As the market evolves to involve five generations into a singular workspace, we are working to include a wide breadth of talent in the workforce. Diverse workspaces have the opportunity to optimise business targets with an incredible array of skills, knowledge and experience. But first we need to understand our new working generation, Gen Z.
In areas, Generation Z’s workspace expectations do align with current practices. However, as technology has developed, and society has transgressed into more social realms, companies are met with new challenges to attract and retain talent.
As confidence grows in the UK Labour Market, more opportunities are available, which encourages movement among talented employees. Capita’s recent whitepaper has found that 54% of Generation Z employees expect to stay in their first job for less than two years. Companies can address legitimate business concerns that employees may creating a workspace that accounts for these new workers.
The father and son duo, David and Jonah Stillman have dedicated research into understanding seven traits of this new generation hitting our workforce, and we’ve combined these characteristics with workforce solutions to aid business integration.
Gen Z is the first generation born into a world where every physical aspect has a digital equivalent. 91% of the Gen Z say that a company’s technological sophistication would impact their decision to work there. A work around as not all companies have the fiscal abilities to meet certain technology expectations is integrating Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) policy to foster an innovative workspace that encourages tech progression.
Following the recession in early life, Gen Z have developed a very pragmatic mindset for planning and preparing for the future. Gen Z seeks innovative steps forward, they have watched competition between MySpace and Facebook, and more recently Facebook and Instagram, and understands the necessity of listening to a market to continue your drive to the top. As the entrepreneur has been adopted as an early role model, Gen Z has gathered an innate business acumen that details realistic pitfalls of market economies, which means their forward thinking can be a great asset on most teams.
Gen Z, comically and to their benefit, have an intense fear of missing out on anything. Professionally, 75% of Gen Z have cultivated this into a desire to have multiple roles within one workspace. To truly encourage a collaborative working environment an element of agility and empowering others must exist at the core. Through pairing workers together and shifting priorities in project cycles, Gen Z workers will have exposure to complexities within the workspace and encourage their passion for results.
Gen Z has always worked hard at identifying and customising their own brand for the world to know. 56% of Gen Z would rather write their own job description than be given a generic one. Tying into the FOMO characteristic, these individuals would rather the opportunity to market their skills to business needs and offer their talents for a company.
Of course, a company cannot just let graduate’s write their own job description, however through offering individuals the scope for progression, we are allowing their talents to fall into the best matched position within a company. Along with organisational agility, this means provides an efficient method to engaging employees.
From Uber to Airbnb, Gen Z only knows a world with a shared economy that is collective and cost-effective. This “We”conomy feeds into the charitable 93% of Gen Z who say that a company’s impact on society affects their decision to work there. We have already read the importance of Social Purpose within an organisation for this Generation. People are looking for businesses that aim to ‘be the best for the planet, not just on the planet’.
Just last year Adidas sold 1,000,000 pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic in an initiative driven across their products and have announced a decision to only used recycled plastics by 2024. We currently sponsor an annual charity, offer work experience opportunities, and volunteer training to young people through an outreach programme. This is your chance to be creative and passionate by delivering your social commitment.
With YouTube teaching Gen Z how to do everything themselves, and Gen X parents encouraging non-traditional paths, 71% of Gen Z said to believe the phrase ‘if you want it done right, then do it yourself!’ This attitude increases personal drive during training session, through encouraging a hands-on approach, companies can tap into their employees ‘need to know’. As we live in the world of information, we need to keep up with the strive of this Generation to understand as much as possible about their career and projections. In a trusting employee / employer relationship an employee will go above and beyond to deliver best practice for the company.
To fulfil Generation’s expectations of training from an employer, companies need to offer frequent opportunities for growing an employee’s skillset. Investing with your Gen Z employees should return this level of commitment and create a healthy, progressive, work environment. Pairing individuals from different Generations together can also aid a forward-thinking workspace that relies on collaboration and fills knowledge gaps.
Breaking from our understandings of Millennials, Gen Z have been taught that participation is not a real reward, there are winners and losers, creating great competition between these professionals with 72% feeling competitive with people doing the same job. Harnessing this commitment to success through internal competition, such as a sports event per quarter, can boost teamwork through mixing generations together, improving company culture and promoting employee wellbeing.
Taking a proactive approach to these changes allows companies to develop an attractive working environment for Gen Z whilst maintaining progression and growth.