Zoning in on Generation Z

Are you finally getting used to having Millennials in your office? Well, it’s time to re-calibrate your system once again, because Generation Z is knocking on your door – and they want jobs!

You may think that there isn’t a big distinction between the Millennials and Generation Z. In some ways, that’s true. Both largely grew up in the digital age, spend a ton of time on social media, and would struggle to successfully make a call on a rotary phone.

However, there ARE a number of characteristics that set the two groups apart, and you should be aware of them.

Generation Z consists of people born between 1995 and 2010. For those born in the 1990s, their childhood memories include 9/11, The Great Recession, and Hurricane Katrina. So it’s easy to understand why many of them seem to approach everyday life in a relatively serious manner compared to some Millennials.

They also grew up right as the advent of social media took the world by storm. Nowadays, everyone from kids to retirees seem to be on their phone all the time, but Generation Z-ers have had digital communication ingrained in them at a much younger age than anyone else on the planet, and are in near-constant communication with friends, family, and social media.

This has led to many Generation Z members becoming proficient at multitasking. As a manager, you should of course encourage your employees to focus on the job at hand, but keep in mind that younger people are fast-paced workers who can go on Twitter, text friends, and still get their work done on time.

Growing up in the midst of the social media/digital age has instilled a creative mindset in many members of Generation Z. The world truly has limitless possibilities for them. They know that anyone can become the next great innovator, which is why many Generation Z-ers bring an out-of-the-box way of thinking to the table.

While many employers consider this a desired characteristic, you should understand that it can be difficult to rein in creative minds. Innovative people crave the freedom to see their ideas all the way through and do things THEIR way, which sometimes does not mesh with the way an office runs. That’s why it is important to make it clear to new Generation Z employees that you respect their creative space and will utilize it to the best of your abilities – but that you also need them to be team players when necessary.

Every generation has their defining qualities, so it’s crucial to do your homework on what values and skills Generation Z-ers hold, and adjust accordingly in order to present yourself as a desirable landing spot for them!

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