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Generation Z: Information About Them and How To Work With Them

Section I: Introduction and Outline

Everyone born between 1997 and 2012 is considered part of Generation Z. Events in politics, the economy, and society define the generational divide. When the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred in 2001, most Millennials were old enough to understand their importance. Still, most members of Generation Z were too young to remember or had yet to be born, according to Schroth (2019). Most Millennials entered the workforce after the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Employers should prepare for the Post-Millennial Generation, often Gen Z, to enter the workforce. Over time, changes in widespread cultural norms and practices produce changes in attributes among generations or cohorts. Gen Z is similar to the Millennial Generation but also introduces new behavioural norms. Business executives must be aware of the distinctive qualities of the generation moulded by their encounters to effectively manage young, inexperienced personnel (Racolţa-Paina, & Irini, 2021). It has been discovered that Generation Z is the most goal-oriented generation.

Furthermore, Gen Z is the most economically secure, educated, racially and culturally diverse generation. They also have the highest rates of despair and anxiousness and are the least likely to be employed when still young (Racolţa-Paina, & Irini, 2021). Appreciating Generation Z requires knowledge of the particular experiences that have moulded them as students and potential workers (Racolţa-Paina, & Irini, 2021). The most notable ones are growing in an environment of safety, the prevalence of smartphones and social media, the rise of social justice initiatives, and a shortage of work experiences. Improved integration of new employees and shared success can be achieved by comprehending Gen Z behaviour and the unique demands they bring to the workplace due to factors such as youth or generational disparity. Therefore, this paper will describe critical features defining Gen Z and how to work with them.

Section II: Generation Z Information


The Millennial successors have arrived. Gen Z is the official name given by the Pew Research Center to the most recent generation; other names for them include I Gen, Founders, and Centennials. The younger generation was born in 1996, and they have different preferences as consumers, workers, and citizens than their parent’s generation (Gaidhani et al., 2019). While many assume that only children make up the generation after Millennials, the oldest members of Generation Z are as young as 22. They are the newest additions to society’s workplaces and polling places and will soon constitute the largest and most influential demographic. Although businesses struggle to understand and meet the requirements of Millennials and Generation X workers in the 21st century, they now have a whole new generation—Gen Z—to engage (Gaidhani et al., 2019). For companies to be productive, it is the responsibility of companies to assist not only the X and Y eras but also to anticipate the demands of the emerging Gen Z in the workforce.

According to studies, different generations have different perspectives on labour and the workplace. However, more information is needed about Generation Z’s characteristics, motivations, and working styles (Gaidhani et al., 2019). Thus, businesses and HR directors should prepare for the changing needs of young workers by adapting their strategies for attracting and retaining them. It takes an understanding of Generation Z to retain contemporary talent and to appreciate their contributions to a company’s long-term success (Gaidhani et al., 2019). Employers who try to understand and cater to Generation Z’s unique traits and interests stand a better chance of successfully wooing and retaining the talented young people who will one day manage the firm. With this knowledge, HR departments can attract, engage, and engage Generation Z’s top talent, positively affecting the company’s competitiveness.

Characteristics and Traits

Over a third of the working population will be made up of members of Generation Z through 2020. The knowledge of who they are and how they think is at a critical juncture. Only by doing so can the HR effectively guide, collaborate with, and cultivate them in their first professional role. The members of Generation Z are committed to maintaining extensive social media and electronic communication networks in this age of constant connectivity. Generation Z is the most racially and technologically diversified generation ever (Chillakuri, 2020). Generation Z has a casual, personable, and direct communication style, and they rely heavily on social media.

