The youngest millennial is 22 years old, while the oldest is well into their adulthood at 36. The next generation is now reaching adulthood and the workforce. Known as Generation Z, the i Generation, Net Gen, and Digital Natives — it’s clear popular culture is still undecided on Gen Z’s identity. Though their impact on workforce characteristics is still a mystery to many, Generation Z is already different than those who came before them. Despite sharing an affinity towards technology with their millennial peers, they tend to be more financially wary and independently minded.
To prepare your workplace for the next wave of young professionals, you need to understand what motivates these new employees. Generation Z has never known a world without smartphones. Unlike millennials, they tend to value face-to-face communication. The rise of video chatting and face-time has given them a greater inclination towards verbal communication than their slightly older peers. This new generation’s childhood was shaped by the Great Recession of 2008. The median net worth of Generation Z’s parents fell by nearly 45% during this time. As a result, Gen Z values financial stability and hard work more than their predecessors.
In addition to being more adept with technology and globally minded, Generation Z offers many benefits to your workplace. With the latest education and a mind for the future, hiring young grads can reinvigorate your business with new ideas and strategies. Generation Z is one of the most well-educated, diverse, and hard-working generations. So whether your business is well-established, or still growing, making your workplace friendly to this new workforce can help ensure that it continues to be sustainable for generations to come.
Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a GM at NerdWallet.
Meredith launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending and financial management.