Employers: Are you ready for Generation Z?

By bwmarketing
February 1, 2016
2 minute read

Enterprise leaders spanning from human resources executives to CEOs are very familiar with the challenge of attracting and retaining millennials in the workplace. However, 2016 will throw another hurdle into the mix: Generation Z. As Forbes noted, 2016 marks an important milestone when the first group of Gen Z college graduates will enter the workforce. While millennials will certainly continue to dominate the workforce for years to come, enterprises must prepare for a new group of talent with different expectations and experiences, and adjust their performance management models accordingly. There are a number of Generation Z values and characteristics in the workplace that businesses should keep in mind:

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1. Gen Z is entrepreneurial

One of the most important qualities Gen Z graduates will contribute to the workplace is their entrepreneurial spirit. According to research conducted by Northeastern University, 42 percent of iGens plan to work for themselves at some point during their careers. Additionally, 63 percent want colleges to offer courses in starting and running a business. Enterprises can tap into Gen Z’s entrepreneurship by effectively communicating company goals and giving them opportunities to innovate to overcome challenges.

2. Gen Z values opportunities for growth

Similar to their millennial predecessors, iGen workers want opportunities to grow in their careers. Research from Forbes revealed members of Gen Z balance these opportunities over salary. This in mind, businesses should focus on objectives and key results as their goal setting structure. OKRs empower workers to set aspirational – rather than attainable – objectives for themselves, awarding them with greater opportunities for career development.

3. Gen Z is technology dependent

Forbes’ research also showed members of Gen Z are even more connected to technology than workers from Gen Y. While millennials were considered tech-savvy, some might go as far as to describe iGens as tech-dependent. When these new graduates enter the workforce, organizations will need to adopt performance management and goal setting software that is intuitive.

4. Gen Z values mentorship

Finally, a typical member of Generation Z values mentorship in the workplace. This will especially be the case since most workers in this generation will be starting their first jobs. To gain this support, iGens will depend on managers who are engaged and involved in their employees’ success. Enterprises can facilitate these relationships by investing in goal setting software and developing more effective performance management processes.

Gen Z is likely to have a drastic impact on workplace expectations as more graduate from college and join organizations. By understanding what differentiates this group of workers from millennials and baby boomers, leaders can prepare to accommodate a brand new set of talent.


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