Similarly, research shows that Generation Z is a DIY era more likely to be financially inspired by factors other than success. They have a more positive outlook on the future and a more grounded approach to their profession. Self-reliant, self-directed, more demanding, opportunistic, materialistic, and entitled, Gen Z has a reputation for being irate, immediately oriented, sorely missing the aspirations of prior eras, suffering from attention deficit disorder with an increased reliance on technology, and having a very brief attention span (Chillakuri, 2020). Nevertheless, Generation Z has a strong sense of responsibility for natural resources since they are worried about sustainability and aware of impending scarcity and droughts. Despite their youth, members of Generation Z want to have their voices heard. They identify strongly with technology and have a high level of technical expertise. However, they need problem-solving capabilities and have yet to show they can evaluate an issue, put it in context, assess it, and choose an option (Mondres, 2019). They also do not seem as interested in voting or helping their community as people of previous generations.

Education and Values

With modern tools, members of Generation Z place a premium on self-study and prefer studying at their own pace. They realize the importance of having hands-on experience before entering the workforce, so they complete internship opportunities as part of their graduate degree programs. As the initial generation grows up with computers in the home, they are well-equipped to cope with the swift pace of technological change in the workplace (Barhate & Dirani, 2021). Gen Z is eager to learn new things, but they also anticipate that their new company will provide the training they need to hit the ground running.

Gen Z needs further help to develop soft skills like communication, cooperation, time management, mentorship, and coaching. Instead of sitting passively through a lecture, they would much rather get their hands dirty in a group project. Companies must be familiar with this tech-savvy, always-mobile generation to fulfil their preferences for learning (Barhate & Dirani, 2021). In addition, Gen Z chooses to work virtually to meet physically and only wants to work together when necessary. Individualism is highly valued by members of Generation Z, who prefer to be well-informed and independent in the workplace.

Work and Professional Goals

It is essential to acknowledge the means of interaction and foster a positive atmosphere at work by learning about the interests of Generation Z, whose members are currently entering the workforce. Knowing what drives them is crucial to maximizing organizational output (Rubin & Sun, 2021). Gen Z’s work ethics are defined by their preference for openness, independence, flexibility, and personal freedom; ignoring these values could cause dissatisfaction among peers, lower productivity, worse morale, and lower staff engagement (Barhate & Dirani, 2021). Gen Z has the right to know what is happening, respond, and consider their arguments. They also need sufficient independence to determine their identities and receive prompt recognition. Also, because Gen Z has never known a time before smartphones and tablets, today’s workers assume they will bring their devices safely to the office each day.

Generation Z members believe formal schooling needs to provide them with the practical abilities to solve real-world challenges; thus, they are drawn to companies promoting mentoring, training, and career development possibilities (Rubin & Sun, 2021). Generation Z is looking for a job that will foster their entrepreneurial spirit, provide them with a friendly and collaborative workplace, and give them the freedom to choose their hours. Because technology plays such a central role in their daily lives, Gen Z prefers employers who provide them with cutting-edge tools for overcoming geographical and temporal barriers in the workplace to accomplish their professional goals. The younger generation wants a flexible work environment. They like a straightforward, predictable work environment and are put off by elaborate planning schemes (Sánchez-Hernández et al., 2019). Finally, Gen Z would instead work for an ethical boss.

Section III: Application of Information about Gen Z

Short-term Recommendations for Employers and Managers

  1. Enhance Information Sharing to Ease Uncertainties

Generation Z grew up with constant, ubiquitous digital connectivity to the world’s information. Gen Z has had to deal with a youth mental health crisis because of economic uncertainties caused by a worldwide health pandemic. As a result, today’s working population is more likely than any other age category to report feeling anxious, depressed, or distressed due to a lack of control over their lives or the future (Fernandez et al., 2023). So, to engage with millennials and gain their trust, employers and managers must prioritize transparency and move away from a need-to-know strategy in terms of management and communication. Although the message or information managers are withholding is intended to protect, like if financial performance is not achieving expectations, supply chain concerns are on the upswing, or the employer might have to reduce spending, the fact remains that it can hurt morale and productivity (Arar & Öneren, 2018). Young people of Generation Z will feel less stressed out and more in charge if they have easy access to relevant information.

