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The New Workforce: Introducing Generation Z

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Shot of young students on strike holding protest posters.

Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash

A workplace is a complex ecosystem, made of different people, with different talents, working together to provide a service or product for their customers. Many factors influence the workplace environment and the quality of work achieved there.

One factor crucial to ensuring a synergistic and productive workplace is how well an organization understands its most valuable resource: its employees.

Of course, every generation of workers is unique in some way – shaped by its surrounding society, its experiences, its place in history, and even the preceding generations. And so it is with the newest generation to enter the workforce: Generation Z.

Born into a rapidly-evolving society, surrounded by immensely diverse cultures, and raised in an era of astonishing technological advancement, this young generation already demonstrates wholly unique characteristics that differentiate it from preceding generations.

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z represents the portion of the population born between the years of 1997 and 2012. It is both the largest and the most racially diverse generation in U.S. History. Gen Zs are also digital natives, born in the height of a massive technology boom.

Political and social activists

What drives and motivates Generation Z is also unique. Gen Zs are, in general, a politically- and socially-active generation, motivated by the fight against climate change, systemic racism, and exclusivity in culture.

According to a recent Time survey, they are far more driven by service to community, social/political activism, and volunteerism than their predecessors, like Generation Y (AKA Millennials), for example. In fact, the desire to serve and make a positive impact on the world are what set members of this generation apart from previous generations.

Focused on improving self and culture

This up-and-coming generation is far more driven than past generations to better itself and the world around it. A recent poll conducted on a number of Gen Zs showed 89% would rather spend their free time in activities they consider productive and creative rather than simply “hanging out” with friends or at home. In fact, Gen Zs are so driven by personal and cultural growth that some will only form relationships with others who are as serious about and committed to bettering themselves.

Techno-centric digital natives

They are also much more technology-centric than even the average Millennial tends to be. Compared to preceding generations, Gen Zs are displaying a noticeable difference in workplace priorities and expectations — they’re more interested in inclusivity and diversity in the workforce, for instance.

Like every generation before it, Generation Z has its own unique, defining characteristics. These characteristics will increasingly shape our workforce, culture, and society. It’s absolutely crucial, then, for employers to understand this new generation of workers.

An employer must-have

In the delicate and complex ecosystem of the modern workplace, maintaining intra-office harmony is critical to productivity. One sure-fire way leaders can nurture and sustain harmony is to better understand employees – especially our newest colleagues entering the workforce, Generation Z.

To that end, we’ve crafted Generation Z: An Employer’s Primer to help business leaders, like you, get to know this invaluable resource better. What’s more, this primer is on us.

© 2023 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

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