By Jim Annis
Millennials are no longer the newbies. As HR experts, we are “over” overanalyzing this generation. We’re also tired of everyone blaming them for whatever ails us at the moment. It’s time to press the refresh button.
Welcome Generation Z! This generation is the largest on the planet, numbering 72 million and counting. Ages 25 and younger, they represent 25.9 percent of the population and by 2020 they will account for one-third. Every generation looks down their noses at the young upstarts. In order to succeed together we want to change this.
Generation Z as employees: Just like their predecessors, Gen Z will demand a workplace to conform to their whims.
- The environment will need a balance of face-to-face and digital access. They have seen how Gen Y was criticized for their constant attachment to devices yet have had smart phones and Wi-Fi from day one.
- They will strive to be loyal and long-term employees, so they can get a positive ROI for their investment in that single company. Starting at the bottom won’t be a big deal if they can receive rapid advancement and are assigned to multiple roles. This will be their expectation in return for not wasting your recruiting/training dollars and sticking around for a while.
- Get your budgets ready because personal and professional growth is on their radar and they’ll expect you to pay for it. Many Gen Z are skipping higher education to avoid going into debt, so change your expectations regarding minimum requirements to apply for open positions.
- Like Gen X, they will work hard, be self-directed and work independently. However, in contrast to Gen X, they will request consistent feedback to help ensure they get generous performance incentives. Remember, they were severely affected watching their parents struggle through the Great Recession. They are the most fiscally conservative generation alive today and crave security through money and savings creation.