As each passing days goes by, as we all get older each day (unfortunately), I can’t stop wondering how the future will be like when millenials and Gen Z work together to bring changes to the workplace. The thought of what we might be able to change and achieve excites me whenever I think of it. Personally for me as a millenial, who may be in charge of handling the new workforce in Gen Z in the future, I had the chance to get to know more about Gen Z when I’m working with them in class. In our university we are given a lot of group assignments and I’m fortunate enough to work with a lot of Gen Zs and I got to ask them what do Gen Z wants in a workplace.
From my personal experience working with them, I learned that the stereotype of Gen Z preferring to work alone is not true. Some of them do generally prefer working alone but when I ask them further for their reasonings on what kind of situation would they be in a group, the most common answer is it depends on who they are grouped with and how well they connect with their group members but if they really need to focus and get their work done, they would rather work alone.
As I continued my conservation with them about what do Gen Z’s want in a workplace, I discovered that my wants are slightly different from theirs. They value stability, career growth and they want to be happy doing their jobs. If an employer can’t offer them what they want, they have no problem leaving the company. However, if an employer could offer them that ‘sweet spot’ they will remain loyal. It makes sense as they are more aware of their values and they want it to be appreciated. You can’t bribe them with ‘cool stuffs’ such as pool tables, beanie bags or even a bowling alley, they want stuffs that are important and benefit for them in the future such as health care benefits, insurances and pension funds. They like looking at the bigger picture as most Gen Zs have a entrepreneurial mindset.
One thing I would like to address is, the stereotype that Gen Z’s have bad communication and social skills and that they only communicate via text or messaging. From what I’ve seen and experience, I have to disagree with this. The people that I’ve spent so much time with do actually value face-to-face communication. Communicating via text or messages can be a little complicated sometimes as you can’t see how a person reaction is through text. My colleagues actually appreciate it when their teacher or manager give them personal feedback. I don’t think anybody likes it when there is a problem and you have to deal with it through text and instant communication always works. If there isn’t anything urgent, a text will do just fine.
Gen Z’s are more technologically savvy and this is true. They were born not knowing how the world was like before the internet. They would most likely expect information to be at their fingertips. Personally I think the love that Gen Z have for technology is misunderstood. They see it more as a tool rather that helps them to get their work done rather than an addiction as some of the older generations think they are. They are much better multitaskers than the older generation and they can do it much quicker because of how technologically savvy they are. So, instead of trying to take the technology away from them, why not embrace how good they are with technologies and they will surprise you. They are a creative bunch and they will instil a new found creativity and enthusiasm into the places that they will work at in the future.
Adaptability is also one of Gen Zs strong points. They are more adventurous in a way as they are not afraid to take on uncertainty head on and they are risk takers. I believe the biggest risk you can take is not taking any as life begins to get more exciting when you’re out of your comfort zone. Being how innovative and creative they are, they will always find a way to get through the challenges you throw at them. All they need to excel is proper guidance and the experience from the older generations just like how Jack Black bring out the rock star inside the kids in the movie School of Rock(highly recommend to watch it if you haven’t).
If you made it to this paragraph, thank you for making it this far. You’re almost at the end, don’t worry. Jokes aside, the important takeaway here is that Gen Z’s shouldn’t be treated like the stereotypes they are portrayed as. In fact, we shouldn’t treat generations or anyone as a stereotype. Millennials like me are often described by the older generations as being ‘entitled’ and Gen Z’s being stereotyped for ‘lack of social skills’. As time goes by, we will eventually find out what Gen Z’s truly are and I wholly believe the future is going to bring a lot changes with them in the workforce.
I hope this article helped give an insight about what Gen Z wants in a workplace. Feel free to leave any comments about the article or any discussions. Would love to hear your opinions about it!
Author: Mr. Adryan Tang, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from Malaysia.