Getting Ready for a Gen Z Workforce

According to a McCrindle Research study, Generation  Z (born between 1995 and 2009—aged  27 and younger) will make up 27 percent of  the workforce by 2025. And, 75 percent of  high school students (a big chunk of the Gen  Z pie) have indicated an interest in STEM  related fields per the National Society of  High School Scholars. With that in mind,  it is critical for us to better understand Gen  Z and how they can be an important part of a successful  workplace.

We recently worked with  McCabe Message Partners to conduct a mixture of quantitative  and qualitative research to tell us more about Gen Z—the target  audience of our ongoing OP&P Career Awareness Initiative The results of our first-hand  research along with that of other recent studies gave us insight on  what matters most to this up-and-coming workforce.


Here are six tips  we gleaned about working with Gen Z.

Money is not the top motivator—impact is. While money matters, Gen Z is looking to make a difference with the work they do. They appreciate a company that shows they care about their community and employees and the importance of diversity and social responsibility. Gen Z is a perfect match for OP&P with an opportunity to impact lives every day!

Authenticity Matters. Show you value and respect their ideas and efforts and you will go far with Gen Z. This group is bombarded with media and messaging and seeks out people and content that are authentic and genuine. They want to see exactly what they will be doing day-to-day and trust that those around them are straight shooters. 

Value Work-Life Balance. It’s no surprise that this group is interested in striking the perfect balance between their work and personal lives. According to a Deloitte study, Gen Z values employment that allows them to live a balanced lifestyle even more so than Millennials, with a greater emphasis on physical, mental and social wellbeing. This includes more flexible schedules, paid time off and health and wellness benefits. 

Prefer Traditional Communication and Collaborative Environments. Despite growing up with texting and instant messages, studies show that Gen Z prefers 1 face-to-face communication in the workplace. They work well independently but appreciate frequent feedback and collaborative environments. When Gen Z is at the workplace, opt for in-person conversations over emails or phone calls.

Eager to Grow. This group is particularly interested in employers that offer ongoing opportunities to learn and grow as  well as potential for advancement. You can better retain Gen Z with professional development, mentoring and even performance-based compensation. Be an integral part of their career journey by taking an interest in their  continuing education and professional goals. The sky’s the limit!

See Latest Technology as Necessity. Gen Z expects  updated technology, software and tools to help them get their job done fast and efficiently. And while they value a good face-to-face conversation, you’ll want to make sure your company is staying up to date with the latest technology—think highspeed internet, electronic medical records and automations. Don’t want to lose out on a potentially stellar Gen Z job prospect? Hire quick! Gen Z’s mobile-first mentality equals a shorter attention span.

Every generation’s expectation for workplace culture is different—  each shaped by the world around them. But despite those differences,  taking the time to understand the traits and preferences of Gen Z (or  any generation for that matter) will help create a culture that plays to  their strengths and fosters a positive and productive OP&P workforce  for all.

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