Millennials vs Generation Z why should businesses understand the similarities and differences?
How can I prepare my business for the millennials and Generation Z this emerging generation that will help your business to thrive for tomorrow.
5 Key Similarities?
- Short tenure: 83% of todays students and graduates believe that 3 years or less is the appropriate amount of time to spend at their first job or with an employer. 91% of millennials believe the same. (http://fortune.com/generation-z-in the workplace).
- Company skepticism: Millenials have no brand allegiance nor any real loyalty to a company similarly Generation Z having witnessed and lived through financial crisis and controversies of company information leaks.
- Development focused: the most important workplace factor for both Gen Y and Gen Z is opportunity for advancement. They will leave an organisation if it is too slow for their own progression, lack of career development and learning and they will seek out continual opportunities to stretch their roles and experiences.
- Mentor seeking: neither want a boss or manager they want a coach or a mentor. They seek out mentorship systems that will help forge strong skills and build relationships and networks.
- Making a Difference: they want to believe that the work they do makes a difference not just within the current workplace but towards having an impact on the world – this to them is more important than professional recognition.
5 Key differences between Gen Z and Millenials:
Generation Z were born after 1995, this means that they will be entering the market place from now onwards. This emerging workforce will inform how we attract, retain and develop the new talent of tomorrow. By 2020 they will account for 1/3 of the population certainly worth paying attention to and to prepare for.
- Pragmatic – growing up in turbulent times such as the global recession and political changes have made Gen Zers more realistic that opportunities are not boundless (like Millenials believe) and that this means they want to continue and develop new skills to stay reverent. They are more risk averse and seek out stability and security than the freedom and flexibility Millenials desire. This coincides with making them more money focused due to looming student debt, increased house prices and social security depletion.
- 8 second attention span – Gen Z have lived in a fast paced technological world, where information is processed faster and on multiple platforms, they therefore have the ability to use and process data faster than any other generations thanks to apps like SnapChat, Instagram and YouTube. However this also means their attention spans might be significantly lower than Millenials, with an average of 8 seconds of time where they filter what they needs and then move on to the next chunk of information. They have a much higher instinctive relationship with technology. They shift from work and play, real and virtual in short intense spurts – how will they redefine the workplace with this type of workflow?
- Entrepreneurial – opting for apprenticeships or internships rather than traditional higher education route will mean businesses need to ramp up their presence and offering in such schemes. Gen Zers will seek online studies and be more likely to start work earlier. They will become the new breed of hackers, activities, gamers and entrepreneurs as they view gamers like athletes and YouTubers as celebrities. They will seek businesses that are unique, their brands and their leaders need to give them the individualism they desire. Their aspirations are to one day start their own business not be the CEO of an established organisation.
- More global – millennials are considered to be the first global generation but as more of the world comes online Generation Z will become more global in there thinking, interactions and align more with their global peers than ever before. Diversity and Inclusion will be an expectation of Generation Z.
- More independent – most Generation Z parents are Generation Xers who are likely to be less self-esteem focused that Baby Boomers were as Millenial parents. Get X parents are aware of the negativity surrounding the ‘everyone gets a trophy’ approach and will therefore act more as a coach than a friend to their Gen Z children. This could translate to the workplace with more Gen Z requiring a greater programme of mentoring and coaching, not to have a single or matrix set of managers but groups of people that work on projects together who guide each other, making their peers and global colleagues sources of information and guidance.