A new generation of workers is finally starting to enter the workforce, which will now feature five generations working side-by-side. It is not a situation to be taken lightly either, as newcomers to the workforce will rapidly outnumber millennials and boomers, and will represent the future of business as we know it.
Unsurprisingly, there are a number of differences in what Generation Z workers expect from their jobs to their predecessors, as found in a recent study conducted by Monster and TNS which looks in depth as to what Generation Z are looking for in a job.
One of the standout results of the survey was the capacity of entrepreneurship that features among Generation Z respondents. As a result of being among the most technologically capable and opportunist people to see the light of day, with 76% believing that they are the drivers of their own career with 49% wanting to own their own business, compared to 32% across the other working generations. Among wanting to be the dictator of their future, they are also the generation that most strongly believes that their job in life should have a greater purpose with 74% want to have some form of passion behind their work. They have grown up in an environment with rapidly evolving technology which has brought them iPhones, Snapchat, and Kickstarter to name a few, but have shown that traditional approaches don’t always lead to the greatest success and there are significant rewards should they go looking for them.
The Digital Native
Generation Z is the first of its kind to be able to grow up with internet technology. You’d be hard pressed to find one nowadays who doesn’t have access to a smartphone or who could imagine their life without access to the web. While the line is becoming blurred between online and offline worlds, this can have its uses with 48% believing that technology has created higher expectations as to what they can accomplish and 41% admitting that technology has created an increased demand for their role compared to 36% of other generations.
Ping-pong tables and on-site fitness centres are out. Health insurance and competitive salaries are in. The published list is remarkably reminiscent of their grandparents, with health insurance being the biggest drawcard to attract a Gen Z worker, with 70% believing this is a must have. Notably, the top six results follow a more practical approach with higher levels of importance centered around working for an organisation where there are opportunities for professional development (47%), and working for a boss that they respect (61%) sitting at fourth and third respectively. While studies have shown that fiscal benefits are beginning to be outweighed by other non-monetary factors, that appears to have stayed in the tech boom era of the 1990s with a competitive salary being rated the second most powerful influencer for Gen Z as 63% considered this a must have.
While every company wants to keep their employees happy and productive, there is no singular way to please everyone. Incentive programs might work for some, while they may discourage others. For Gen Z, the secret lies within money, passion, and job security as to what keeps them motivated at work. 70% of Gen Z respondents believed that money-related factors were the ultimate motivator. Money aside, people want to work in a place where their opinion matters – people are happier to not be consigned to a desk from 9-5 and work in open workspaces.
From the report it is clear that the values of one generation do not necessarily align with the others. With the focus still currently on millennials with their nap pods and free lunch benefits, the workforce will soon be entering a period of transition where they will be looking to attract and retain fresh talent. With about 8 seconds to grab their attention, businesses will have to learn how to speak their language and be strategic in their approach.