Supervising and Managing Post-Millennials or “Generation Z”
– written by Cliff Pryor
Most people are very familiar with terms to describe generations of Americans born between specific time frames. “Baby boomers” are those born from the end of WWII to the mid-1960’s while “millennials” are those born from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. What about the latest group? Those born between the late 1990s to the early 2010’s? This group is referred to as “Generation Z.” Hiring Gen Z – What to Expect.
Generation Z is composed of those born between 1996 and 2012. They currently make up 25% of the American population. These young people are already out in droves in the workforce and will continue to do so for the next few decades. This means they will be working for us and with us. And for some, we will be working for them. Hiring Gen Z – What to Expect
Who is Gen Z
So who makes up Generation Z and why are they any different from previous generations? Of the approximately 85 million Americans that make up Generation Z, 54% of them are non-Hispanic Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% African-American, 4% Asian, and 4% are multiracial or other. What makes them different from previous generations is the technological environment that was born in. Those in Generation Z have little to no recognition of the events of 9/11 but have always known hand-held computers. Having had their photos posted publicly since they were babies and continuing to do so themselves as teens and older, they have come of age publicly. They are used to and expect instant gratification.
Generation Z is Independent
Broadly speaking, Generation Z is independent, entrepreneurial, conservative, private, risk-averse, and multi-tasking pros. They also highly value education. This generation places little trust in advertisements. They trust family and friends more than any kind of advertising. The majority of them spend 10 or more hours per day on social media ranging from Twitter, Snapchat, Whisper, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Indeed, the internet in general and social media is the first choice for answers for Generation Z.
Generation Z and Instant Communication
To gain perspective of someone from Generation Z, realize that they have never known a world in which they could not be in a conversation with anyone, anywhere at any time. They have also never known a world in which they do not have instant access to information. This makes them adept researchers. When they want information, 33% will watch lessons online, while 20% will read textbooks on tablets. Another 32% will watch with classmates online.
Generation Z is mindful of the negative attitudes towards Millennials and strives to avoid the same stereotypes that have befallen their parents (most are Millennials). Fortunately, Generation Z exhibits some highly desirable personal and personality traits such as: being ambitious, highly energetic, enthusiastic, loyal, open-minded, multi-tasker, optimistic, and seen as collaborators.
However, due to their dependence on smartphones and other devices, Generation Z does have some issues. These include lack of communication skills, lack of problem-solving abilities, and who to go to for advice when needed. They also have very little patience for inefficiencies at work and at home.
Old school work ethic
As for work, Generation Z looks for many of the same values that earlier generations have also desired. These include equal opportunity for pay and promotion, opportunities to learn, and advance in their career. Gen Z is looking for fair compensation and excellent benefits as well as job security. They would like flexibility as to where and when they work and also interested in working in a diverse environment.
Say that to my face
Also, like previous generations, Generation Z prefers to be spoken with in person. Notify them by electronic means but talk to them in person. Utilize traditional methods of communication and invite them to meetings. Generation Z wants to be taken seriously, but they also recognize and seek out mentoring and mentorships. They wish to work for honest leaders.
Is their room for advancement?
Beyond a fair salary, Generation Z wishes to have regular and consistent training. Their number 1 wants are career progress and professional growth. They strive for awards and dream positions.
Generation Z has much to offer this and future generations, but their life experience is far different than what any previous generation has experienced.
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