Understanding the next Generation Z

The statement ‘time flies’, is truly underrated. While some organisations are still busy figuring out how to accommodate and handle Millennials and how to marry the differences between the Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y in the workplace, Generation Z is ready to enter the workforce. Organisations who dissect this generation early can better prepare for both a new type of workforce as well as a new customer base.

Ever hear of generation Z, aka Centennials, Homeland Generation or even called the Post-Millennials? This is the generation category that comes after Millennials. They don’t remember things like tapes, VHS etc. Everything in their world is on screens, wireless and internet based. They are the up and coming new workforce and the new customers we have to cater for.

Forbes predicts that this will be the biggest generation yet. What makes this generation so unique is that the members used the internet from a very young age. Work wise, they would like to be part of a cause. They want to make an impact on society, while job security and financial stability is also very important to them.

According to Wikipedia “a significant aspect of this generation is the widespread usage of the Internet from a young age; members of Generation Z are typically thought of as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socializing. Some commentators have suggested that growing up through the Great Recession has given the cohort a feeling of unsettlement and insecurity.”

The Z’s are young adults born between 1996 and 2010 and estimated to be the largest generation yet. This means that the eldest of the group will be 21 this year. In a recent article on *Forbes.com, they say that all though everybody thinks that this generation lives on their screens, they are more concerned about their privacy, selectively choosing what they share, with who and how than the millennials. They want to feel part of a community; part of something that they work on together. They have a lot to offer the companies. If you listen to their ideas they bring creativity, fresh approaches and a level of relevance, to the table, needed to stay competitive.

Generation Z appreciates taking ownership of projects and work tasks. In a digital age, these youngsters have learned to think independently. If companies teach them the right problem-solving skills and invest in them this way, they can be self-sufficient and work independently with high-level results in mind because they take their ownership seriously.

Although individuals in this age group are mainly staring at their phones or screens, they are actually eager to learn and they take in vast amounts of content. These youngsters want to feel connected somehow. They care about their self-development and want organisations to care in return about their future and growth. *Inc.com says that this generation has a higher expectation of a relationship with their bosses and will want daily feedback, interactions, and conversations.

According to Forbes, this generation wants the freedom to learn from their mistakes, but with enough involvement and guidance to show that their organisations care. They are looking for mentorship. Seeking a lot of feedback, they have a need for continuous conversations but don’t want to be micro-managed. Studies have shown that they only have as little as 8-second attention span, so as easy as it is for them to jump in between tasks, there is an opportunity for teaching them to focus on one thing at a time and finish it properly.

The Z’s are entrepreneurial at heart and want to grow together with the company. They love start-ups and new innovative opportunities. Their projects or work become their passions. According to Inc.com, they have great talents, drive, and ambitions and are not afraid to work hard. They are also a loyal generation and will be able to help organisations keep with the times as long as the company looks after them with good packages, benefits and development programmes.

Prepare for this generation in the workforce. The Mindspa Insitute is a training company who caters for organisations who want to prepare for this generation. They customize soft skill development and training programmes to fulfill the needs of any organization. For more information visit www.themindspa.co.za or email liezl@themindspa.co.za or should you feel like speaking to someone personally, you can contact the head office on 010 110 0226.

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