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Understanding the work ethic of Generation Z

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Generation Z is the latest cohort added to the workforce. This generation includes people born in the early-2000s – “anaamma 2000”.

The average Generation Z got their first smartphone just before their twelfth birthday. They communicate primarily through social media and texts, and spend as much time on their phones as older generations do watching television.

Generation Z places a great emphasis on purpose-driven work. On top of it, they seem to want to stay loyal to their organisations for a long time on the condition they can strike a good balance between work and personal life and enjoy growth and promotion opportunities.

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Generation Z candidates favour employers with a strong set of values and a purpose for being beyond merely making a profit. On top of it, this age group seeks career development and progression opportunities and flexible working arrangements.

Flexibility is at the heart of everything for Generation Z. You can’t force this generation to work when they don’t want to. If Generation Z isn’t allowed to use annual leave days as they please or made to work back-to-back shifts, you might find them looking for a new job. But these workers will put in the effort if the conditions are right. In some cases, they would work odd hours and weekends if the pay is higher.

As an employer, if you want to get the best out of Generation Z work ethic, you need to be aware of their needs. Quite a few of them prefer not to have a manager at all. When they have a manager, Generation Z is clear about what they seek from the management. They want managers who trust them, support them and care about them.

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For an employer to create an inclusive work environment that appeals to this generation, you need to nurture personal growth. Most of Generation Zers often enter the workforce with little work experience.

Companies have to find ways of developing their skills. As an employer, you need to provide continuous training and development.

Ensure they gain new skills and improve existing ones. Remember skill development is more than improving job satisfaction. Businesses benefit from it as well. It guarantees your employees can upskill and adjust to a changing work environment.

Generation Z appreciates the benefits of technology in the workplace.

Likewise, employers and managers of older generations must be smart with technology usage. Technology can help with collaboration. It can help teams connect. You can even strengthen your teamwork with remote team building activities. However, you shouldn’t erase personal connections with technology. Focus on building relationships within the workforce by promoting collaboration. Your business needs to use technology to provide generation Z with: (i) Workplace flexibility by using tools to support remote work. For example, document sharing tools can ensure employees can access work outside of the office; (ii) more control over their work. Generation Z doesn’t like micromanagement; so, you should use digital tools that give them the agency. For example, use HR tools to give employees more control over their schedules.

Social issues like diversity and environmentalism are important to Generation Z. They want companies to behave ethically. As an employer, you need to start focusing on your message if you want to attract talent. Empty words are not going to cut it.

This generation also has a different outlook on authority. Whereas older generations tend to respect authority even when they don’t agree with it, younger generations are more vocal at resisting it. If you communicate feedback and changes openly, you can get generation Z on board.

It’s also worth noting how Generation Z’s work ethic ties with their individuality. This has implications for the workplace. The generation will expect a personalised experience rather than a corporate framework. You can appeal to the generation with personalised access to benefits, for example. Allow your employees to pick and choose benefits instead of providing everyone with the same option. Things like that can show them you care and support them.

Generations Zers’ cynicism derives from growing up in a time of rampant misinformation, leaders they view as dishonest, and the constant negativity they’ve seen in the media and on social media. This inherent skepticism explains their potential caution in the workplace around coworkers and employers.

In order to attract and retain Generation Z talent, companies must be receptive towards their needs and be more forward-thinking in their approach. If Generation Z can identify with your company’s values, you’ll have a dedicated and talented team on your hands to help you succeed; hence, keep Generation Z characteristics and work ethics in mind and create a happy workforce.

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