Just when you finally got a handle on managing millennials, Generation Z has begun to enter the workforce. As these “new kids” begin to graduate from college, managers and leaders need to understand the youngest working generation in order to attract and retain strong talent.
Generation Z, Defined
Generation Z are the children of Generation X, once dubbed the “slacker generation.” Gen Z was raised with technology, they never experienced the thrill of waiting for dial-up internet, and they don’t know a life without smartphones or social media. More than any other generation, they are comfortable sharing personal details on social media and they are used to consuming information in rapid-fire speed online. These factors are important, because they shape what Gen Z is looking for in the job market.
Save Your Ping-Pong Tables, Gen Z Wants Perks
Millennials’ heads could be turned with nap pods, ping-pong tables and a beer fridge. While Generation Z appreciates these perks, they are looking for more substance. A recent survey indicates the top three perks that Gen Z looks for in a job are:
• Comprehensive health benefits
• Good salary
• A boss they respect
While millennials are driven by passion, Gen Z puts a little more emphasis on practicality. They are graduating with near-crippling student loan debt, and they know that health insurance costs continue to skyrocket. However, they also want to work for people they respect and companies they believe in.
Gen Z Idolizes Entrepreneurs
Generation Z grew up with role models like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They have been hammered with the idea that you are responsible for your own success. This generation tends to be self-motivated and wants to be given autonomy. They dislike micromanagement and want the freedom to try new approaches and test new ways of solving problems. Managers should be prepared to give young workers space, but they must also be prepared to help them set realistic expectations. Some Gen Z-ers will want to go straight from the entry level to the C-suite. Expectations can be managed with strong career development support and ongoing feedback to help them understand what they are doing right, and what they still need to learn.
Generation Z is Looking for Meaning
Like millennials, Generation Z wants their work to have meaning. They don’t all flock to nonprofits, but they do want to know the work they do is part of something bigger. It will be important to connect young workers to the big picture, so they understand how their work contributes to the success of the team and the organization as a whole.
Ready to Hire Gen Z Talent?
For more strategies on ways to attract, manage and retain Generation Z talent, reach out to the experts at PrideStaff today!