By ROHINI RAJARATNAM
There is a whole new cohort of soon-to-be employees. Who are they? The most technologically savvy generation to make it to employment to date, they are called the Generation Z or Gen Z. Generation Z is defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, generally those aged 22 and younger.
This latest batch of employees is definitely very different from the slightly older millennials and it’s important to understand their attributes and wants to ensure the workplace is a more conducive work environment.
So what do Gen-Zers look out for when looking to apply for a job?
Most of the Gen Z were raised during the Great Recession – the sharp decline in economic activity in America from December 2007 to June 2009.
Though it was in America, other countries were also severely affected by it. That being said, most of these young kids would have seen their parents take great financial hits and a portion of their lives may have been defined by those struggles.
Hence, this generation would be more tempted by the promise of job security. That’s not to say they aren’t idealistic or motivated by purpose over a paycheck, but in comparison to the older millennials, they are ultimately motivated by ensuring they have a secure life outside work.
Independence & Flexibility
In a recent study conducted by CNBC, 41 per cent of Gen Z respondents said that a corporate office is their top work preference as they believe their peers become their motivation to do better.
They want to collaborate and learn from their peers, especially those who are willing to work as hard if not harder than they do.
However, despite their desire for a corporate office, flexibility has displaced health care coverage as their top employee benefit. Flexibility in the sense of the comfort to take time off in an emergency and working remotely is important to them. This is also because Gen Z is a cohort that believes in work-life balance.
A recent study, The Voice of Generation Z: What Post-Millennials are Saying About Work, explored the attitudes of more than 4,000 current and future workers and found that the top priority of Gen Z in finding a prospective job is supportive leadership.
Gen Z-ers carefully evaluate and prioritise the quality of the people around them in the office. They thrive in an environment that puts aside hierarchies and have a flat organizational structure.
Gen Z believes such a structure will ensure their ideas are heard and allows them to work independently to a certain extent. Surrounding them with people who challenge them intellectually and mentors who spur conversation and enable them to see the broader impact of their work will bring out the best in themselves.
In short, Gen Z will redefine the conventional workplace culture, with their clear intent on halting, and repairing, the ills they see within the work culture. It’s safe to say that tweaking the work culture in a company to adapt to them will be massively beneficial to both the employer and these new recruits.