How Generation Z Will Transform the Workplace

Meet Generation Z. The Wall Street Journal describes them as “sober, industrious, and driven by money.” Born between 1995 and 2009, the oldest of Gen Z is already graduated from college and working. The focus of the workplace in recent years has been solely on Millennials — now the focus has begun to shift, with that attention going to incoming new talent.

This generation may look similar to their predecessor, the Millennials, but they are vastly different. Read on to learn more about how Generation Z will transform the world of work.

A new kind of workplace

“Out with the old and in with the new.” That’s the mantra for this generation. For those who are wondering what Gen Zers value most, we have listed five ways that this new cohort of talent will shape the workplace.

  1. 1. Inclusivity. This is a diverse generation. NPR reported new data showing post-Millennials currently between ages six to 21 and found a whopping 48% are from communities of color. Since diversity is the norm with Gen Z and neurodivergent hiring is on the rise, employers will have to adapt. Moreover, 63% of Generation Z feel it is most important to work with people with diverse education and skill levels, meaning they take the ethics of the workplace seriously.
  2. Flexibility. Generation Z likes to have options available. Since they like to work alone, accommodating their learning styles is important. By 2014, nearly 70% of all offices reportedly had open floor plans, but studies prove these layouts lower productivity and contribute to stress. Convene reports that Gen Z will enjoy order and predictability in the workplace. Options for remote work, face-to-face, and privacy are all crucial to the Gen Zer.
  3. Compensation Packages. More than any other generation, Gen Z requires generous benefits packages. The Barna Group cites that 65% of Gen Z members wanted to achieve financial independence by the time they were 30. A positive and safe workplace culture is expected too. While salary is a high motivator, job satisfaction is more important to this generation.
  4. Constant Feedback. They are ready to talk. LinkedIn researchers said that 65% were looking for honest insight about what to do next in their careers. The Center for Generational Kinetics reports that 63% of Generation Z want multiple check-ins from their manager during the week. Of that 63%, an additional 40% want the interaction with their boss to be “daily or several times each day.”
  5. Human Element. While digitally savvy, recent research by EY indicates that more than 90% of Gen Z prefer to have a human element to their teams, “either working solely with innovative coworkers or with coworkers and new technologies paired together.” Inc. shows that surprisingly 72% of Generation Z want to communicate face-to-face at work.

The Characteristics of Generation Z

Despite similarities on the outside, Generation Z and its predecessors are much different. These young workers watched as previous generations experienced the bain of collective debt, unfulfillment, and harassment in the workplace. As technology advances, this digitally savvy group contains a few key traits unique to their circumstances.

  • Entrepreneurial. Generation Z was old enough to remember their parents struggling during the recession. They are more practical, think long-term, and want recession-proof jobs. If that means they have to shape their own futures, they are happy to do so — making them ripe for leadership potential. More than 55% want to start their own business.
  • Financially smart. Generation Z is averse to debt. They care about financial security and are willing to work hard to obtain it. Many self-educate through YouTube or find unconventional ways to learn to avoid student loans. They’re quick learners and crave information, empowering themselves to create wealth and stability.
  • Competitive. The current workplace is collaborative and team-oriented. brought a new way of working into the world, one marked by collaboration. Generation Z? Not so much. While they’re willing to work with others, they’re also highly competitive and tend to take ownership of their own work. These young workers do best when working independently while still maintaining high degrees of human interaction on the job.

Even though Generation Z is new to the workforce, they are not necessarily interested in moving up the corporate ladder. Research shows that this generation is three times more likely to change jobs than other generations.

Work reimagined

Generation Z is different than previous generations. Recent data analysis by the Pew Research Center shows they will be the most diverse and highly educated generation yet. With their competitive nature, new demands, and excellence-centered drives, employers will have to implement smart strategies to attract and retain Generation Z talent.

On one hand, the key to a successful generational transition is to understand Generation Z. As an executive or manager, you will need to identify what they need. On the other hand, learning how to accommodate Gen Z will attract the brightest into the office. More than anything, this generation wants to be coached and mentored at work.

Take the time to get to know Gen Zers. Doing so will mean fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and workers with entrepreneurial spirits are in your future with these employees — all of which can add value to your organization. All in all, Generation Z will bring forward a resilient, open-minded, yet positive attitude to the workplace in the years to come.

About ProcessMaker

ProcessMaker is a low-code business process management and workflow software.  ProcessMaker makes it easy for business analysts to collaborate with IT to automate complex business processes connecting people and existing company systems. Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina in the United States, ProcessMaker has a partner network spread across 35 countries on five continents. Hundreds of commercial customers, including many Fortune 100 companies, rely on ProcessMaker to digitally transform their core business processes enabling faster decision making, improved compliance, and better performance.

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