Gen Z- Tech junkies or change makers?
Updated: Mar 26
Dear Managers, Recruiters, HR specialists and Business owners. The year is 2018. You are probably logged in on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, reading this very article in this very moment on your enlightened screen of choice. Though you might remember the times, where books, magazines and newspapers where the main sources of information, the Gen Z. is the first generation ever, to have grown up entirely online in a pound of unlimited streams of information. In this article I address the importance of understanding and adapting to Gen Zs as the new, up-and coming work force, as the change-makers they truly will be.
GEN-Z is the part of the population born during a time span of 14 years between 1996 and 2010, buckling up, getting ready for the future. Similar to the Millennial generation, Gen z is often described as entitled and lazy tech-junkies, terms that have been set by previous, slightly skeptic generations. Technology has simplified our lives; we no longer need to go anywhere to get anything, since we have it all on our digital devices. I think its time to replace the word “lazy” with “time-saving”, “entitled” with “Responsible” and “Tech-junkies” with “digital experts”.
We are becoming more connected. For most other generations; the revolution of the Internet has been a big adjustment, and the change naturally takes its time. The Gen-Zs have the unique advantage of living the change. The constant access to information has made them knowledgeable, questioning and curious. Not only are these great aspects for future leaders, but it also makes them experts on the increasingly challenging business environment. The Tech-junkies are coming, and the current managers, will need to find new strategies to connect understand and work with this new generation of change makers.
In a blog post from The-Generation-z.com it is said that The Gen Z generation, possesses some very attractive traits, which most employers would value in todays working environment. Hard working is listed as one of them. 68% are inclined to work nights and weekends, and 64% presume that they will have to give a bigger effort in their careers than other previous generations. Ambition is neither lacking, since 63% assume to have their dream-job within 5-7 years after graduating. To me this only contradicts the stereotypes on how Gen Zs, supposedly, are entitled, and lazy tech junkies. This rather tells us about a generation that has big goals, and is willing to work hard to make a change.
In an article from the Fortune, it is said that retaining this up and coming workforce might be one of the biggest concerns for companies in the future. As much as 83% of current students expect to spend 3 years or less in their first job, and are more focused on climbing the ladder fast as possible, rather than growing and staying a company. Most companies focus on keeping their employees happy, by providing perk such as flexible hours or complimentary laundry. It seems to me that HR professionals might have to bring alternative benefits to the table, and focus on career growth, promotions and constant self-improvement, rather than short- term and monetary benefits. Job satisfaction is another hot topic; and though GZs are hard workers it is also a generation that I think will need even more validation for their efforts than the millennials. The world population is at its highest peak, and constantly growing, which means the competition will become harder not only for jobs, but also for the right people. With a group of highly ambitious young professionals, once the right candidate is selected, rewards and recognition-systems will be become more and more important.
From my very own observation as a Bachelor student at an international hospitality school, Hotel Institute Montreux, I see my fellow Gen Z students as hard working and ambitious, a generation that carefully invests their time, both in work and private life. A generation who’s feeds are filled with motivational quotes about self-growth and success. These Tech-junkies are very mature for their age, committed to their studies. There is a strong a focus on the opportunity cost to any action they take, and they do not want to waste their valuable time, something I believe has it roots, in the exposure and the every growing specter of options to choose from. This exposure has, however, ultimately given them a strong understanding of how the world works, creating a very realistic and analytical youth, that want to change to world.
So dear, Managers, Recruiters, HR specialists and Business owners; change is coming, and it is led by Gen Z. A generation that is strong-headed and ambitious. These Tech-junkies will be the change-makers, creating new rules for the rest of us to work by. It is time to learn and prepare to and be ready when they come knocking on the door, bringing the innovation and ambition to change the world.
Thank you for sharing, comments are always welcome.
Author: Ms Male, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) from Norway