Generation Z – What You Need to Know

Two weeks ago, I presented a keynote on generations at a conference with an emphasis on Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Easy enough, as I have been researching generations and sharing new qualities and similarities to audiences for quite some time. What does surprise me is how some are reluctant to embrace some generations, instead pointing out perceived flaws in character, work habits, communication and more. I laugh (mostly internally) because it’s often much of the same as before as if this generation or that is the doom of us all! Nonsense!

I’ve stated thousands of times and will not back down on my statement that EVERY generation moves this country forward. They simply and beautifully do it in their own way. This is good. This is important. And, not being the same as someone 15-25 years older than you is a good thing. Okay, rant over. Now, let’s get down to stats you for you to chew on and use professionally and personally.

Gen Z Overview

Gen Z is big. This is good for the country from a work, economic, birth and the overall growth of our society.

Coming in at around 69 million, they represent 20% of our population.

Age range is 12-26.

In 2025, they will be about 27% of the workforce.

Are you ready? How can you prepare for them? Are you freaking out because you don’t know who to communicate with them at work? I got you covered. Here’s what I know.

Generation Z has gone through:

  • The Great Recession
  • COVID-19, home school, isolation
  • Fast learners-really fast. Driven, Practical
  • Very social, confident and realistic
  • Smartphones
  • Snapchat, Twitter
  • Independent, in a rush, prefer to communicate in person or via text

Look at them as the Silent Generation (before Boomers) meets Millennials on steroids! They’re concerned, optimistic, stay at jobs longer and prefer job security more than Gen X and Millennials.

How Generation Z Works

There’s more.

  • Convinced it is brutal, a jungle! Likes to work in office
  • Cautious- want to succeed- Jobs via Twitter!!!
  • Very entrepreneurial-want their own company
  • Think Silent Gen./Vets meets Gen. Z
  • Over 40% of US consumers!
  • Communicates best by smartphone/email
  • Their Network of people is their true power- more than job qualifications
  • Job/ hobby = same thing! Age is 2023: 12-26

Generation Z is entering high school, graduated, looking for work and going to college. They don’t want to amass debt like past generations had to do to obtain a 2 or a 4-year degree and are, instead, opting to go directly to the workplace. There, they can learn, take classes online, attend at night/weekends and perhaps get their employer to help with the costs. Smart!

And then, there’s this.

 Workplace Management Generation Z

38 percent of Generation Z cited “honesty/integrity” as the top quality sought in a boss, followed by “mentoring ability” (21 percent)

65 percent of Generation Z is already comfortable being monitored in some fashion or another at work

70 percent of Generation Z would rather share personal information with their pet than with their boss

67 percent of Generation Z is comfortable with having their manager check in with them but only for five minutes or less

20 percent of Generation Z said they would rather go to the dentist than have their boss check in on them frequently

94 percent of Generation Z said they trust their supervisor’s input more than Yahoo! Answers

32 percent of Generation Z believe they will be managing employees in a corporate environment within the next five years

Now, you’re better informed on what you need to know about Generation Z. They’re motivated by careers and so far, stay at a job longer than Millennials and Gen X. They are cautious and optimistic about their future. They have a huge amount of spending power. Get to know them at work. Learn from them. Educate them as they are open to kind and focused feedback. And, behind them and even bigger in numbers in Gen Alpha. They’re not in the workplace yet, so that information will be down the road.