Born between 1995 and 2010, the oldest members of Generation Z are now entering the workplace, and this newest generation of young professionals is different from the generations before them.
The good news? Many of the qualities that set Generation Z apart also make them extremely adaptable and useful in the workplace. We discussed the Generation’s pragmatism in the last post. Here are some more of the qualities that will make Generation Z workers an asset to your organization.
Generation Z is Independent and Competitive
Unlike the Millennials before them, who are collaborative and teamwork oriented, Generation Z is defined by its competitiveness. They want to work on their own and be judged on their own merits rather than those of their team. In order to be successful, members of Generation Z understand and readily accept that they will have to constantly develop new skills in order to stay relevant.
This newest group of adults also generally likes to work alone. They’d rather have office space to themselves than an open, collaborative workspace. Many want to manage their own projects so that their skills and abilities are evident, and they do not want to depend on other people to help them complete a task.
They Excel at Multi-Tasking (more than Millennials)
These young people are the true digital natives, even more so than Millennials. Members of Generation Z have only ever lived in a connected world. Their entire lives have been spent toggling between apps that send them constant updates, so paying attention to a wide range of stimuli simultaneously comes naturally to them. They also don’t draw hard lines between work and home and pay little attention to hours of the work day—this is a mindset that will likely change workplaces even more in the future.
They Want to Communicate Face-to-Face
Just when you got used to your Millennial employees opting for email or Slack, you’re going to have to switch back to old-school office communications again. Generation Z wants to talk to you face-to-face. Maybe it’s because they’ve seen Millennials criticized for relying on technology, or maybe it’s because they grew up with technology like Skype, Snapchat and FaceTime that allow people to communicate with a full range of sound and motion, whatever the reason, the vast majority of Generation Z say they prefer in-person meetings.
It’s normal to worry about the changes necessary to accommodate the habits and desires of a new group entering the workplace. But what we’ve seen so far from Generation Z is overwhelmingly positive. These newest adults are motivated, pragmatic, independent, competitive, and communicative. To paraphrase The Who, these kids are alright.