What Value Can Gen Z Bring to the Workplace?
Generation Z is a term used to describe individuals born between 1996 and 2010. By now, some of the older Gen Zers will have entered the working world, whereas the younger members are still preteens. As with every generation, Gen Zers are a product of their environment, meaning external influences have impacted their upbringing and workplace behaviors. Although every person is unique, there are common traits among peers from specific generations. Gen Z characteristics are distinctive as they were born when the internet expanded worldwide, meaning they are among the first people to grow up using the internet in their daily lives, and even use Chromebooks and other devices at school.
Unlike older generations, Gen Zers are used to heading online for shopping, working, and making friends. They are generally preoccupied with pruning their online personas, and social media plays a large role in their lives. Moreover, having recently overcome the challenges of pandemic lockdowns, online classes, and social restrictions, Generation Z has undoubtedly experienced considerable hardships during their short years, which have taught them resilience and how to quickly adapt to unexpected circumstances. They are also reported to mature earlier than previous generations, are more likely to go to college, and are cautious when making career choices.
Understanding Gen Z in the workplace
Gen Z workplace expectations may be different from other generations. Understanding how Generation Z acts in the workplace helps employers manage their expectations of this unique and highly talented group. Gen Zers appreciate feedback and seek managers who support their career paths and goals. Companies would benefit from offering training and development programs to equip Gen Z workers with skills to thrive and grow in the workplace.
Generation Z is a globalized and diverse group and they expect their workplaces to reflect this. Gen Zers ooze inclusivity and diversity and hope potential employers can offer an environment that celebrates authenticity. They are also more health conscious and value work-life balance more than other generations, meaning they appreciate companies that offer generous time off and encourage self-care.
What skills can Gen Z bring to the workplace?
Gen Zers have a unique set of expectations for potential employers. Here are some of the skills company managers can expect to see from a Generation Z workforce.
1. High levels of education
Previous generations tended to choose the working world over education. Nowadays, educational opportunities are rife, and Gen Zers are reportedly on track to become the most highly educated generation. They display higher high school graduation rates and are less likely to drop out of education than generations before. Many Gen Zers have at least one college-educated parent and are more likely to go to college themselves.
2. Digital proficiency
Gen Zers may struggle to remember life before smartphones or other technology, and many grew up using Chromebooks at school. As such, they are coined ‘digital natives’ and are regarded as the most digitally proficient generation. Being born into a digital and technologically driven environment enables Gen Zers to intuitively navigate, adapt, and utilize various digital platforms and technologies. They will also enter the workforce knowing how to operate Chromebooks and other devices quickly and efficiently. Gen Zers are quick learners and pick up new tech skills easily, benefiting companies that need technology to remain competitive.
3. Entrepreneurial spirit
Generation Z craves flexibility and a sense of purpose in their careers. Rather than request this from employers, many Gen Zers are becoming their own bosses instead. Albeit challenging, creating a business and working for themselves may provide the satisfaction and workplace freedom they crave. A staggering 90% of Gen Z participants in a recent survey said they want to create something new, and Gen Zers are 55% more likely to express interest in starting a business than millennials. Adding technology into the mix also gives rise to social media-related business endeavors, and 84% of Gen Zers believe content creation is a highly feasible career choice.
4. Global mindset and connection
Gen Z is the most globally connected generation yet, mainly due to globalization and being brought up in a digitally interconnected environment where the world is at its fingertips. Exposure to global topics means Gen Zers are more likely to be influenced by international perspectives and have a high sense of global citizenship.
5. Creativity and innovation
Internet access and social media usage have given Gen Zers extensive exposure to diverse information and cultures. Moreover, their global citizenship and access to different countries via the Internet have cultivated a high level of creativity and innovative thinking. A survey of 5,000 participants from five countries around the world showed that gaming, music, and cooking impacted Gen Z’s creativity, with 63% saying they like to do something creative every day.
6. Multitasking ability
Gen Zers have grown up in a world of noise. From digital advertisements and social media influences to switching between mobile apps, Gen Zers are used to continual high-stimulus digital environments. As such, they excel at multitasking and can simultaneously process and manage multiple streams of information, tasks, and communications. This is advantageous for fast-paced workplaces requiring employees to juggle multiple tasks at once.
Why Gen Z brings value to the workplace
Gen Zers tend to be more highly educated, bringing a wealth of knowledge into the workplace. Most Gen Zers have grown up using Chromebooks at school, and many will have learned coding through Minecraft Education or other applications. As such, Gen Zers display high levels of digital literacy and can teach older generations nifty tech tricks to enhance workplace efficiency. Coding classes encourage learners to communicate clearly and encourage collaboration with peers, which is invaluable in the workplace.
As Gen Zers bring unprecedented value to the workplace, they should be equipped with top technology to encourage their creative endeavors. After all, they have been brought up with tech devices and are used to using Chromebooks in their school lives. Offering up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and the latest video decoding technology, the Acer Chromebook 515 is great for innovative minds and creative influences. This powerful Chromebook is affordable for entry-level employees and offers a larger screen so workers can get more done.
In addition, the Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 714 gives users the power to perform with a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor and a 20% performance improvement from previous generations. It is packed full of features to optimize video conferencing and offers vibrant on-screen colors without harmful blue light.
Working with Gen Z employees can be extremely rewarding and beneficial for companies. Employing Gen Z employees helps companies in the long run, as these young innovators deeply understand our world today. Providing Gen Z employees with the most suitable technology, such as the Acer Chromebook 515, to express their creative talents is a great way for companies to support young workers. Moreover, understanding what is important to Gen Zers and embracing and leveraging these values will contribute to the organizational success of businesses.
Jeni is a translator and writer based in Taiwan. She is passionate about business development and loves helping companies enter international markets. She is fluent in English, German, and Mandarin Chinese, and combines these with her industry experience to provide practical market entry solutions.