For years, the Baby Boomers have made up the largest segment of the workforce, but that is changing. This year there will be 3.6 million Baby Boomers who leave the workforce. As baby boomers continue to retire, Generation Z will be taking their place—so who is this upcoming generation and what do they care about?
Those in Generation Z were born from 1994 to 2010, which means that the oldest of the generation turns 23 this year. Not only is this a young generation, but it is the most diverse as far as race, ethnicity, experience, ideas, and interests.
A major distinction in this younger generation is that they have never known a world without the technology that allows them to contact anyone, anywhere, at any time. This connectivity has shaped their communication skills and is defining what they want in a work environment. Although technology plays a large role in their lives, 39 percent of both Gen Z and Millennials would rather have a face-to-face conversation in the workplace than use email, instant messages, or a phone call.
In addition to in-person communication, they value collaboration with colleagues and the ability to work in an open environment. This has caused work environments to start abandoning the closed off atmosphere that is associated with a cubicle layout. At TDS, there have been changes over the years to create a more collaborative work environment with the implementation of technological spaces like “Conversations” and Yammer to allow for a more connected workplace.
Growing up with technology at the touch of their fingertips, Gen Z has become accustomed to getting information and feedback right away. This is transferred over to their workplace by creating expectations of wanting feedback from their employers daily, weekly, or monthly, instead of the traditional annual performance reviews.
As companies progress it will be important that they shift with the times. At TDS, we already have many of the important “benefits” that Gen Z looks for in a company. Some of those include our flexibility in work location, casual dress, and up-to-date technology.
“It’s really important as a company that we understand the future makeup of our company in order to retain and attract employees,” Adrienne with HR at TDS explained, “which means that we need to make sure that we stay ahead of the curve and transition alongside the generational shift.”
Guest Blogger: Ann Mcgrail