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Culture & Employee Engagement

Gen Z in the Workplace: 9 Ways They Are Transforming Traditional Values

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Generation Z, commonly known as Gen Z, is the newest generation of talent entering the workforce. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z will likely overtake the Boomer workforce in 2024. As digital natives, Gen Z grew up with technology and social media shaping their worldview. With different values and priorities compared to previous generations, Gen Z is transforming traditional workplace norms.

As a business leader, understanding these changes is crucial for attracting and recruiting Generation Z talent. The Gen Z workforce wants purpose and meaning in their work, flexible arrangements, and technology that streamlines collaboration. They expect inclusive and ethical company cultures that promote diversity, wellness, and professional growth opportunities.

While adapting your workplace to Gen Z's needs may seem daunting initially, the payoff of higher productivity and retention makes it well worth the effort. Let's explore how Gen Z is revolutionizing workplace values and what you can do to make them feel at home.

Why Is It Crucial for Businesses To Understand Gen Z?

Generation Z is no longer just a blip on the demographic radar. They're rapidly becoming a dominant force in the consumer landscape and the workforce, and ignoring them could be fatal for businesses of all sizes. Here's why:

  • Workforce of the Future: By 2030, Gen Z will likely make up 30% of the global workforce. Attracting and retaining top talent from this generation requires understanding their priorities. Building a culture that resonates with a Gen Z work ethic and aspirations is essential for long-term success.

  • Spending Powerhouse: Gen Z holds an estimated $143 billion in buying power in the U.S. alone, and that number is only going to rise. They're tech-savvy, brand-conscious, and value authenticity, making them a coveted demographic for any business.

  • Digital Natives: Gen Z is the first generation to grow up entirely in the digital age. They're comfortable with technology, expect seamless online experiences, and are highly influenced by social media. Their demand for technology surpasses older generations, which will influence how businesses must operate online.

  • Socially Conscious Consumers: Gen Z is passionate about social justice, environmental sustainability, and ethical business practices. They tend to support brands that align with their values and hold them accountable for their actions. Businesses that demonstrate genuine commitment to these issues will resonate with and win over this socially conscious generation.

  • Innovation Drivers: Gen Z is tech-savvy, entrepreneurial, and always looking for the next big thing. They're not afraid to challenge the status quo and push boundaries. Partnering with them or tapping into their innovative spirit can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and future-proof their operations.

Understanding Gen Z is crucial for businesses to adapt to the changing market, workplace dynamics, and technological advancements. Failing to recognize and respond to Gen Z's workplace expectations and values could make businesses obsolete as this generation's influence continues to grow.

9 Ways Gen Z Is Transforming Workplace Values

So, how exactly do Gen Z's workplace values and attitudes differ from those of previous generations? Here are nine key ways this generation is transforming workplace values:

1. Company Values and Ethics Take Center Stage

More than previous generations, Gen Z heavily weighs an employer's ethics, social responsibility commitments, and compatibility with their own values when considering job opportunities. Gen Z employees want to feel proud of who they work for and what their company contributes to society.

Clearly communicate your company's cultural values, social impact goals, and ethical guidelines so that they resonate with this demographic. Demonstrate how you support causes like sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and mental health awareness through words and actions. Be transparent about pay equity policies and offering living wages. Gen Z desires to see an alignment between your purpose as an organization and their personal convictions.

2. Purpose and Positive Impact Motivate Their Work

Gen Z has an inspiring drive to make a difference in the world. They want their work to have meaning beyond just earning a paycheck. Provide opportunities for Gen Z employees to actively contribute to social responsibility initiatives connected to your organizational values and purpose. Facilitate their desire for purposeful work by assigning projects addressing real-world problems relevant to them.

Also, show Gen Z how their efforts at work directly help further sustainability, inclusiveness, equity, accessibility, and other causes they care about. Doing so gives them a sense of purpose and motivates them to do their best work in service of making that positive impact.

3. Technology and Communication Tools Are a Must

As true digital natives, Gen Z expects access to the latest tech tools to streamline their work. They rely on digital channels like chat platforms and other collaboration tools for quick communication and collaboration across teams. Equip them with devices, systems, and resources that aid productivity rather than hinder it.

Gen Z enters the workplace well-versed in leveraging technology to be more efficient, organized, and connected. Support that natural strength by implementing cloud-based solutions like Scoop, which seamlessly integrates with existing calendars and messaging apps Gen Z already uses daily.

