The New World of Work: Gen Z in the Workplace
Right now, there can be up to 5 generations in a single workplace. Within those 5 generations, there’s a span between the ages of 9 to 99 years old.
- Traditionalists (born: 1922-1945, currently age 76-99)
- Baby Boomer (born: 1946-1964, currently age 57-75)
- Gen X (born: 1965-1980, currently age 41-56)
- Millennials (born: 1981-1996, currently age 25-40)
- Gen Z (born: 1997-2012, currently age 9-24)
Clearly, there will be some generational differences between a kid in elementary school and someone who was born the same year, President Warren G. Harding, made his first-ever speech on the radio. Hopefully, you aren’t employing any 9-year-olds… but the older Gen Zer’s have arrived and are entering the workforce. So, what’s it like to work with our youngest employees?
Different generations have different approaches to how they work, utilize time off, grow their career, etc. Let’s look at a few characteristics common to Generation Z.
Traits Gen Z tend to have:
More creative than previous generations
Good at problem-solving
Mindful of value
Want to make a positive impact on society
Seek swift/frequent feedback
Diversity and equality matter to them
Deal with more anxiety and stress
Fears Gen Z tend to have:
Afraid of economic instability
Global terror/safety concerns
Loss of privacy
What does this mean for the workplace?
Having grown up in the aftermath of the Great Recession, Gen Z are skeptical and have a hard time trusting people. This means authenticity and security are important to them in their place of work. They are also driven by meaning more than previous generations – they’re invested in what they do and want to know that their work matters. Giving them a clear mission and clear-cut expectations is key for Gen Z. One last thing, while this generation are digital natives, they prefer face-to-face time.
It can be easy to bucket younger generations together, but don’t sleep on this creative, hardworking, and socially aware generation.