There’s a lot of talk about Gen Z entering the workforce and the changes it will bring. Here are 4 ways it will make your workplace better.
Born from 1997 to 2012, Generation Z, also known as the digital native generation, is just starting to make waves in the workplace. By 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27% of the global labor force. And, as more and more Gen Zers filter into the labor market, they’re bringing with them a new set of workplace expectations.
Thankfully, not all change is bad — and that’s certainly true of this influx of technology-driven employees. In fact, with Generation Z in the workplace, several positive changes will inevitably follow that employers would be wise to heed.
By 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27% of the global labor force.
5 bold changes Gen Z will bring to the workplace
Gen Z is a generation like none before. They grew up in a unique environment where technology has always been widely available, enabling them to stay hyper-connected with others and the world around them.
In the wake of the pandemic, a period of already unprecedented change in the HR space, Gen Z is about to hit the workforce in a big way. So, here we’ve listed 5 big, positive changes companies should expect as a result.
1. A new management style
What does the Gen Z workforce think about management? Here are a few key stats to bear in mind:
- As many as 73% of Gen Zers say they’re more motivated at work when they feel valued by their employer.
- 83% want the tools necessary to help them achieve their goals.
- 82% of Gen Zers say they want their supervisors to help them establish performance goals.
The moral of the story? The Gen Z workforce wants a sense of belonging. Mentoring is one way to nurture and engage employees while teaching them the skills they need to excel.
The research emphasizes the importance of managers transitioning from a “boss-style” role to more of a coaching figure. This will be key to building trust and supporting workers with any concerns they have. By offering a management style adapted to meet the needs of Gen Z’s differing expectations, your business takes an essential step in retaining this important cohort.
2. An increasing need for flexibility
A different study from Kronos conducted in the United States, Canada, U.K., China, India, and several European countries found that 1 in 4 Gen Z respondents said they would work harder at a company with a flexible schedule. Plus, 35% claimed they would not tolerate a job that made them work when they didn’t want to.
However, despite advocating for more flexible working, this doesn’t mean Gen Z doesn’t want any face-to-face contact. On the contrary, nearly half of Gen Zers prefer working with coworkers in person. That means a Gen Z workplace is a hybrid workplace.
The statistics may vary, but it’s well established that when workers have a happy work-life balance, their productivity and motivation improve. For example, one study found that 85% of companies offering employees a healthy work-life balance reported increased productivity. Gen Z can help bring about this change in your company.
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3. High-tech expectations
As we’ve already said, Gen Z has famously grown up with technology at its fingertips. The vast majority of this generation had access to the internet from early on and grew accustomed to navigating smartphones, computers, and tablets. So, it’s no wonder that Generation Z feels right at home with technology in the workplace.
91% of Gen Z say that access to high-quality technology would make them more interested in working at a company.
As many as 26% of Gen Z said poor workplace technology would affect their performance. Another 21% went as far as to say they wouldn’t tolerate outdated technology in the workplace. On the other hand, 91% of Gen Z say that access to high-quality technology would make them more interested in working at a company.
Why not conduct an employee survey to see what, if any, improvements they would suggest to your tech stack? Then, listen to what they say, and assess the impact this would have on your workforce. It may improve productivity, motivation, and attract higher-caliber candidates.
4. Firmly held values, beliefs, and authenticity
In general, Gen Zers are firmly committed to social justice — arguably more so than any other generation. They look for authenticity, inclusion, and freedom of self-expression within the workplace, making them more open to dialogue and communication about these issues. Unsurprisingly, they also expect employers to adopt a similar approach to social justice.
Recent research from Porter Novelli demonstrates that 64% of Gen Z workers are more likely to work for a business that addresses or advocates for social justice. In fact, as many as 50% of Gen Zers research the progress a company has made in the past year to meet its social justice-related guarantees.
Not only will this be important for retaining Gen Z employees, but it can also impact your organization’s bottom line. Gen Z has an astonishing $360 billion in disposable income to spend. So it stands to reason that if a business wants to attract Gen Z consumers, it needs to live by its principles.
How to get your workplace ready for Gen Z
Generation Z doesn’t comprise the majority of the workforce and won’t for some time. That said, with each year that goes past, more and more Gen Zers will join your ranks. Now is the time to start making changes to your workplace today to engage the workers of tomorrow.
From what we’ve covered in this article, there are a few critical takeaways for becoming a Generation Z workplace:
- Incorporate more training opportunities and optimize onboarding strategies.
- Consider hiring a diversity manager to review your inclusivity policies.
- Embrace hybrid working.
- Look at ways to encourage employee well-being.
- Allow workers the space to work independently, with your managers on hand to guide them if needed.
- Embrace new technology to improve workplace dynamics and allow staff to work in a way that suits their habits and processes.
Are you ready for Gen Z at work?
It’s well documented that many managers are wary of Gen Z. But, hopefully, we’ve quelled some of those fears. A good work-life balance is something many workers (Gen Z or otherwise) want. Moreover, where social issues like diversity and inclusivity are concerned, studies prove that inclusive workplace policies improve profitability, productivity, and innovation. What’s not to like about that?