The youngest generation entering the workforce is Generation Z or Gen Z, who was born between 1997 and 2012. Born as digital natives, Gen Z comes with distinctive characteristics and mindset that makes them unique compared to the older generations. With the influx of Gen Z workers into many industries, new trends will evolve into lasting impacts on the future of work. Here are several aspects you need to know about working with Gen Z.
Edward Wageni, Global Head of the HeForShe Initiative, in an interview with HR in Asia said that managers should anticipate and be prepared to do business in a different way when Gen Z enters the workforce. What may have worked in previous generations will have to be readjusted when working with Gen Z. Managers must be aware of what they value and what motivates them. Moreover, managers need to be ready to accept and appreciate the new viewpoints Gen Z employees will bring to the workplace. It is essential to recognize that they were born at a period of social and economic instability. As a result, their risk perception and how it affects their future must be taken into account when determining an offer of employment.
Purposes of Business Conduct
Gen Z wants to work for companies that are socially and environmentally responsible, rather than solely for financial gain. According to Dell’s research, 58 % of Gen Z in Singapore prefer employment that has meaning and purpose beyond just being compensated. 4 out of 10 respondents stated they want to work in places that are socially or environmentally responsible. It is advised for companies to create a work environment that gives more than just a financial purpose to attract the finest talents among the Gen Z workforce. According to Edward Wageni, companies may also be required to demonstrate the principles relevant to Generation Z are incorporated in the company’s culture. This can be done by promoting values related to global concerns such as climate change, racial justice, gender equality, and many more. More than just for image, companies need to really live up to these principles they represent.
Proficiency in Technology
Standardization is becoming more essential as technology advances. For Gen-Z, who are already well-versed in technology, this presents a new job option in a shorter span of time than years of formal education. Another report by HR in Asia suggested that Gen Z is reliant on technology. When asked what they enjoy best about the virtual job search process, 48.7 % Gen Z respondents claimed they feel less nervous meeting with prospective employers and 42% of them feel more prepared for interviews. Gen Z has grown up with technology, so equipping them with technology to do their jobs can be an aspect worth considering.
As they are educated in a more tech-focused and collaborative environment, conventional training practices may need to be adjusted. Companies should think of ways to leverage Gen Z’s enthusiasm in their technological abilities. Reverse mentorship can be an excellent approach to do this. Companies may provide both younger and older workers the opportunity to mentor one other by matching them together. This can also provide opportunities for them to share their technical expertise with the rest of the team.
In a few years to come, Gen Z along with Millennials will make up the biggest generations in the employment field and their professional involvement will affect how businesses operate. To best manage these generations, adjustments are needed because there are differences in terms of perspective, purpose, and proficiency in technology.