There are currently four generations in the U.S. workforce, and very soon, a fifth will join the mix. Known as the wireless generation or generation z, these professionals have lived their entire lives with the Internet: their social network of choice is Snapchat and they can research whatever they need in three minutes or less.
How can organizations prepare for the five generations that will soon be in the workforce—and the wireless generation, in particular? Here’s what this new group of young workers brings to the table:
Gen Z grew up with technology: Googling and self-teaching are almost second-nature. With these capabilities, they bring a strong sense of independence to the workforce. Give them a task, with very little direction and they’ll forge their own paths forward. To this generation, information already exists. They just need a few minutes to find it, teach themselves and become experts!
Managers should harness this energy by giving Gen Z their space to learn. When assigning tasks, avoid micromanaging: give young team members an opportunity to problem-solve on their own. This group needs very little guidance to get up and running—embrace it.
The wireless generation is accustomed to instant satisfaction: they’re not willing to wait for answers. If a method seems arduous, they’ll find a better way. Digital technologies are almost second-nature to them and many have been learning to code from a very young age. They’ll bring this aptitude to the workplace and won’t hesitate to introduce creative solutions to tried and true challenges.
Managers can best support Gen Z by allowing them to forge their own paths forward. Rather than walking them through the status quo, ask this group to recommend process improvements and to bring new ideas to the table.
For Gen Z, the world at large has always been a few clicks away. These individuals grew up with instant access to streaming video from National Geographic, international television channels and resources from different parts of the world. Some have even gone as far as teaching themselves new languages. They understand a world beyond their own and are bringing the perspectives that they learn to their everyday responsibilities.
Managers should embrace this trait by asking their Gen Z counterparts one simple question: “What do you think?” Expect Gen Z to answer this question thoughtfully, from a perspective that is well-researched and highly informed. Not to mention, you can sync them up with your international teams: members of the wireless generation will always have an open mind and hunger for new knowledge.
While some may see impatience as a negative quality, Gen Z has managed to make this trait their most powerful asset. The wireless generation doesn’t wait: they seek immediate answers to their questions and would prefer to complete projects sooner rather than later.
Managers should harness this attitude to the fullest. When equipped with the right tools, Gen Z workers will find ways to get projects done faster. Don’t get frustrated with the wireless generation’s impatience. Instead, do something about it: allow them to lead.
Empower Them, and They’ll Empower You
Every generation will benefit from working together and embracing each others’ strengths—which are, coincidentally, each others’ weaknesses too. Like their predecessors, Gen Z will find new ways to move your organization forward. We can help you take a step in the right direction and hire top tech talent from Generation Z! Contact any of our 70 offices to get started!