There has been a major shift in the way enterprises work, due to the pandemic and the growth of digital technology. This has changed the workplace for good, and now employers are seeking to attract and retain the next generation of talent.
Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, currently make up 30% of the world's population. With this rising generation comes new values and expectations that will shape the workplace for years to come, including a strong emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR).
According to our research Gen Z looks for career advancement and learning opportunities while choosing their employers. Talented professionals want to work for a company that helps them to build skills and knowledge and further their careers.
Career progress as a key driver to learn
While Gen Z professionals naturally want to learn skills with the immediate on-the-job application, they will be even more engaged in learning if the skills are directly related to career growth. Around 69% of the voters believed Gen Z employees connect learning to career progress – more than other aspects.
Generation Z is often pretty good at quickly picking up technical or hard skills, and they can learn independently through online resources. However, a lack of offline interactions can make them more vulnerable and inexperienced when it comes to developing soft skills. Designing interactive programmes that allow Gen Z employees to develop both technical and interpersonal skills will usually result in increased learning outcomes and faster upskilling.
Making the best use of technology
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with smartphones. They probably learned to use a phone even before speaking their first words. That's how Generation Z communicates, consumes information, connects to opportunities and, more importantly, learns new things. They are active, fast, and independent learners who want to connect everything they hear, see and read to the real world. Rather than discouraging Gen Z's constant need to use mobile devices, we can accelerate upskilling by allowing them to use smartphones on the job to our advantage and turn these devices into learning tools.
Unfortunately they have a very short attention span – about 8 seconds, compared to about 12 seconds for Gen Y. It means saying no to the long-format training programmes, complex explanations and yes to easy-to-understand short forms of learning content through tools young generations use everyday.
Supporting young workers
Companies need to remember that Gen Z is far more holistic in their work identities than past generations and expect their companies to offer not just fertile ground for professional success, but also personal growth and societal impact.
While previous generations were more comfortable separating work from personal life, Gen Z wants flexibility and to work somewhere that allows them to express themselves fully, from discussing issues of social justice to pursuing avenues for volunteering. In order to attract top Gen Z talent, companies need to create an environment that is conducive to both professional and personal development.
What are your views on this changed workforce? Share with us in the comments below.