Generation Z, those with birth years starting in the mid-1990s, has now come of age in the workforce and industries around the world. With them comes a new set of expectations for the work environment and their roles within companies.While it is critical that companies continue to better understand and accommodate Millennials, Gen Z is on the verge of changing the workforce once again. Businesses may believe that Millennials and Gen Z are very similar, but closer inspection shows that they have different values, preferences, and expectations.
According to Forbes, in the next two years, 20% of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of Generation Z, containing approximately 61 million people.
Gen Z will bring fresh ideas and talents to the workplace. Companies need to prepare for their arrival by anticipating their demands and creating work environments that will keep them satisfied and supported for long-term retention and engagement, leading to greater success as a company.
Provide a Tech-Centered Workspace
Gen Z has grown up in a technology-driven world that is constantly evolving. In order to provide the best experience, companies should be upgrading both their hardware and software to align with Gen Z’s personal devices, which are often several generations ahead of the technology commonly used in established companies.
During their formative years, much of Gen Z has had access to smartphones, tablets, and computers which has improved their productivity and multitasking skills. Gen Z uses the most up-to-date technology to stay connected and work efficiently; therefore, they will expect the same in their workspace. Companies who recognize and accommodate this generation with the necessary workplace tools will be the most successful in retaining Gen Z employees and keeping them engaged at work.
Encourage Face-to-Face Communication
While technology is essential for this generation, face-to-face communication is just as important. According to Inc., more than 90% of Gen Z prefer to have a human element to their teams, such as working in person with innovative co-workers or how new technologies help them to communicate more directly with their co-workers.
Instead of going back and forth on email or Slack, Gen Z seeks in-person interactions where they are able to get involved and be social while still being taken seriously. Whether the discussion is about a current assignment or employee development, face-to-face communication can allow them to get directly to the point and avoid unnecessary confusion.
Implement a Flexible Office Design
When it comes to an office design that attracts this generation, it is critical to create a space that fosters collaboration, connection, and community. This type of work environment will not only draw Gen Z in, but will continue to please Millennials in the office, as well.
The modern workplace is constantly changing; therefore, it is important to enhance technology and rethink office design as new generations come through. Gen Z, known as the multitasking generation, wants the opportunity to move around the office instead of being confined to a cubicle all day. This can be achieved through collaborative tables, comfortable couches, and open air spaces, while still providing private workspaces.
According to Monster’s Multi-Generational Survey, Gen Z’s top three “must haves” during their first job are health insurance, a competitive salary, and a boss they respect. While fun perks within the office create a healthy culture and work environment, this generation is also focused on looking toward their future.
Gen Z employees are new to the workplace and aren’t as informed of their benefit plans as they should be. Therefore, companies should make a bigger effort to educate their new employees so they fully understand what is being offered to them. Whether it be paying off student loans or having a 401(k), Gen Z is looking for a company that will help them advance in their careers and support them along the way.
Find Gen Z Success
As Gen Z enters the workforce, they bring with them new and diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. Companies should take full advantage by trying to understand and meet the new, unique expectations that Gen Z is bringing to the workplace.
According to Deloitte, as we enter 2020, Gen Z will be the most diverse generation in the nation’s history. They are seeking a company that embraces this diversity and cares about making a meaningful difference in society. If a company fosters these needs, it will not only drive performance and innovation, but it will attract and engage Gen Z for long-term success built on this growing new generation of team members.
Prepare for the Future of the Services Industry
The coming influx of Gen Z in the workforce is just one of the many changes happening in the services industry. Find out more about the evolution and obstacles of the industry in Mavenlink’s exclusive 2019 State of the Services Economy report.