Following the generational model, the baby boomers are now reaching retirement age. Currently, the millennials are in their entire working life, and the people born between 1996 and 2012, who are counted as Generation Z (knowing that generational transitions are fluid), are entering the labour market.
What characterises Generation Z?
Values and other characteristics connect this group. On the one hand, people of this generation are still in education or have already completed higher education. In general, the level of education is rising. In addition to formal educational qualifications, members of this generation are not only digital natives but also at home on social media. Social media enable exchange about family and leisure time, but at the same time, allow self-marketing and networking worldwide. The internet is the information source par excellence.
Values such as helpfulness, environmental protection, diversity, sustainability and health characterise this generation. Independence and the desire not to worry about finances and to shape one’s life in a self-determined manner represent Generation Z. The desire to have their own family and children and maintain social relationships is relevant.
Generation Z as an employee
Suppose you want to be considered an attractive employer. In that case, you must convince future Generation Z employees with a pleasant, constructive working atmosphere, an exciting job, and an adequate income. The separation of professional and private life is essential. Working time models should be flexible so that it is possible to work from home and on-site at the company.
Personal development and the possibility of taking on a leadership position are essential for this generation, based on the striving for autonomous, self-determined work. This aligns with the desire for leaders who act as coaches and mentors.
Create framework conditions
Aware of the diverse demands of Generation Z on employers, there is a need to question existing framework conditions or break new ground to attract the right employees to the company.
In addition to creating job security and meaningful activities, it is essential to harmonise the needs in connection with the value concepts of Generation Z.
The creation of transparency, which can be seen as an essential value of this generation, already starts with the external appearance of a company and continues, via the application process, to everyday working life.
A company’s individuality concerning corporate culture, forms of cooperation, work structures etc., must be understandable and authentic for future employees.
Rethinking as a challenge
More than ever, managers and HR managers must pay attention to the topics of cooperation, culture, leadership and new work and proactively shape them! Mere “lip service” will quickly be exposed by mature, self-confident workers.
Dealing with one’s corporate culture and values is the basis for successful recruiting and employer branding. Employee loyalty is not (exclusively) decided on the payslip but is much more created by framework conditions only associated with costs to a limited extent.
The entrepreneurial “investment” in Generation Z begins with the willingness to accept changed demands and to question outdated “beliefs”.