Every few years, the workplace is introduced to a new generation of workers. When a new generation transitions into adulthood, there can be conflicts with older generations who already are in the workforce simply because there is an age gap between them. Currently, the workforce has been focusing on handling millennials, since the older generations initially didn’t comprehend their ambition and strong connection to social media and technology.
While millennials have been the recent focus of generational misunderstanding, it seems many people have forgotten that generation z--those born from the mid 1990s to early 2000s--is also coming of age. Companies need to start learning how to approach and manage generation z in the workplace sooner rather than later.
Generation Z’s Background
Generation z is going to bring a much larger number into the workforce than generation x and generation y, so you will need to prepare yourself and understand how you should be managing generation z in the workplace. Generation z has a population of about 2.52 million adults, and they’ve all grown up with smartphones, social media, and technology, meaning they’ll have more experience with that than previous generations. Regardless of their lifelong exposure to technology, they are different than millennials, and they prefer privacy over publicity. They tend to be more selective about what they post, and who sees it. They also enjoy face-to-face interactions despite their tech savvy nature, and want to be socially conscious.
Businesses, managers, and corporations need to start focusing on how to manage this generation since they will be flooding the workforce soon. We’ll cover a few helpful ways you can connect with generation z so that you can lead them effectively.
Generation Z and Their Entrepreneurial Style
Generation z happens to be a very ambitious group. According to a survey by Monster.com, 76% of the generation z population demonstrate a knack for entrepreneurial skills, and around 50% of them plan on starting their own companies. Developing an entrepreneurial culture at the workplace will help better engage this generation and help them develop into productive workers by utilizing their own interests. One way to start this kind of culture is by awarding the best performers with ownership by making them shareholders, giving them an interest in the company’s success.
Generation Z and Bettering the World
Generation z has a different attitude than the other generations that came before them, and tends to be more focused on how they can make the world a better place. They enjoy working with companies that want to contribute to society and improve people’s lives, and aren’t totally focused on just making money for themselves and the business. One way to approach this generation’s interest is to think about a cause that connects with your business, giving your company a purpose as well.
What is interesting about connecting your company to a relatable cause that focuses on the greater good. Recently, a 10-year study was conducted on various business practices. That study discovered that companies with a purpose tend to produce more profits than their competitors in stock value by a factor of 12. Additionally, generation z needs to have a manager they feel they can respect, and your company and its managers can earn that respect by giving your business a purpose.
Generation Z Needs Quick and Constant Feedback
While older generations are typically used to yearly performance reviews, you’ll have to approach generation z in a different way. Generation z likes getting regular and upfront feedback via face-to-face conversations with their managers. Remember, generation z has grown up with a wide variety of social media so they are used to immediate feedback, and giving that to them will help them to develop into excellent employees. One way to help this generation receive the feedback they need to adapt to the business culture is to use an app that helps give feedback on their performance in real time.
Of course, every individual has his or her own unique traits, but keeping these generalizations in mind can help your organization prepare to welcome this new generation to the working world.
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Written by: Barbachano Staff