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Generation Z At Work (Study)

Generation Z At WorkGeneration Z, by broadest definition, begins in 1996 and runs to current day (2015). A new study sheds light on this Homelander Generation’s attitudes and behaviors at work. They want to drive to their jobs, head into their private offices and meet face-to-face with colleagues before calling it a day. They don’t want to work too late, because like their Gen X parents, work-life balance is their primary career concern.

The research comes from a a survey of 770 Gen Zers born between 1990 and 1999. Robert Half and Enactus conducted the survey.

“Gen Z employees bring unique values, expectations and perspectives to their jobs,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “They’ve grown up in economically turbulent times, and many of their characteristics and motivations reflect that.”

Generation Z At Work | The Reality Check Generation

  1. Open floor plans? Hot start-ups? Nah, this group’s tastes skew more Mad Men thanSilicon Valley.
  • 41 percent described midsize organizations as the ideal work environment, followed by large organizations (38 percent). Only 14 percent cited start-ups.
  • 45 percent of respondents prefer to work in a private office, and face-to-face communication is the method of choice for 74 percent.
  1. They’re not exactly bubbling over with youthful optimism. Meet the ‘reality-check’ generation.
  • 77  percent believe they will need to work harder compared to those in past generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling professional life.
  • Balancing work and personal obligations was the top future career concern for 28 percent of respondents, followed by making enough money (26 percent) and finding a stable job (23 percent).
  1. A gold watch marking decades of service may not be in the cards, but they do plan to stay a while at their jobs — and move quickly up the ladder.
  • Gen Zers expect to work for an average of four companies throughout their lifetimes.
  • 32 percent believe they will be managing employees in a corporate environment within the next five years.
  • One in three would like to retire by the age of 60, but only 17 percent think it will be possible.
  1. Forget fancy job titles — they mainly want more responsibility and an honest boss.
  • Opportunity for career growth was the most commonly cited career priority, with 64 percent of respondents ranking it among their top three. An impressive job title was only cited as a priority by three percent.
  • Honesty/integrity was the top quality sought in a boss, cited by 38 percent of respondents; this was followed by mentoring ability (21 percent).
  1. Collaboration shouldn’t be a problem, say Gen Zers, except with those baby boomers.
  • 45  percent cited potential challenges working with baby boomers, compared to 17 percent who anticipate difficulties with Gen X and five percent with Gen Yers.

Bev Graham, Ph.D., vice president of Enactus USA programs, said, “Gen Z professionals are full of potential, but these young adults will need support in honing their skills and harnessing their enthusiasm to address real-world employment situations, such as the need to communicate more formally in certain situations.”

Added McDonald, “This group of professionals has grown up with technology available to them around the clock and is accustomed to constant learning. Companies with a solid understanding of this generation’s values and preferences will be well prepared to create work environments that attract a new generation of employees and maximize their potential.” 

Do you work with any Gen Zers? What has been your experience with Generation Z at work?

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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