It might seem far-fetched to think about children currently only eight years old entering the workforce, but those born in 2010 are at the tail end of Generation Z. This generation, which starts with those born in 1996, is made up of young Americans who have never known a time without cellphones or the Internet. Those at the younger end have never known a smartphone-free world. It is safe to say that this generation takes Wi-Fi for granted.
Generation Z by the Numbers
Nearly one in four people in the United States today is between the ages of 8 and 22. There are more people in Generation Z than there are Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. People in those demographics come in at 22, 19, and 23 percent to the 24 percent of Generation Z. With so many people in this young generation, it makes sense for businesses and especially human resources professionals to learn to understand them.
Expect Generation Z to Be More Visually Oriented as an Employee
For the oldest generations of workers, the telephone was the primary means of communication in the business world. Then email took away the need to speak to someone directly, and tasks could be accomplished without waiting to receive a call back from a business contact. People could respond to emails when it was convenient for them, avoiding the dreaded game of telephone tag with the person who contacted them.
The Generation Z workers of today include everyone from the 16-year-old with his or her first part-time minimum-wage job to the new college graduate landing a full-time job with benefits for the first time. These young workers grew up in a visual and always-connected world where they expressed their sentiments with videos, emojis, and GIFs rather than with words. While older generations may insist that this has no place at work, shifting to a more visual style of communication does have advantages. It can save money and misinterpretation, for starters.
Passionate, Entrepreneurial and Independent
Those who are now between age 8 and 22 have grown up knowing that technology can make nearly anything possible when it comes to a career. They have no desire to do things the old way and have little patience for outdated rules that limit their creativity. It is not enough to tell these young workers to complete a task. They want to know the reason for it and need to see that their contributions matter to the larger picture. This same sense of passion drives many to become entrepreneurs earlier in life than previous generations.
This age group is more likely than any other to desire to work remotely and to have the option of a flexible schedule. They feel stifled by the traditional Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 routine. Employers not yet on board with this will need to seriously consider it if they hope to attract workers from this generation. Besides entrepreneurship, members of Generation Z are most likely to work in technology because they have been around it all their lives and feel entirely comfortable with it.
As a business owner it can be overwhelming dealing with the various generations that overlap in your workplace. That's why we're here to help. Please contact Employer Flexible for additional tips on understanding and managing the various generations.