The Strategist

Five traits of Gen Z

07/20/2018 - 12:38

Today, millions of young men and women are entering the labor market. They are different from their parents and even from those who was born five to ten years earlier from them. It's about representatives of the generation Z, or, shortly Gen Z. Who are they? What are they striving for and how to work with them? There’s no large-scale researches, but David Stillman, author of “Gen Z @ Work. How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace” tried to describe them.

Let's start with the five main characteristics of this generation.

Do it yourself

Gen Z can truly be called a do-it-yourself generation. For others, this concept exists only in DIY stores or art and craft projects. However, Gen Z uses this principle for everything, including for their career.

Independent, self-reliant and do-it-yourself employees are very valuable in a rapidly changing world. Gen Z will help employers to discover more talents and skills that were not specified in the job description.

Online generation

According to the results of Pew Research’s study, only 14% of American teenagers had access to the Internet in 1995, when the first representatives of Gen Z were born,. By 2014, this indicator reached 87%.

Therefore, one of the characteristics of Gen Z celebrities is their popularity in the Internet community. For every movie or TV star, there is now a YouTube star, which appeared out from nowhere. Not only sensations such as Kid President, Dude Perfect and PewDiePie entertain Gen Z, but also send a message that everyone can become a star in one night without leaving their own bedroom.

Imaginary multitasking

Any parent of a Gen Z child will tell how he is chatting on the phone at this moment, a minute later (more precisely, a second) already sends a text message, and then he takes on his laptop, etc. Since Gen Z has a fanatical desire to control a lot of things, most of its representatives believe that they are able to handle many tasks at once. It is quite natural to allow them to prove this in practice. What kind of manager wouldn’t be excited about such a prospect?

However, if you take an unbiased look, the generation of Z is not so successful in multitasking. Their brains do not focus on many problems at once. What they are really strong in is switching between tasks. They can do it quickly and without problems.

Fighting boredom

Gen Z often haves problems with long-term projects, so they may need the help to bring creativity to their work and avoid boredom. If it is a matter of physical labor, then it is enough to change the kind of work from time to time. Sitting in the same office, working on the same project will be easier if there is an opportunity to sometimes distract from it or move the workplace to the nearest coffee shop, where, at least, the music is better.

There are also more complex options for combating boredom, such as revising the time frame, so that you can break the project into stages and Gen Z employees could switch between them.

Higher motivation

Gen Z witnessed the most severe recession, when many of their friends had to try their best to preserve what they had worked so hard for. In addition, they had to meet with many carreer-oriented but debt-burdened millennials. Being forced to maintain high rates of change, Gen Z feels a lot of pressure, as well as an impatient desire to move forward faster. Not surprisingly, Gen Z has a high level of motivation.

Based on “Gen Z @ Work. How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace” by David Stillman

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