5 Surprising Insights about Gen Z

July 24, 20158:07 am1950 views

Generation Z is here. By 2020, they will make up more than 20 percent of the total workforce. Gen Z want to drive to their jobs, head into their private offices and meet face-to-face with colleagues before calling it a day – hopefully, not too late, since work-life balance is their primary career concern.

Sound like a baby boomer, or even Gen X? On the contrary, these are the work preferences expressed by more than 770 members of Generation Z (those born between 1990 and 1999) surveyed recently by Robert Half and Enactus.

“Gen Z employees bring unique values, expectations and perspectives to their jobs,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “They’ve grown up in economically turbulent times, and many of their characteristics and motivations reflect that.”

Here are some five surprising insights about Generation-Z:

  1. They prefer to work in a private office and face-to-face communication is the method of choice by 74 percent workers.
  2. They’re not bubbling over with youthful optimism. Meet the ‘reality-check’ generation. Seventy-seven percent believe they will need to work harder compared to those in past generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling professional life.
  3. A gold watch marking decades of service may not be in the cards, but they do plan to stay a while at their jobs — and move quickly up the ladder. Gen Z expects to work for an average of four companies throughout their lifetimes. Thirty-two percent believe they will be managing employees in a corporate environment within the next five years. One in three would like to retire by the age of 60, but only 17 percent think it will be possible.

See: Gen X, Y and Z all eyeing money

  1. They mainly want more responsibility and an honest boss, instead of fancy job titles. Opportunity for career growth was the most commonly cited career priority, with 64 percent of respondents ranking it among their top three. An impressive job title was only cited as a priority by three percent.
  2. Collaboration shouldn’t be a problem, say Gen Zers, except with those baby boomers. Forty-five percent cited potential challenges working with baby boomers, compared to 17 percent who anticipate difficulties with Gen X and five percent with Gen Ys.

“Gen Z professionals are full of potential, but these young adults will need support in honing their skills and harnessing their enthusiasm to address real-world employment situations, such as the need to communicate more formally in certain situations,” said Bev Graham, Ph.D., vice president of Enactus USA programs.

McDonald added:  “This group of professionals has grown up with technology available to them around the clock and is accustomed to constant learning. Companies with a solid understanding of this generation’s values and preferences will be well prepared to create work environments that attract a new generation of employees and maximize their potential.”

Gen Z don’t always rely on proven solutions and existing best practices, which leads to reinventing the wheel and other forms of false innovation.

While this generation adapts to new technology with ease, Gen Z has been criticized for poor writing skills. This has been attributed for growing up in an age of shorthand via social media. Where Gen Z professionals are similar to Gen Y is the quest to make a difference and have a positive impact on society. Please see this Infographic to explore more interesting insights about Gen-Z.

Also read: Are You Ready to Hire Generation Z as Interns?

Image credits: planetxeo.com

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