  1. Provide Career Progression Paths to Motivate Gen Z

Generation Z members are more realistic and anxious about their futures in the workforce. Most (50%) of the oldest members of Generation Z (those between the ages of 18 and 23) said they or someone in their family had lost a job or experienced a salary reduction as a result of the [Covid-19] pandemic, according to the studies (Fernandez et al., 2023). So, it is crucial to learn performance indicators, define success, and master the art of going above and beyond. Such workers demand clarity on what is required of them to succeed and how they can take charge of their careers. Employers and managers owe it to these workers to provide the path to fulfilment as valued team members and potential future leaders (Gabriela & Buchko, 2021). Accomplishment is not just outcomes but also how the task is accomplished and the influence on others; managers, especially in matrixed corporations, should explain to Gen Z how relationship-building, promoting, and teamworking influence overall organizational effectiveness.

  1. Illustrate how their Contributions are Essential

Generation Z is motivated by meaningful work. They stand out because they want to understand how their particular efforts and place on the team contribute to the company’s larger goals. They base their life and work decisions on the effect they will have on the world. Managers should therefore plan meetings to discuss the team’s goals and their influence on the company (Fernandez et al., 2023). While everyone needs to know their workplace place, Generation Z members must grasp the significance of their contribution. Managers and employers should give each team member a few minutes to talk about what they are good at and where they need improvement (Fodor & Jaeckel, 2018). Employers should also solicit input from team members on how they can improve their performance and advance their careers. Managers, likewise, need to demonstrate how each employee adds value to the team as a whole. Younger generations can benefit from this activity by better understanding their contributions to the firm.

  1. Empathize with their Mental health and Wellness.

Problems with mental health are a significant element affecting the productivity of Gen Z workers. Most people suffer from anxiety and depression, which harms their productivity at work. The most important thing that Generation Z hopes their leaders do is prioritize the health and happiness of their followers. Both leaders and employers must ensure that their teams are healthy and can function at their highest levels (Fernandez et al., 2023). So, it is incumbent upon firms and their leaders to cultivate a psyche-healthy environment for the Generation Z workforce.

Long-term Recommendations for Employers and Managers

  1. Foster Workplace Diversity

The generation known as “Gen Z” is more accepting of and accepting of differences among people. Thus, they have a larger preference for diverse groups as employers. Companies should, therefore, implement measures to encourage diversity in the workplace. Companies with a more varied staff have been found to outperform those with a less diverse workforce in terms of both financial performance and customer satisfaction (Pichler et al., 2021). Given this, businesses would benefit from employers and managers utilizing strategies like targeted recruitment to bring in a more diverse workforce. Not making room for this more varied and diversity-loving workforce would cause disputes and reduce productivity even if it does not boost productivity (Hampton & Welsh, 2019). Team members from different generations, such as millennials and Generation Z, can set an example for how to welcome and value differences in the workplace.

Companies should organize diversity taskforces, one of which might be an intergenerational diversity subcommittee, to execute diversity and inclusion strategies. In other companies, integrating diversity into business strategy has proven fruitful (Maloni et al., 2019). Employers can thus take the lead by forming diversity taskforces, with each group focusing on a particular type of diversity (– for example, women, LGBTQ, minorities) and tasked with developing novel approaches to bringing the company’s products and services to market (Pichler et al., 2021). That is to say, initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion should boost productivity and competitiveness in addition to providing aid to Generation Z team members.

  1. Encourage the Use of Technology in the Workplace

Due to Generation Z’s familiarity with technology, businesses and their leaders face advantages and disadvantages. Several business owners have noticed that members of Generation Z are more at ease talking via digital means, such as email and text, than via telephone or in-person meetings (Buzzetto-Hollywood & Julius Alade, 2018). As we have seen in our discussion of Gen Z and cooperation thus far, one potential obstacle is that members of this generation may need help to adjust to the frequent in-person communication that is the norm at most contemporary workplaces (Pichler et al., 2021). For that reason, businesses must think about adopting policies that encourage greater remote work and virtual collaboration platforms like Zoom. Since members of Generation Z are so accustomed to interacting through digital personas, it may be beneficial for businesses to let workers design their own digital personas and virtual workspaces for internal communications (Chicca & Shellenbarger, 2018). Because of this, they can express more fully who they are as individuals.

