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Preparing for Gen Z in the workplace

Perhaps you’ve heard—businesses are soon welcoming Gen Z. This is the generational cohort said to begin with those born in 1998 or later.

This means they are 20 or 21 years old now and are about to apply to work with your company.

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So what are they like and how are they different from millennials and older generations?

First of all, Gen Zs are digital natives—they’ve grown up with devices and with social media. Some of their values and ideals are different from millennials.

We asked Anna Esperanza, an organizational development consultant, for some tips on what an organization can do to keep up with the imminent change in workforce dynamics, brought about by the arrival of Gen Zs.

Optimize entry-level jobs through technology

To any organization, data is king; a valuable commodity to key decision makers.

Optimizing entry-level jobs allows the youngest workforce, Gen Z, to be early contributors at the onset of their job.

This technology savvy generation is ready and up for the challenge to continuously change the way businesses operate; optimizing information gathering, and making data useful for business.

As quick adaptors, they just need access to technology to learn and apply learned concepts into practical applications.

Like their predecessors, the millennials, the Gen Zs are all about “working smart, and simplicity of use.”

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Yet, the Gen Zs focus on value contribution. Their perceived mantra is “help me get there.”

They are likely to collaborate but at the same time would want to be autonomous.

They are out to prove themselves and want to be recognized for their own merits.

Both generations are naturally “design and user centric.” They can make technology adaptable across all generations.

For example, they could make simple Excel spreadsheets become a data mining pool with the use of a few formula clicks and links.

Adapt and embrace a change in organizational culture

As the younger workforce population rapidly increases, businesses need to be flexible and adaptable, allowing a steady change in their organizational culture.

The usual structure with clear lines of work divisions—hierarchic with clearly defined cultural protocols—is now being replaced with “fluidity.”

Gen Zs are living through and are continually living in an oppressive environment; they see disagreements in faith, politics, beliefs and practices that lead to civil wars, poverty and injustice.

This makes this younger workforce in constant search for humanity, truth, transparency and authenticity.

They have a strong desire to work in an environment wherein their personal values are equally respected and viewed as important.

They are mindful about their way of life and their decisions, and they prefer to work with companies who embrace sustainability, diversity, inclusion and gender fluidity.

Even as they go for equal opportunities, they value an organizational culture that promotes fluidity at work, allows varying work styles and is respectful of personal boundaries.

All these would keep the young ones engaged and imbued with a desire and motivation to stay committed to the job.

Truly these initiatives are not only good for the young, these can help all generations live more meaningful and purposeful lives.

Create an agile career developmental plan

The ability to practice one’s work style and being autonomous is integral for the younger generation workforce. By creating a rotation program across the organization, companies benefit on “new and raw” talent.

While doing so, Gen Zs get to enhance their competencies and increase their capacity to execute.

As a result of this initiative, Gen Z’s level of interest is high, as they are more engaged.

This, too, makes their “job restlessness” behavior more manageable; making the experiences they seek available within the workplace.

Another option is to do ad hoc, bite-sized, low-risk projects.

By doing this kind of program, the Gen Zs safely explore and learn new subject matter.

And furthermore, the company not only addresses the needs of the younger workforce, but also supports succession planning by preparing the future leaders of the organization.

Esperanza will conduct another run of “Multi- Generation Workforce Management: Bridging work styles across a diverse workforce” on Sept. 24, 2019, at the Inquirer Academy.

The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City. For more information about the courses or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may email [email protected], call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Karl Paz, or visit www.facebook.com/InquirerAcademy.

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TAGS: Business, Gen Z, workplace
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