Generation Z – digital, permanently online and globally networked. An often-used description, but not very meaningful. Who are Generation Z and what do they expect from their employers?
Researchers have turned their attention to Generation Z. While various studies have been published on our use of social media and attitude towards brand images, a qualitative perspective remains largely lacking. Of course we use Snapchat and Instagram more than our older colleagues, but this says very little about what I feel makes an ideal employer. And this is exactly what employers need to know: what do we expect from our employers, how do we like to work and what are the implications for the employment world?
Inner values are key
When I speak to my younger colleagues, it soon becomes clear that the traditional career ladder has run its course. Be it cookery apprenticeships, IT studies or banking internships: if the profession for which they have trained no longer appeals, they simply change it. Thanks to the open education system, anything is possible, even after completing their initial training, as Generation Z is only too aware. No matter how good the employer – if they don’t like the job, they won’t do it anymore.
This is reflected in their expectations of their preferred form of work. Whether working from home or in an office, as a freelancer or permanent employee – all this is of secondary importance, provided the work content is right. They do appreciate a certain degree of flexibility, however.
Willing to deliver outstanding performance
But this is also where employers have the opportunity to distinguish themselves. If you trust Generation Z and give us the chance to personally excel, we’re extremely willing to go the extra mile. Even if we do take this opportunity, however, it’s still only a question of time until we leave the company. It shouldn’t only be employees who are loyal to their employers, but also the other way around.
In my opinion, Generation Z represents young people entering the employment market, who are motivated, open and flexible, but also headstrong in terms of work. If you want to exploit our full potential, you need to recognise and accept this. When starting work, our employer, and even our job, are interchangeable – this is what employers need to change, thereby enabling them to inspire young people to stay with a company, even in the long-term, and translate their motivation into action.
Published 28.04.2017 © Brandsoul AG