Generation Z – What makes them different and what do they want?
While talk over the last decade has largely focused on
understanding the work habits and attitudes of Millennials, it’s already time
for a new generation to become the focus of attention.
Generation Z, the group born after the Millennials, is
entering their early adult years and starting their young careers. What makes
them different, and how will they approach things differently than past
generations? Let’s start with a quick recap of the Generational landscape.
The underlying belief is that generations share historical
or social life experiences, the effects of which are relatively stable over the
course of their lives. These life experiences tend to distinguish one
generation from another. Because of this, we can’t readily predict when one
generation will end, and another will begin or what will be enough of a change
to tip us over the edge from one generation into the next.
Broadly accepted age definitions used by demographers and
Generation Z: Birth years; mid-1990s to
mid-2000s. No consensus exists regarding ending birth years.
Generation Y (Millennials); Birth years, early
1980s ending in the mid-1990s to 2000s.
Generation X: Birth years; early-to-mid 1960s ending
in early 1980s.
Baby Boomers: Birth years; from early-to-mid 40s
ending in early 60s.
Generation Y (Millennials) compared to Generation Z
While generational differences cast a wide net and don’t necessarily apply to everyone, here is what demographers and researchers have identified as some of the key similarities and differences between Generation Z and Generation Y (Millennials).
We often talk about Generation Z as consumers but what can
we expect when Generation Z becomes part of our workforce?
Generation Z does not remember a time when the internet did
not exist – and as such, it’s not surprising to learn that 50% of Generation Z
spends 10 hours a day connected online, and 70% watch YouTube for two hours a
day or more.
Generation Z have some unique and somewhat unexpected traits. Generation Z prefers face-to-face interactions in the workplace and expects to work harder than past generations. Generation Z is also the most diverse generation (49% non-white) and values racial equality as a top issue. Finally, Generation Z is possibly one of the most practical generations, valuing things like saving money and securing stable employment.