5 Ways Gen Z Will Change Workplace Dynamics

Barasha Medhi

Barasha Medhi Content Marketer at Vantage Circle

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

With newer generations emerging into the working world, businesses are having to adapt everything from how they recruit to how they retain talent. Gen Z in particular is changing the dynamics of the workplace.

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Since 2015, Generation Z has started making its mark into today’s workforce. By 2020, Gen Z will make up for about roughly 24% of the workforce.

They’re not only starting to challenge the way we work but also bring a new set of expectations and preferences into the workplace.

Let us look at 5 ways Gen Z will bring about the workplace of the future.

1. There is no alternative to diversity and inclusion

This will be a tough pill to swallow for organizations that treat diversity lightly.

Gen Zs are the perfect embodiment of our society today. They care more about diversity, human rights and equality than any other previous generations.

And they extend the same treatment to their workplaces. Nearly 63% of Gen Zs believe that it’s important to work with people who have a diverse education and skill levels. Similarly, an additional 20% want a team consisting of people of different cultures and ethnicities.

On the bonus side though, diversity and inclusion will facilitate in building the workforce of your dreams. Higher employee performance, a larger talent pool, and creative innovations are just some of the benefits that it brings.

Additionally, diversity brings along the extra pizazz of recruiting and retaining the best talent out there. 77% of Gen Zs said that a company's level of diversity affects their decision to work there.

So, unless you have a company that really takes the diversity factor strongly, you’ll have some trouble finding your next star performer.

2. Independence over collaboration

Unlike millennials who place a high value on a team-oriented approach, Gen Z workers are the go-getters who believe in doing things by themselves.

While Gen Zs are willing to be team players, they prefer their merits be their own rather than being shared by a team. In fact, almost 69% of Gen Zs are in favor of having their own workspace rather than an open workspace.

“Gen Z would rather share socks than office space.” - David Stillman, co-author of Gen Z @ Work

Subsequently, Gen Zs seeks to constantly update their skills to stay on top of their competition. They value the importance of hard work but all the same, expect to be rewarded for it.

Up to 42% of Generation Z said that they would rather finish a project on their own and get special recognition than finish the project with a group and everyone receives credit.

This shows a clear distinction that their preferences are more competitive than their predecessors and that they work better individually rather than in teams.

3. Newer approach to skill development

Simply relying on plain old training classes might not be what Gen Zs are looking for. For Gen Zs, their approach towards learning and knowledge sharing is much more self-directed. 1 in10 Gen Z would much rather read the full iTunes terms and conditions than to actually attend formal workplace training!

Unlike their predecessors, Gen Zs are even more concerned about financial incentives and career development. But here’s the catch. Gen Zs want to learn things on their own and prefer bite-sized learning.

As born into a technology-driven world, Gen Zs are accustomed to immediate gratification and procedures. Nearly half of Gen Zs prefer a fully self-directed and independent approach to learning.

Companies with the development of the future workforce in mind might want to consider the use of e-learning and micro-learning platforms such as TalentCards and HandyTrain, etc.

4. A blend of human interactions and high tech

Gen Zs are the digital generation of our age. While that might lead us to believe they’re rooting for a complete digital transformation for the workspace, the truth is far from it.

91% of Gen Z said technological sophistication would impact their interest in working at a company. Additionally, 85% of Gen Zs prefer communication face-to-face with their boss while 78% prefer communicating face-to-face with their peers.

This shows that Gen Z seeks to strike an appropriate balance of human touch and technology.

When it comes to the Gen Z, companies need to rise to the challenge of creating a digitalized workspace. This includes:

  • Reinventing recruiting methods: Gen Zs are more likely to find jobs through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, instead of traditional newspaper ads or through a company’s website. Similarly, companies who have a stronger brand presence on social media are more likely to bring in better candidates.
  • Invest in smart tech: Gen Zs are looking for technology-driven workplaces be it in sales, marketing or IT.

But all the same, Gen Z also wants human elements such as a mentor oriented culture. 73% of Gen Zs would like to be taught one-on-one by a mentor or a senior employee, indicating that the majority see a healthy mentor relationship as an essential part of their work life.

While technology is a must-have tool for Gen Zs, consider that human interaction plays an equally important role.

5. Frequent feedback

With their preference for human interaction, 65% of Gen Z want frequent feedback from their supervisor to stay at their job.

Gen Z likes to cut to the chase and know exactly how they’re performing. Frequent feedback from the manager will help keep your Gen Z workers engaged and happier with their role.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while providing feedback to Gen Z:

  • Face to face interactions: Gen Z’ers are much more forthcoming and comfortable with face to face feedback sessions. On the plus side, one-on-ones are a great way to gain valuable insight and add a personal touch that you would otherwise miss out on.
  • Be prompt: Gen Z’ers are hard pressed for time so keep the feedback brief and to the point. 67% are comfortable with their managers to check in on them but only for 5 minutes or less.

Summing it up

To really look at it, Gen Z’ers are talented, tech-savvy, socially aware and more hard-working than any generation before. A few tweaks and changes here and there, and your organization will be ready to welcome the next generational super-workers just fine.

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