Generation Z also favours technology as a means to acquire a broader set of skills with which to prepare for the future. Hence, businesses should consider how they use technology to improve their processes for training and evaluating workers. For example, given that Generation Z favours visual forms of communication like emoticons, symbols, photographs, videos, and post responses, real-time feedback mechanisms included in digital performance metrics could be particularly helpful, particularly for mobile devices (Razmerita et al., 2021). From the viewpoint of previous generations, some of this may appear exaggerated or minor. However, it is vital to recognize how such things are embedded in the conduct of Generation Z and how neglecting these might produce discord.

The members of Generation Z are acclimated to learning thanks to their usage of technology independently. So, businesses should consider investing in technology supporting asynchronous (i.e., web-based) training and development initiatives (Grow & Yang, 2018). Employers have a better chance of attracting and retaining personnel, encouraging the growth of firm-specific human capital, and boosting both performance and retention if their management of human resources systems is tailored to the individual needs of each worker. Adobe is exemplary of the modern workplace, with its sophisticated online development and training initiatives that facilitate an individualized program of education and feedback (Grow & Yang, 2018). Adobe’s Accelerate Adobe Life online portal provides students with feedback, verification, and skills training even before employees start their first employment. This may explain why Adobe consistently ranks as the top employer for new college graduates.

Technology-based management and administration should be appealing to Gen Z members because they represent the future of the workforce. The recent epidemic has raised the significance of electronic and virtual communications, for example, among both individuals and institutions. Technology must be used to facilitate this new way of organizing labour, as many employees believe that working from home will become the norm once the pandemic has passed (Larson et al., 2020). Hence, retraining in using technology for virtual communication is crucial, as does education for managers in using technological advances for both leading and monitoring performance.

Section IV: Reflection

What was learned about the topic from the project

Gen Z has different needs and drivers than previous generations. As this new generation enters the workforce, it will bring new expectations and perspectives. The company needs to understand what drives the members of Generation Z before it can increase its appeal both within and beyond the sector, creating a corporate culture and workplace that will give it an edge in the competition for the best workers of this generation and ensuring the company’s continued success.

Also, I have learned that there is a chance for commercial organizations to benefit from encouraging generational diversity and using Gen Z as transformational leaders. Regarding education, communication, and socialization, Gen Z tends toward individualism. This generation may need help to work well in teams. As a result, I now understand the importance of adopting socialization initiatives to assist employees in adjusting to environments and organizational structures that value collaboration and cooperation.

What was learned about the project process

Regarding race and ethnicity, Generation Z is the most varied group. This generation’s identity and values in the workplace and society have been moulded by and are influencing significant social revolutions and systemic concerns. They have been instrumental in campaigns against wealth inequality, which makes upward social mobility less likely than ever, as well as racism, sexism, intimidation, gun violence, and global warming.

Covid-19 aggravated the situation considerably. The pandemic broke the global economic growth streak that had lasted for decades. Several members of Generation Z were promptly laid off or dismissed when they joined the workforce. When taken together, these issues contributed to the generational shift away from the establishment and capitalism. As a result, this generation has become known for its impatience, lack of connection, and demands for fast change on topics that matter to its members.

How to use the information to enhance professional and personal life

The workforce norms have been altered due to the worldwide pandemic and the macro social upheavals that have created Generation Z. This generation expects more than any previous for those in positions of power to be honest and implement their promises. As such, I can use this information to grow professionally and personally. I can achieve this by helping Gen Z advance in their careers by showing that I care about their success, being adaptable in my management, and being an open communicator.


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