Generation Z (generally considered those born after 1995) has arrived into the world of work. With the eldest in this generation turning 22, soon the university floodgates will open and the global market will be adapting to the characteristics of these aspiring young workers. This segment is 25% of the population in the US, outnumbering both the Millennials and Baby Boomers and is soon to make up a huge section of the total global workforce. For employers, there are three Ms to consider when planning for this generation coming into your organisation – money, meaning & moving on.
Several studies have been carried on this Generation which has flagged up symptoms from growing up amidst the global recession. They have been reported to be more frugal than their Millennial counterparts and this has left them eager to sacrifice their personal time for a financial reward. So prepare to break out the chequebook if you wish to entice this generation! They are prepared to put in the hours but only if they are financially secure.
The meaning of work
A work hungry employee sounds enticing to any employer but this generation also longs to be passionate about what they do. One study reported that 75% wanted greater meaning to their work than just working to ‘bring home the bread’.
So how can companies accommodate this?
Unless you are a social enterprise or a Silicon Valley tech firm you might struggle with this request. But there are three tips businesses can use to inspire passion amongst their team.
First, a company needs to have a vision that motivates and encourages its employees. Create a tagline that is flexible enough not to limit your company’s scope to one area and that taps into human emotion. We chose improving lives as our vision and try to incorporate that into everything we do.
Secondly, share the outcomes of your work that you have been doing by creating case studies and circulating feedback. Generation ‘Share’ are used to seeing and interacting with personal stories on their social media feeds, so why not elicit that emotional response in the office?
Lastly, this generation has been closely associated with entrepreneurship, due to the culture of individualism that they have been brought up in. As an employer, put your trust in them to manage projects and allow them to feel a greater sense of ownership and meaning from their work.
Movers & shakers
However, Gen Z are not completely different from Gen Y. In a study of 4,066 respondents to work place, trends uncovered that the majority of both generations ‘aspire to work in more than one country in the future’. This is combined with the expectation that your first job should typically last three years means that employers should accept the fact this generation is on the move. As EY’s CEO, Mark Weinberger, said, “If you can keep [your employees], great. If you can’t, then hopefully they’re a great representative of you, an ambassador of you out in their new jobs.”
So prepare for the fact that the ‘job for life’ days are gone. Treat your employees with respect so if the time comes when they do leave, they promote you to others as an employer of choice.
Photo provided by Think Global Recruitment