Did you know that as 2016 comes to an end it will signify a new beginning to our workforce? In 2017, the first of the Generation Z graduates (those born 1994-2010) will be joining our workforce. As with Generation X, or the Millennials (1980s-2000s) as they are better known, Generation Z is expected to bring about major changes as a result of the way they work. Look for more technology, collaboration, and flexibility to influence the office.
What do you need to know as an employer about the newest talent?
The buzz around this new generation has led many companies to survey the group to learn more about their workplace wants and aspirations. A few of the recurring themes in the responses include a place of work that offers great benefits; more flexibility in hours; added use of the technology that this group employs on a daily basis; and a blend of live/work environments.
Those surveyed said that when they look for a place of employment a big factor will be the health and retirement benefits offered through the company. As new laws under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) require every individual to have health insurance, this benefit is now a necessity for those entering the workforce.
Workers from Gen Z are also very motivated, looking forward to advancing roles within their profession. Accordingly, they are willing to work longer hours and more weekends than the millennial workforce. Along with these long hours, however, Gen Z workers are looking for the proper work tools and a balance between home and work life.
This generation has grown up with all of the latest technology, from cell phones to tablets, computers, and Apple watches. These tools are means of communication for Generation Z; the availability of the devices allows for working on-the-go and video-conferencing with clients and colleagues from around the globe. This facile communications blurs the line between personal and work time even more. This group does not mind the overlap, as long as they have comfortable places to escape to, such as cafés, gyms, and even game rooms. By creating a live/work style environment at the workplace, and providing all of these amenities, employers can recruit more Gen Z employees who are willing to spend longer hours working.
As Generation Z workers will soon comprise nearly 25% of the workforce, it is important for employers to pay attention to the needs of this group to attract the newest talent. This generation has been found to be very driven, looking to participate in meaningful work and progress within their field. This willingness to spend longer hours at work to earn advancements translates to a more motivated workforce, increased productivity, and greater chance for creativity and growth for employers—as long as the proper tools and amenities are provided. Technology plays an enormous role in communication for the youngest employees, and having it readily available makes employees’ jobs quicker and more productive. For this employment segment to be productive in their work there must also be spaces for café breaks, indoor or outdoor walking tracks and gyms, or even game spaces where coworkers can connect.
Is your business model ready for Gen Z?