You’ve no doubt heard about Millennials (also known as Generation Y, born after 1980) for years now. But recent reports indicate a new generation (dubbed Generation Z or simply Gen Z) is growing up behind the scenes, and is set to emerge as the incoming workforce.
Born after 1995, members of the emerging Gen Z are expected to become the dominant business influencers of tomorrow. Thanks to social media, these teens of today are accustomed to engaging with friends all over the world, which means they are well prepared for a global business environment.
Generation Z, Business Influencers of Tomorrow
According to a timely whitepaper on managing generations in the workplace created by Accounting Principals, a finance and accounting staffing firm headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla, the American workforce today is more diverse than ever. This is, in part, thanks to the fact that four different generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers and Millennials) are all working together.
And now the first group of Generation Z graduates from college is primed to enter the workforce starting this year, reports a worldwide workplace study by Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and Randstad, a HR services and staffing company.
Apparently, Gen Z has a clear advantage over Gen Y in the workplace.
“Gen Z has a clear advantage over Gen Y because they appear to be more realistic instead of optimistic, are likely to be more career-minded, and can quickly adapt to new technology to work more effectively,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and Author of ‘Promote Yourself’ in a press release. “Additionally, since Gen Z has seen how much Gen Y has struggled in the recession, they come to the workplace better prepared, less entitled and more equipped to succeed.”
Gen Z, Better Prepared for Success and Less Entitled
While the youngest members of the Gen Z cohort are still toddlers, and it is easy to be skeptical of the efforts of researchers who shoehorn millions of adolescents into a generational archetype, understanding this emerging generation will be critical to companies that want to succeed in the next decade and beyond.
By now you are probably aware that the oldest Millennials are 35. They are still a youthful workforce. Getting the two young generations to work together effectively can set your business apart. For small businesses interested in tapping the full potential of Millennials and the emerging Gen Z workforce, it is necessary to learn some of the key contrasts differentiating the two generations.
Accounting Principals conducted research into the generational differences between Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace, and put together a useful infographic that highlights the key differences. Some of the main contrasts you might want to keep in mind include:
- Gen Z wants to change the world; 60 percent want to have an impact on the world compared to 39 percent of Millennials
- Gen Z-ers multitask across at least five screens a day and spend 41 percent of time outside of school/work with computers or mobile devices compared to 22 percent of Millennials 10 years ago
- One in two Gen Z-ers will be University educated, versus 1 in 4 Millennials
- Gen Z is 55 percent more likely to want to start a business and hire others.
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