Generation Z already accounts for 24% of the workforce, and if companies want to recruit and retain them, they must create environments conducive to this demographic.
Generation Z? were born between 1996 and 2015 and have witnessed a Recession a global pandemic, an environmental crisis that threatens the globe and political and civil unrest. Having been born in tumultuous times they crave stability, and as the most diverse generation yet, they care a lot about inclusion, the environment and social justice – they are the ones using public transportation, eating less meat and avoiding throw-away fashion.
So, what characteristics define Gen Z?
- They’re tech-savvy and expect to work for companies that prioritize technology.
- Career development is important to them, but unlike millennials who are drawn to entrepreneurial start-ups, Gen Z prefers a more stable environment with the ability to move up the corporate ladder.
- They like detailed instruction – having grown up learning all they need to know from YouTube videos, they like to use technology to support their learning.
- Diversity is key – race and gender – so this means gender-neutral toilets, equal pay, and support for racial inclusion movements.
- They are suspicious, cautious and sceptical and aren’t afraid to question everything and everyone, including their managers.
- Mental health is a top priority – they have a lot of reasons to be stressed and want to work for employers who care about it too.
How do you adapt your culture to appeal to Generation Z?
Companies that provide the environment Gen Z craves will receive loyalty in return. That means embracing diversity and inclusion in the office from the top down, giving them the tools and training to succeed, and empowering them to make a difference in their communities. They want to be heard, want equal pay and to work for a company with strong environmental policies.
Retaining Gen Z employees might be easier in times of economic uncertainty, but this group ultimately stays with an organisation that aligns with their philosophies.