HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development

What Can We Expect as Generation Z Joins the Workforce?

Generation Z (those born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s) currently makes up 22% of the American population. They’re coming of age and will begin to join the workforce in staggering numbers in the not-so-distant future.
Here are some of the things you can expect as they join the workforce.

New Communications and Fluency with Technology

Generation Z is the only entire generation that was truly raised with constant access to the Internet, smartphones, and cutting-edge technology. Even most Millennials (Gen Z’s immediate predecessors who were born between 1981 and 1995) didn’t have access to the Internet and certain technology until at least their teen years. And this means that Gen Z employees will most likely expect instant communication methods and will be very comfortable working with all sorts of new technology and online platforms. However, they may struggle with more formal communications and may need some guidance when working on long-term projects that don’t offer an instant result.

Real Relationships with Management

Gen Z employees have expressed that they want strong relationships with their managers and higher-ups and want to receive feedback almost as frequently as daily. They want leadership to truly express a genuine interest in their individual development while they are still given opportunities to express their unique skills and interests. And they want to meet their bosses in face-to-face meetings with genuine interactions and desire full transparency.1

Push for Authenticity and Competition

Seventy-three percent of Gen Z employees claim that they are competitive and want to be evaluated based on their own merits and that they want to be able to showcase their individual talents. And they embrace diversity in almost all facets in the workplace. They are willing to work hard and are more driven by salary than their immediate predecessors and do desire financial stability and tangible benefits. They also want opportunities that allow them to advance quickly.

Greater Workplace Flexibility

Gen Z will expect to be able to work flex schedules and to work remotely as needed. With constant access to technology, they won’t understand being in an office when it isn’t necessary. And they also have a strong desire for independence that they’ll want to exercise when working.

Millennials Will Welcome Gen Z Positively

As Gen Z joins the workforce, Millennials will begin to take on most of the leadership positions. Luckily, these two generations share many characteristics and values. And according to Deloitte, Millennials have a positive opinion of Gen Z and their strong technology skills and tendency for being creative and flexible. And most Millennials will be happy to offer the leadership Gen Z desires and design work environments that will benefit them, too.
As you look to hire and onboard Gen Z employees, keep the above expectations in mind.

  1. Generation Z and the Workplace: What You Need to Know. Accessed 3/23/2018.


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