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5 things HR professionals need to know about Generation Z

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It's finally time to move on from the 'Millennial Madness' we have faced over the last decade and make way for Generation Z!

Born between the early 1990s and the mid-2000s, this group of individuals are next up to join the workforce. How do they differ from Millennials you may ask? In a lot of ways.

It's important to consider characteristics of Generation Z, how they differ from their closest generational relatives (Millennials), what they want and expect from work and the implications for HR.

Is HR ready for the challenge of motivating a new generation with unique hopes, dreams and values? Let’s find out.

1. Gen Z are very digital savvy

If you thought Millennials were the biggest adopters of the digital era think again. Generation Z have not only grown up with technology, they have been connected with it from birth. They will not remember a time without the internet or social media and are consuming information faster than any previous generation. HR professionals need to be prepared for these tech savvy employees and their associated short attention spans.

2. They expect workplace diversity

While the expectation for cultural, racial and gender diversity has been steadily increasing generation over generation, Generation Z is the first to overwhelmingly expect diversity at work. Social media has allowed them to become more connected with others from different cultures, backgrounds and circumstances and they expected nothing less when they enter the workforce.

3. Work perks are not enough!

Generation Z will not follow the same ‘lazy’ tag that is often associated with Millennials. Living through a global recession has made Generation Z more focused on sensible, stable careers; security; safety; and privacy. Rather than rewarding individuals with perks and flexibility, consider that Generation Z-ers may be more driven by traditional opportunities for advancement and development and improved economic security.

4. They are more entrepreneurial than Millennials

A recent study by Millennial Branding and Randstad USA Generation Z has highlighted that Generation Z are more entrepreneurial than Millennials. Managers and leaders can cultivate entrepreneurial goals at work by encouraging by fostering innovation, autonomy and encouraging more project ownership.

5. They prefer face to face communication

Millennial Branding and Randstad USA found that that 51% of Generation Z-ers prefer in-person communication with leaders. It is important to not assume that the digital savvy workface do not value meaningful conversations. While digital and social engagement, recognition and communication tools can still engage Generation Z, when it comes to feedback they want to be spoken to.

To find out more about Generation Z and how to be prepared, read the full article 5 things HR professionals need to know about Generation Z: Thought leaders share their views on the HR profession and its direction for the future published in Strategic HR Review.

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