Gen Z in the workplace: What you need to know
Individuals born from 1997-2012 make up Generation Z.1 Being the youngest generation in the workforce, Gen Z is technologically savvy and financially aware. Most importantly, they are eager to learn and open to change; they expect it.
This generation came of age during vast technological advancements and a global pandemic. The older half of Gen Z remembers switching from VHS to DVD to streaming services. In comparison, the younger half (currently in middle or high school) watched their parents go through different technological stages. Their parents paid with a plastic card but now are paying by tapping their phones. They are also asking Alexa or Google Home to do things for them that they used to do by hand. Gen Z is hyperaware of the fact that change is inevitable. This fact makes them open to feedback because they strive for growth.
Benefits Gen Z looks for - what are their priorities?
When using the internet, it’s important to decipher between trustworthy and unreliable sources. As a result of accessing the internet at an early age, Generation Z values honesty and transparency. As a new hire at an organization, it is important that they know who to go to and where to access information about their benefits. In a benefits package, Gen Z looks for mental health resources, assistance in paying off student loans and an affordable healthcare plan.
Gen Z has grown up with social media dominating their lives, and they tend to appreciate learning from others rather than fearing differences. Gen Z celebrates diversity and expects their employer to do the same. Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are a priority for Gen Z when choosing where to work.
Common Gen Z learning styles - what’s the best way to teach them?
When entering the workforce, it can be challenging to figure out where to start or what to prioritize. To establish trust with new employees, some employers offer employee resource groups. These small groups of coworkers discuss and recommend resources to each other based on their experience. These groups provide a sense of belonging and an opportunity to build rapport between employees who have been with the organization for various amounts of time.
Another way to help Generation Z is by providing a financial planner to help them manage their student loans. Did you know that 72 percent of workers who faced financial setbacks during the pandemic are more attracted to companies that offer financial wellness benefits, which can include tools like coaching, access to emergency funds and loan repayment assistance? 2 Because Gen Z is financially aware, providing resources to help with their student debt may benefit them. It’s also important to remember that some Gen Zs are close to turning 26, so it is crucial to encourage them to enroll in their own health insurance plan and other benefits.
While half of Gen Z employees take advantage of meeting with a financial planner, the rest simply want to be directed to helpful information. Generation Z is the first generation that grew up with self-directed learning. In a LinkedIn survey of over 2,000 Gen Z workers, 43% said they prefer a fully self-directed and independent approach to learning. 3
If you want to make sure that your employees are getting the most out of training and benefits education, it may be useful to provide them with instructions, along with a way to contact people they can ask questions to if they need help.
This blog is up to date as of July 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.