It seems like just yesterday you were preparing for Millennials to enter the workplace. Now we’re having similar conversations as yet another generation gets ready to enter offices around the world.
Gen Z is quite a bit different from their Millennial predecessors, and they’re unlike any generation before them. You might be wondering how they’re different, what they value, and how you can prepare the workplace for them. More than that, you’re likely wondering how to contend with having four generations in the workplace at the same time.
Profiling Generation Z
Gen Z comprises people born in the late 1990s until the early 2010s. The oldest are in their early 20s, just graduating college now, while the youngest are in their teen years. Gen Zers, or Zoomers, will enter the workforce for about the next 10 years or so.
So, what does this new generation look like? As noted, they’re quite a bit different from Millennials, and not just because they’re ditching skinny jeans and parting their hair down the middle.
Gen Z, as a whole, can be characterized by their positive outlook. They not only want to change the world but believe they have the power to do it too. This is a generation that has grown up with the Internet and social media, so they’ve always had a place to speak up and be heard.
What does that mean for Gen Z in the workplace? This generation is full of idealists and optimists. They don’t just want to work for a company. They want to partner with you, and they put a good deal of emphasis on values. If you thought Millennials wanted to know about your employer brand or company culture, Gen Z is going to cement the importance of talking about both.
Gen Z dreams of being influencers, so some people may characterize them as lazy or unwilling to work. This isn’t necessarily true. Gen Z sees the life of the influencer as a goal, because influencers speak up and have sway. They embody values and they partner with companies that have similar values—and they enter into those relationships on equal terms.
Gen Z is willing to grind, but they look a little unorthodox doing it. For that reason, they place emphasis on work-life balance. They grew up in a world where they’re always “on,” connected to social media and email, so they’ll work evenings and weekends no problem. You need to make sure they still get time off and that their schedule is flexible enough to accommodate their needs.
Managing Four Generations: Look for Similarities
As Gen Z enters the workforce, you’ll note that you probably have team members spanning four different generations: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and now Gen Z.
Each generation is somewhat different in terms of what they want and need. They’re also at different life stages, so what they value is different. Baby Boomers may be concerned with retirement plans and drug coverage, while Millennials want term life insurance and daycare options. Gen Z, by contrast, is all about flexible work schedules, vacation, and other “perks.”
At the same point in time, what benefits one generation likely benefits another now too. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers might be the most vocal about retirement plans, but Millennials and Gen Zers should also take advantage of them if they’re available. Wellness programs could speak to Gen Z, but such programs can also help Baby Boomers manage their health. A flexible work schedule might be a demand with your new Gen Z team members, but it can also help Baby Boomers manage things like medical appointments and achieve better work-life balance.
Design a Benefits Plan for Everyone
Unsure what benefits and compensation you should be offering to your multi-generational workplace? It’s time to get in touch the experts! We can help you discover the best benefits plans to make everyone on your team happy.