What Those In Generation Z Are Expecting From The Workplace

If your small businesses is looking to hire employees who are 22 years and younger, here's what you should have at your disposal

What Those In Generation Z Are Expecting From The Workplace

Over the past decade, millennials have been high on the agenda. Not only as a key consumer demographic but also in terms of talent acquisition. After all, companies want to hire the best and there has certainly been an outstanding pool of millennial talent.

Despite this, millennials have unfortunately developed a reputation of being ‘job-hopers’. Their lack of loyalty has certainly brought displeasure to many companies, who often spend a lot of time training and developing their human resource.

With generation Z coming of age and on the verge of entering the workforce, are companies at the apparent risk of facing the same conundrum as they have been with the millennials?

Early indications seem to suggest that is certainly going to be the case, as 83% of those classified as generation Z seem to believe that three years or less is the plausible amount of time to spend at their first job.

So, the real question is, what do those in generation Z realistically expect or want from companies to fuel their desire for long-term commitment?

Before addressing the central issue, who exactly are the generation Z you ask? Well generation Z is represented by those born between 1994 and 2010.

It’s a generation which has become accustomed to acquiring and attaining information at a touch of button. Their early exposure as well as reliance on the internet, social media and technology has been far greater than that of millennials. With that has come a savvier but equally curious generation.

Collaboration

This is a generation which proudly associates itself with being ‘connected’, therefore their appetite for collaboration is understandable. They crave those companies who have broken away from once common silo-mentalities and towards a more progressive outlook.

An outlook which promotes multi-level participation and contributions from different personnel across the company.

Essentially, environments which truly allow them to constructively utilise different specialist skills and knowledge bases to enhance the depth as well as quality of their own work/tasks/projects. Likewise, in the process, connect with valuable new contacts.

Social Media

Perhaps not surprising at all, generation Z want companies to have an active presence on social media. They want companies to effectively utilise social media through creating creative and engaging content. This includes tailoring content on social media so that it appeals to the relevant demographics and influencers.

Regarding the latter, they have a strong appetite for companies whom continually identify and progressively build relationships with industry-specific influencers. Additionally, generation Z want to be at the forefront of harnessing social media to analyse competitor behaviour and identify potential consumer trends.

Feedback

Aided by their plethora of technological devices, generation Z is used to consistently receiving real-time updates and information. Instant gratification is thus a trait which is incorporated within their behaviour and one that they carry into the workplace. Instead of quarterly or annual performance reviews, they would rather receive regular feedback.

They subscribe to the notion of continuous improvement. With them being exposed to the opinionated nature of social media at a younger phase in their lives compared to other generations, they are less sensitive to unfavourable feedback.

As a result, they are likely be to more genuine in their quest to use any feedback to improve their performance. They also want companies to create a meaningful ‘knowledge exchange’. Platforms such as mentoring programmes would go a long way in facilitating that, as it would allow them to gain consultation from someone who has a sincere interest in their ideas and personnel growth.

Flexibility

Those in generation Z genuinely believe in challenging conventional ways of working. They don’t subscribe to the notion of working within the 9-to-5 timeframe or doing loads of overtime, when it’s not necessary. For them it’s about ‘working smart, not hard’. With that in mind, companies need to carefully think about offering flexible working solutions to their employees.

This may include working from home or providing flexible working hours. Solutions which enable employees to not only work from where it is most convenient for them to do so but also when they think they would be the most productive. Overall, greater flexibility though modifying traditional working practises will nurture a more driven and energetic workforce.

Ambitions

It’s a generation that has consistently been bombarded with an array of social, political, environmental, economic and global issues from a young age. Especially through the internet and social media. With a large majority of these issues having an immediate effect on their present lives or doing so in the near future, it has prompted those in generation Z to commendably get involved in worthwhile causes.

Where companies can come into this is by generously supporting any causes their employees are intrigued by or enthusiastic about. This could entail offering each employee a few-fixed paid hours a month to pursue charitable and voluntary endeavours. Such a subtle gesture could go a long-way in cultivating appreciation and loyalty towards the company from employees.

Conclusion

As a new generation begins to enter the workforce, companies have a wonderful opportunity to understand their needs and expectations. Harnessing such insights will not only allow them to create a working environment which attracts the brightest prospects from generation Z but captivate their desire for long-term commitment and progression.


Darren Best is managing director of Savoystewart.co.uk

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