Helping small business owners understand Generation Z.
Okay boomer! If you’ve ever had that phrase directed at you, chances are it came from a zoomer.
Generation Z is the newest cohort of young people entering the workforce, and they’re considered extremely tech savvy, motivated by flexibility and selective about what they’ll support. With baby boomers retiring in record numbers, generation Z is filling up the ranks, expected to make up nearly 30 per cent of the Canadian workforce in the years to come. As employers look to fill vacancies, understanding more about this group of 15- to 24-year-olds might make it a bit easier to attract and retain staff. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this generation tick.
With texting, YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram front and centre, zoomers communicate and voraciously consume information like no other generation – spending an average of four hours daily on social media (nearly twice as long as older generations). When it comes to staying in touch, 94 per cent prefer texting, followed by chatting on the phone at 89 per cent and connecting through social media at 88 per cent.
And then there’s the attention span.
Between juggling multiple texting conversations on a mobile device, streaming a video on a tablet and doing a little gaming on the laptop, zoomers are fully immersed in a highly stimulating environment where information is available in an instant and attention spans are short. In fact, the average attention span for zoomers is about eight seconds. However, don’t underestimate their ability to research and process information faster than previous generations.
Valuing the workplace
Their tech-savvy skillset might suggest that zoomers would love working remotely, as many people had to during the pandemic. But surprisingly, a lot of 20-somethings say they prefer to work at the office rather than at home. In a global study of 3,000 employees, the vast majority of generation Z respondents said they felt more engaged and found it easier to bond with colleagues in an office setting.
This is also a generation that values work-life balance and takes great interest in what a company stands for. In the latest Randstad Workmonitor survey, 41 per cent of zoomers said they’ve quit a job because it didn’t fit with their personal life. And 42 per cent said they’d be willing to earn less if it meant they felt their job helped to make the world a better place.
A few more points to keep in mind
Zoomers value meaningful work. Think about what your company culture is and how you put your values into action. This might include getting involved in community initiatives and showcasing company values through shareable employee testimonials.
This generation does its research, so you’ll want to ensure that your web presence clearly represents company values on equality, diversity, the environment, social justice and more.
Include younger staff in conversations about shaping the work environment. Ask them to outline what a positive work environment means to them, and what they value in an employer and company. By including staff in helping create guidelines for working better, you help to foster an inclusive environment where everyone’s ideas matter – another factor that’s important to zoomers.
With a bit of insight into their driving motivations, employers have a ripe opportunity to tap into the bright minds of this generation. There’s no doubt this is a group of employees that will leave their mark on how we all think about work-life balance, flexibility and working with purpose to influence and support the greater good.
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