Generation Z – The only real digital natives
A minute ago, everyone was talking about ambitious millennials and their changing demands of companies and the work place. Meanwhile successors are already moving into the labor market. With Generation Z, for the first time the needs and expectations of four generations clash on the labor market.
The majority of Generation Z is still preparing for the real world in schools or university, but the older among them are making their first career steps. Will Gen Z turn the labor market upside down again? Probably not. In many aspects they do not seem to be all that different from their predecessors. Just like millennials, they are independent and think pragmatically. If they can't make headways with a problem or don't know something, they ask Google. They like their information quick and bite-sized.
Personal happiness is a priority
Gen Z is just as ambitious as Generation X and Y were in achieving their goals, just with less emphasis on professional success. They strive for self-realization, especially in their private lives. They would rather live in the moment and enjoy their freedom than save money in the bank. According to a study commissioned by Coca Cola, just 2% of Generation Z believes that financial success is the most important thing in life. What really counts? To be happy, no matter what path takes you there. 78 % of young people agree on this.
The return of "Nine-to-Five"
"Nine-to-Five" jobs, which labor researchers had already seen down for the count, appear to be making a comeback for Generation Z. Especially regular working hours, employment contracts without term, and a clear separation between professional and private life are important to them. They do not like to answer e-mails after hours. Sounds like laziness, but there is a good reason for this: in the digital age of unlimited availability, the risk of working around the clock and everywhere is high. A deliberate 'unplugging' after work helps Gen Z preserve a balance between work and free time.
The small but important difference
While millennials are already considered very technology-savvy, Gen Z are the first real "digital natives". They have been part of a networked online community since their childhood. Thanks to mobile internet and social media, they are connected to friends from all parts of the world at all times. A real benefit in the increasingly global work environment. So it is no wonder that Gen Z is particularly attracted to companies that offer progressive technologies and thus make efficient working possible. It is for good reason that Google was once again named the best employer in the world by economists and engineers – the ninth time in a row! Companies will have to upgrade their technology in the next few years to attract the new generation as employees.
It could turn out to be complicated if all four generations with their different characteristics have to start working together. At the same time, such a constellation could also create great potential. 88 % of employees see it the same way. Especially Generation Z itself is convinced of their positive impact on the working world. With new ideas and working methods, as well as their technological know-how they want to bring a breath of fresh air into the work place. An optimistic 65 % believe that they will succeed.
Nielsen Generational Lifestyle Survey, Q1 2015