Step aside Millennials and Gen X, there is a new generation entering the workforce. Generation Z, colloquially known as Gen Z or “Zoomers,” are the children of Gen X parents and were born anywhere from the late 1990s to the early 2010s (1997-2012 is a generally accepted range).
Unlike generations before them, Gen Zers are considered “digital natives” and have had access to technology and the internet throughout their lives. They are also the first generation to grow up in a post 9/11 world.
As they enter the workforce, it is essential for professionals and leaders to begin to understand their attitudes, habits and defining features as they will command a substantial portion of the labor force very soon.
Basic Generational Statistics
Gen Z is the largest generational cohort and accounts for 32% of the total world population and 20% of the US population. Source – Pew Research Center, Statista
They are more racially diverse than previous generations and 22% of Gen Zers have at least one immigrant parent. Source – Pew Research Center
By 2030, 30% of the US workforce will be Gen Z. Source – US Bureau of Labor Statistics
They have no memory of a time before smart phones. Source – Pew Research Center
51% of Gen Z teens and 67% of Gen Z adults said that the pandemic made planning for the future seem impossible. Source – American Psychological Association
Gen Z in the Workplace
Gen Z workers typically stay in a job for less than 3 years. Source – Forbes 2021
Over 25% will quit a job within the year. Source – TalentLMS 2022
Over 50% of Gen Zers are considering changing jobs in the next year and over 70% are considering starting a side gig. Source – Microsoft 2022
Gen Zers (30%) cite an empowering work culture as the top reason they would stay in a job. This outranks their focus on growth potential (28%) and benefits (12%). Source – Medium
They are considered an entrepreneurial generation. The majority of Gen Zers aspire to start their own businesses. Source – Forbes
73% of Gen Zers can see turning their hobbies into full time jobs. Source – BuiltIn
Bringing Out the Best in Your Gen Z Employees
Gen Z workers value direct, constructive performance feedback (50%), hands-on training (44%), managers who listen to and value their opinions (44%), and the freedom to work independently (39%). Source – EHS Today
73% report feeling alone some of the time or always, and 44% report that remote work feeds into this feeling of loneliness. Source – TalentLMS and BambooHR
60% feel that they need more face-to-face time to succeed at work. Source — Ipsos & Nationwide 2021
Although 72% want more in-person interaction with their peers, 59% of Gen Zers value virtual work. Source – TalentLMS and BambooHR 2022
Gen Z reports struggling with confidence to bring new ideas to the table, get a word in in meetings, and feeling excited about work. Source — Microsoft
Provide training. 7/10 Gen Zers want to improve their soft skills. Source — Deloitte 2021
Schedule shorter meanings. 34% of Gen Z report having trouble focusing during long meetings. Source — TalentLMS & BambooHR 2022
Gen Z is more likely than any other generation in the US to report feeling high stress and low happiness, citing that world factors are hard to cope with. Source — Deloitte 2021
Incorporating a new generation into our workforce can open up some additional unknowns. However, it’s also an excellent opportunity to start developing these young people before they create bad habits related to overwork and stress management.
Gen Z is full of creative, passionate, and driven individuals who bring unique skills and values into the workplace. Prioritize creating a culture of inclusiveness, empathy, and personal wellness. Provide relevant training for your Gen Z employees and educate them on managing and advocating for their wellbeing. When you create these expectations at the beginning of their career, they’ll be able to balance them as they go forward and start taking on leadership roles of their own.