What Is Gen Z Really Looking for from a Career?
While there isn’t too much information about Generation Z in the workplace just yet, considering they are only just starting to enter it, we are starting to notice some major trends about their preferences in the workplace. As such, we would like to offer the following information to you so that you can best cater to these needs. Gen Z is an extraordinary talented generation, and its members are native to the digital age.
After reviewing the available information, providing these should be your top priorities:
Career Growth, Mentorship, and Continued Learning
This is a generation that might never stop learning and seeks to never become obsolete in their workplace. Constantly adapting to new technologies and ideas (and used to doing so), you will find many members seeking to continue their education part-time while they are in the workplace, and among the top things that Gen Z members are looking for are mentor relationships.
While college tuition assistance and regular training programs are always a plus and will attract Gen Z members perhaps even more than the average worker, mentorship programs are the cost-effective and even in some cases necessary way to keep the generation engaged. We recommend pairing Gen Z members to Baby Boomers, as their strengths will certainly help to develop employees on both sides of the relationship.
A Reasonable Level of Security
Generation Z has unfortunately grown up in a world wrought with school shootings, political instability, and similar issues. They want to feel safe both in their job security and simply feel safe and unthreatened in the workplace, much like everyone else. Investing in at least basic security measures will be worth it if you haven’t done so already, and your company would be wise to be cognizant of the area surrounding your office. Employees nervous about their safety are not productive employees.
To work on job security, regularly meet with employees and as best as you can be transparent with them about the state of the company and how their work is coming along. Try to avoid sudden layoffs and be clear about termination proceedings.
Autonomy in the Workplace
Generation Z does not wish to be micromanaged. They are passionate about their careers and once they get training in, they will feel like they know exactly what they are doing. While there is, of course, a certain level of structure that a workplace should have, trusting your experts (even if you consider them young) is the way to go moving forward. Provide guidance, but let them find their own solutions and you’ll be surprised by the ingenuity shown.
We find that a results and goals-oriented workplace culture might serve Gen Z (and therefore your business) very well. Make sure to not waste their time, and to not keep them around for things that they are not needed for. Busy work will not suit this generation, and given the degree automation technology has progressed in recent years, busy work and minor admin tasks won’t need human support. We recommend adapting your company to these trends before you’re left behind.
Many of them focused on a degree of safety and security with their jobs, they want money and more of it. More than Millennials Gen Z wants financial stability and competitive pay, and they are generally willing to work hard to do so. Similar to how they don’t want to spend too much time in school before joining the workforce, they don’t want to be saddled with debt and they want a path forward without spending years of their lives wondering if they made the right investment in themselves.
If your company can provide support in the form of drop-in financial advisors, perks that will lighten their financial burden, and other programs of that nature, it will certainly attract the right kind of attention from the generation. Interviewing your employees is the best way to find out exactly what programs would be best.
A Sense of Social Responsibility
Gen Z is, on average, a very socially conscious and socially active group. Growing up in an often troubled world, they seek to change it, and they wish to work at companies that at the very least try to minimize the damage they are doing to the planet and to society as a whole. To better attract and retain talent from this generation, you may wish to implement a few initiatives to that effect, and let your employees know that your company cares about these issues.
Similarly, the Gen Z workforce is going to be the most diverse one yet in both terms of race and gender, and will value working in a diverse workplace. Make sure your hiring practices are fair and unprejudiced to that effect, and take special care to make sure your office is open to various cultures and backgrounds.
Gen Z builds off of the ideals of the Millennials and seeks a greater degree of stability than before, hoping to remain secure in their careers and rise quickly. It should be noted that it looks like the generation will be quick and unafraid to switch jobs if they feel their needs aren’t being met, so you will want to be careful and make sure that you check in frequently with your employees.
It’s quite possible that you haven’t even hired anyone from the latest generation yet, but we’re certain that you will within the next couple of years. Be receptive, honest, and happy to build a positive workplace culture, and you will be able to harness talent that hasn’t been seen before. With tools such as Success Factors to help you, we’re confident and hopeful for your future.