The Rise of Gen Z in the Workforce: Implications for Employers
According to a recent Glassdoor trend forecast report, Gen Z is set to surpass Baby Boomers and become a larger portion of the U.S. workforce next year. This demographic shift carries significant implications for employers, as highlighted by Glassdoor's chief economist, Aaron Terrazas. With Boomers reaching retirement age and Gen Zers increasingly entering the workforce, a transformative change is underway.
Changing Demographics and Work Priorities
The trend is primarily driven by the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, with most Boomers ranging in age from 60 to 78 next year. On the other hand, Gen Zers, aged 12 to 27 next year, are graduating from school and joining the workforce. While Gen Z is expected to eventually surpass Gen X as well, it will take longer to overtake millennials, as millennials currently outnumber all other generations in the United States.
Attitudinal Differences and Expectations
Gen Z is coming of age in a vastly different time compared to Boomers, characterized by political turmoil and the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, their overall attitudes about work and their expectations differ from those of their grandparents. Gen Z workers have a preference for employers that demonstrate social impact, offer upward mobility, and provide creative opportunities. They value flat organizational structures and desire their opinions to be heard, regardless of their experience or tenure.
Political Engagement and Work-Life Balance
Compared to other generations, Gen Z is more inclined to engage in political discussions at work and expects company leadership to be vocal about issues they care about. They are particularly concerned with achieving a healthy work-life balance and prioritize flexible jobs that enable this balance. Interestingly, despite their affinity for remote work, Gen Z overwhelmingly prefers in-person work interactions, as revealed by a recent Fiverr survey.
Development Opportunities and Job Satisfaction
As early-career workers, many Gen Zers highly value development opportunities and regular feedback. A survey by HR software company StaffCircle found that 73% of Gen Z workers are willing to quit their jobs if their managers fail to provide both. Additionally, Gen Z is not afraid to job-hop if they find their work situations unsatisfactory, as indicated by a January LinkedIn report.
In light of these trends, employers, particularly executives, will need to engage in soul-searching to find effective ways to retain and motivate their youngest employees. The rise of Gen Z in the workforce presents both challenges and opportunities for organizations seeking to adapt to the changing dynamics of the modern workplace.
Hot Take: The Ascendancy of Gen Z in the Workforce and Its Impact on New Businesses
The impending demographic shift in the U.S. workforce, with Gen Z set to surpass Baby Boomers, carries significant implications for new businesses. This transformative change, as highlighted by Glassdoor's chief economist, Aaron Terrazas, is primarily driven by the aging of the Baby Boomer generation and the entrance of Gen Z into the workforce.
Work Priorities and Expectations
New businesses must be cognizant of the attitudinal differences and expectations of Gen Z. Raised in a time of political turmoil and the Covid-19 pandemic, Gen Z workers prioritize social impact, upward mobility, and creative opportunities. They value flat organizational structures and want their voices to be heard, irrespective of their experience or tenure.
Workplace Engagement and Flexibility
Gen Z's inclination for political engagement at work and their expectation for vocal leadership on issues they care about present a new dynamic for businesses to navigate. Furthermore, their strong desire for work-life balance and flexible jobs, coupled with a preference for in-person work interactions, adds a layer of complexity for businesses seeking to attract and retain Gen Z talent.
Development Opportunities and Employee Retention
As early-career workers, Gen Z highly values development opportunities and regular feedback. A willingness to quit jobs where these are lacking, and a readiness to job-hop if work situations are unsatisfactory, present challenges for new businesses.
In response to these trends, new businesses, particularly at the executive level, will need to devise effective strategies to retain and motivate their youngest employees. The rise of Gen Z in the workforce presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses seeking to adapt to the evolving dynamics of the modern workplace.