4. Work-Life Balance and Flexibility Become Essential

Forget the 9-to-5 grind. While still ambitious, Gen Z workers refuse to buy into hustle culture at the expense of their health and personal lives. They expect and demand more work-life balance from employers compared to previous generations. Create hybrid work policies and offer flexible work schedules, remote work options, and generous time off.

Hybrid work planning tools like Scoop make it easy to manage hybrid teams with adjustable in-office schedules synced across shared calendars. Support work-life balance and empower your Gen Z employees to coordinate their on-site presence based on both company needs and individual preferences.

5. Collaboration and Connection Are the Driving Force

While stereotyped as screen-obsessed loners, Gen Z craves in-person community at work. They want camaraderie, team building, and daily interactions to balance their digital activity. They thrive when they feel connected to the purpose and people behind their work.

To appeal to Gen Z's collaborative spirit:

  • Design workspaces conducive to spontaneous connections
  • Hold mentoring sessions
  • Brainstorm together in pods
  • Coordinate through digital channels
  • Bond during in-person events

6. Traditional Leadership Styles Start To Fall Short

Gen Z is accustomed to decentralized, peer-based learning models and responds better to managers who take on a mentor role rather than top-down authority. They want business leaders to ask for their input and co-develop solutions with them. Gen Z is less likely to blindly respect hierarchy for its own sake.

While managing Gen Z talents, you must adopt an inclusive leadership approach that makes space for Gen Z perspectives when setting policies that affect them. Institute regular touchpoints to gather firsthand feedback. Guide your Gen Z team members by asking empowering questions rather than dictating instructions, and help them reach their own innovative conclusions.

7. Organizational Culture Must Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Growing up exposed to diverse peers and role models, Gen Z expects workplaces to mirror this experience. They want recruitment, hiring, and promotions to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across gender, ethnicity, orientation, and ability. Signaling your commitment to diversity and inclusion through actions will resonate with this generation.

However, make sure your words match observable behaviors throughout the employee lifecycle. Examine where bias could sneak in during hiring, assignments, promotions, and so on.

8. Professional Development Is Crucial

Eager to keep growing, Gen Z looks for employers offering extensive learning and upskilling opportunities relevant to their current role and potential future career paths. They expect employee benefits such as formal training opportunities, access to experts, tuition assistance, conference participation, and opportunities for online courses.

Create personalized development plans informed by employees' strengths and interests. Bring in knowledgeable guest speakers and coaches. Curate TED talks, podcasts, and webinars tied to your team's goals.

Transparency around career development pathways helps Gen Z employees envision futures at your organization and fuels retention. Support this generation's huge appetite for knowledge to keep your talent pipeline strong.

9. Mental Health and Well-Being Must Be a Priority

Rejecting hustle culture attitudes, Gen Z refuses to grind themselves down for jobs that don't value their well-being. They desire holistic wellness support from employers. To cater to this desire, you can do the following:

  • Make counseling services accessible
  • Encourage open dialogues around mental health
  • Offer stress management guidance
  • Provide time off for mental health days
  • Host workshops on resilience
  • Create quiet recharge spaces
  • Train managers on detecting burnout warning signs

When Gen Z's well-being takes center stage, their performance shines.

Help Gen Z Feel at Home To Improve Retention and Productivity

Rather than resist the workplace culture shift driven by Gen Z values, lean into it. When you provide Gen Z employees the purpose-driven flexibility and whole-self support they expect, you receive their passion, innovation, and loyalty in return.

With unique benefits tailored to Gen Z's priorities, your company culture can transform into a beloved home where this generation thrives. That's where Scoop comes in, providing a hybrid work planning tool purposefully built for the modern work landscape. It seamlessly enables the flexible, connected, and tech-enabled work environment Gen Z craves.

Amidst the rise in hybrid and remote work schedules, Scoop allows employees to effortlessly plan and schedule optimal in-office days and sync calendars, enabling those spontaneous "water cooler" moments vital for team culture. With seamless integration with existing tools such as Slack and Google Calendar, Scoop makes scheduling team days, networking events, and mentoring meetings simple.

Unlock Gen Z's full potential with Scoop and build an engaging, flexible, and tech-enabled hybrid workplace where they'll love to work. Get started for free today.

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