In the ever-changing landscape of the modern workplace, each generation brings its unique set of skills, values, and expectations. As we witness the gradual shift from the dominance of Millennials to the emergence of Generation Z (Gen Z), it’s crucial to understand how these cohorts shape and redefine the professional realm. Whether you’re a Baby Boomer, Millennial, or part of Gen Z yourself, there is something to be gained by taking the time to learn more about Gen Z in the workplace.
According to a mccrindle.com article highlighting current statistics around Gen Z and Gen Alpha, “Gen Z comprises 30% of the world’s population and is slated to make up 27% of the workforce by 2027.” With Gen Z making up such a significant portion of the workforce, it’s important to understand how they work, what motivates them, and the impact they have in the workplace.
Meet Gen Z
Born from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s, Gen Z stands out as the inaugural generation of individuals who are digital natives. Technology is not just a tool for them; it’s an integral part of their identity. This tech-savvy generation values autonomy, creativity, and purpose in their work. According tohttps://futureofworkexchange.com/2023/10/10/new-kids-on-the-block-gen-z-in-the-workplace-part-two/ Gen Z prioritizes mental health when seeking jobs and resumebuilder.com states that they also value authenticity and transparency and expect companies to be socially responsible and ethical. These are all positive attributes in a generation and it’s important to see their perspectives when taking a look to the future of the workforce. But there are flip sides to these pros that come with Gen Z.
Managers are Struggling
When looking for jobs Gen Z cares about mental health, company transparency, and being socially responsible. These are all wonderful to have in the workplace, but the issue is that expectations may differ in terms of how these traits manifest themselves in a “for profit” enterprise. Resumebuilder.com conducted a survey that found 74% of managers and business leaders believe Gen Z is more difficult to work with than other generations. A significant percentage stated that they have had to dismiss a Gen Z in the first week of work. Additional studies reinforce this, stating an inability to balance company and personal needs resulting in an inability to effectively work as a member of a team, lack of sense of urgency, and unwillingness to accept constructive criticism.
Gen Z, like all generations, have their pros and they have their cons. Today’s unsettled economic and social environment requires prioritization of profitable growth over social programs. Gen Z must learn how to become a positive contributor in this environment while also supporting their personal beliefs and priorities. Can it be done? Absolutely. But it takes a little bit of compromise on both ends to make it happen. This creative generation can bring to corporate America an understanding of how their priorities drive profitable growth, but the onus is on them to build the business case, proposing initiatives that augment and complement the existing corporate agenda.