off her next writing project, she’ll either be on her next adventure traveling the world, trying new food experiences, or taking a well-deserved break at her cottage.

2 Comments on “Get Prepared For The Generation Z Workforce: Facts, Predictions & Implications

  1. This generation will be more tech-savvy, no doubt. But what would this imply for the recruitment process? The world is changing but it looks like most recruitment processes are rather outdated at the moment, given the emphasis on resumés, rather than the persons behind them… My guess is that this generation will apply for jobs by showing themselves on camera and answer questions, rather than just sending a motivation letter.

    1. These top drivers are really eye-opening, Patricia. Here at Lessonly, we’ve really seen these impact how companies are training their growing Gen Z workforce. As you pointed out, this group is very technology-driven, so companies need to figure out ways to appeal to this preferences. I think that really means that online training is no longer an option but instead a must have. since Gen Z are always connected and used to having information at their fingertips, on-demand knowledge and training are key for organizations. It’s just one of the many ways that this generation is impacting how companies think about engagement and respond to change. Thanks for the great article!

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