What to Expect from the Incoming Gen Z Workforce

The “iGeneration” was born between 1995 and 2012, in the booming era of smartphones and social media. To them, a pre-Internet world is something for the history books. They communicate with images, videos, and emojis and crave experiences that produce emotions. 

So, what will it mean to have uber-connected employees in your company? Here is an outlook of what to expect in your application inbox.

Gen Z’s quest for a meaningful work

Generation Z is marked by the year Internet was launched: in 1995. More than 61 million young Americans born that year will enter the U.S workforce in 2018. According to CNBC, they are set to “change the workplace forever,” with new daily habits.

Workers now entering their early 20’s spend more time communicating electronically with their friends, and they spend less time with them in real life, according to Time Magazine.

Compared to older generations,  the Gen Zers use smartphones as a lens to discover the world. Whether it is for education, entertainment, or interactions, they tend to bluntly believe what is written online.

Professionally, the latest research from the Center for Generational Kinetics, show that they do not seem to be interested in the structure of a 9-to-5 job with a steady salary.

They want to feel valued in a company, as they are looking to have a career that is meaningful. They consider a job like an added value to their lives. The positions they seek needs to have a clear ROI for their personal lives, too – which makes them very specific and demanding when it choosing a job.

Centennials are not dreamers…

Centennials, as Generation Z is being dubbed, saw their parents struggling to keep their jobs. They were children who grew up in a recession period. They have seen scarcity and have a more practical mindset when it comes to money.

According to the latest Kinetics’ research, they spend less money on leisure – holidays, clothing, restaurants – than millennials and have a better understanding of long-term wealth management.

For example, 35% of them said they are planning to start saving for their retirement in their twenties, and 12% have already started doing it.

… But they demand flexibility

While most American companies are not letting their employees work remotely, Centennials are demanding this right and beyond, as they demand more flexible work hours–companies are increasingly implementing an unlimited PTO policy.

As a matter of fact, the new generation has a high esteem for its private life, and a way of communicating that is more playful than any other previous generations: blurring the lines between both their professional and private lives. Working during weekend days and taking time off when needed.

Before social media, the line between personal and professional lives was mostly set in stone: a concept that is non-existent to this generation. “Clearly, they want to be ‘friends’ with their boss on social media,” reports Heather Watson, a Kinetics researcher, to NBC. As a result, their way of interacting might be an adjustment to older generations.

Experts consider that Gen Z will be a weak asset to any customer-related department. However, this lack of genuine engagement to the outer world might also be an issue on a larger scale.

While professional and private lives intertwine, Heather Watson, judges thatIf you manage Gen Z, you’re not only managing their skill performance but also coaching their life”.

This might not suit every manager in the corporate industry, as Generation Z seems to be extremely worried about their future – way more than baby boomers or Millennials.

A worried generation

As a story from Inc reports, more than 79% of centennials worry about getting a job and 72% worry about debt. They also are struggling with depression and anxiety more than the previous generation. Some studies have demonstrated that an intense use of electronic devices tend to create depression.

On top of this, the rise of fake news has made them distrustful of the government – they tend to disbelieve mainstream media and big institutions. According to The Guardian, 6% of centennials trust major corporations compared with 60% of adults.

However, having grown in an age of insecurity has made Gen Zers more inclined to solidarity: more than 92% of them think that taking care of others is important, and 70% of them say that inequality is one of their main worries.

Wrap up

It seems that this next generation will continue to push a market into constant evolution, and businesses will be further molded by an unpredictable generation.