There has been a lot of talk about Generation Y – or the Millennials as they are also referred to. We know the misconceptions most people have about them: They are lazy, entitled narcissists, selfish and shallow. And we all know they are not really all those things – they’re quite alright actually.
But what comes after Generation Y? Generation Z of course.
So, what are these so-called Digital Natives like? Why are they even called Digital Natives? And how will they act in the workplace? What do they expect from their future employers?
Digital Natives are the generation that was born during or after the introduction of digital technologies and therefore has a greater level of comfort using it. They are basically the “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. This makes the rest of us, who weren’t born into a digital world, “digital immigrants”.
Millennials are already in the workplace and will be making up a big chunk of the workforce soon. And Gen Z is not far off from moving into the workplace. What can you, as an employer and manager expect?
The way the economy is going, Generation Z is most likely to be more money-driven than their older counterparts. Not because they are greedy, but mainly because they have lived through the recession and probably have seen their parents struggling through it. Another factor to consider is what they look for in a boss. One word: honesty. This is true for both generations. What they look for is top leadership quality – they want to have a transparent and authentic work environment and want to be included in important discussions. They want to be a proper part of the company and to get involved – and stay interested and motivated – they need to know what’s going on. Generation Z more so than Generation Y want a good career outlook and want to be mentored by inspiring individuals.
Generation Z characteristics are:
– Eager to build a better planet
– Prudent (savers, not spenders)
– Tolerant of racial, sexual and generational diversity
Mark McCrindle of McCrindle Research goes as far as this: “They are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation in history. They don’t just represent the future, they are creating it.” Others go even farther by believing that Generation Z are the “superheroes that will save the world”.
What makes people think that the future of our planet and well-being could all be down to our Digital Natives?
In the next post we will delve deeper into some of the achievements of Digital Natives, which is likely to convince you that Gen Z might indeed be “superheroes”.