Gen Z to Surpass the Millennial Generation in 2019
Companies that are still wrapping their minds around the impact of Millennials in the workplace should prepare for a new surprise. In 2019, the post-Millennial generation will surpass Millennials with 32 percent of the population. This is larger than Gen X and two-thirds the size of the Baby Boomers. Also known as Gen Z, this group will soon make up 7.7 billion of the global population, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of data from the United Nations.
Defining the Demographic
Understanding the dynamics of a demographic can be tricky to define, often coming down to time, semantics and who owns the data. While some categorize the Millennial generation as those born 1980-2000, others such as Pew Research cut off the Millennial generation at 1996. These discrepancies matter less than key differentiators such as the self-awareness associated with Gen Z versus Millennials who are often thought of as self-centered.
A New Generation
Similar, yet different. Both generations share the characteristics of growing up with technology, choosing to spend large amounts of time on social media and a desire for flexibility in the workplace. Yet some differences between Millennials and post-Millennials have the potential to benefit the workplace such as Gen Z’s ability to create their own solutions, contribute to the bottom line and to quickly detect what’s relevant, according to Nielsen’s report, Gen Z: The Elusive Generation. Increased positivity is another benefit from a generation that’s been untouched by recession and self-report as being “slightly happier than Millennials”, according to Tohmatsu Deloitte Touche.
Sizing Up Gen Z
- Look for good day-to-day work experiences
- Naturally tech and social savvy (text, emoji and video)
- Require training in face-to-face, email and phone communications
- Interested in financial planning
- Desire feedback, to work hard and learn
- Want social connectivity with all employees, even the boss
- Look for positions offering a good cultural fit
- Desire benefits offering paid time off
- Prioritize flexibility, contribution and enjoyable workplaces
- Okay with blurred work/life boundaries
- Presence could redefine employee/employer working relationships
Attract and Retain
With an estimated 61 million Gen Z employees set to enter the workforce next year, it’s worthwhile for employers to understand the impact of a new generation in the workplace. Companies who desire to attract and retain Gen Z employees will need to shift from business-as-usual and begin to define the company as a brand.
Gen Z is a discerning demographic who will research a company and its culture, including looking at company reviews on Glassdoor.com. Employers who desire to thrive with the latest demographic will need to build a culture that speaks to the needs of multiple generations, encouraging dialogue and consistent feedback from all.
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