HOW GEN Z BRING IN A FRESH PERSPECTIVE TO THE WORKPLACE
As an employer, there is much to be excited about.
Generation Z is defined as individuals born during or after 1997. Some classifiers place the cutoff year for this generation around 2015, but others have left it open, as the next generation’s parameters haven’t been established quite yet. The oldest of Gen Z’ers are about 23, currently asserting themselves in the workplace. And, much like millennials before them, they're creating some disruptive trends.
However, this isn’t a negative. As an employer, there is much to be excited about. As this group ages, there will be a flood of technology-savvy talent entering the workforce. With approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day (and it’s not always exactly predictable when they’ll retire) and current employees moving into those gaps, Gen Z can step in to effectively fill any roles that become available.
To better understand the challenges facing this rising workforce and their impact on employers and the workplace, Deloitte worked with the Network of Executive Women (NEW) to explore the key events that helped shape Generation Z; dive into their individual behaviors, attitudes, and preferences; and separate the myths and stereotypes from reality.
The future of work
The future of work will call for a return of the ‘Renaissance’ figure: a person with many talents, interests, and areas of knowledge. It will require a fusion of four key work skills:
-Digital tools and technology skills;
-Comfort with analytics and data;
-Business management skills;
-Design and creative skills.
What does this mean for employers?
Gen Z will have the ability to demand greater personalization in how they move along their career journey. For organizations to attract and retain the best and brightest of the generation, it will require a different mindset.
To attract Gen Z, employers must be ready to adopt a speed of evolution that matches the external environment. That means developing robust training and leadership programs, with a real and tangible focus on diversity.
Gen Z don't see the point of being locked into a 9-to-5 office environment. Employers who don't get on board with working remotely will likely fail to attract Gen Z. Remember, this is the first generation that was born into a technologically connected world, and they find the requirement to be physically present at work rather quaint.
Global, social, mobile
Gen Z is better prepared than any other generation for the global workplace. They will be perfectly poised to work in global organizations and seamlessly able to expatriate when the opportunity presents itself. Social media and mobile are as natural to them as the telephone was to their grandparents. They grew up with technology—digital literacy is just as significant as literacy itself.
A sense of purpose
Gen Z expect to be told the purpose of every responsibility they assume. They tend to be focused and work hard, but they want to believe that their contributions matter. They seek results and aren't demure about receiving recognition.
Gen Z seems to have benefited from great economic and cultural timing, affording them the opportunity to truly follow their passions. Older generations have traditionally had to wait until retirement to find work that holds meaning—going back to school for their teaching certification to share their knowledge with students; or opening their own businesses where they can sell their famous secret barbecue sauce or pecan pies—but Gen Z, with its collective drive and ability, doesn't need to wait.
For the next generation of workers, following your dreams is no longer just a privilege. It's also a real possibility.
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