Otherwise known as Generation Z, the post-digital generation were born between the mid-1990s and 2010. Unlike the baby boomers, this generation grew up through trying financial times and a lack of stability. Impact International, specialists in leadership development, explores the differences between how Gen Z feel towards teamwork and the workplace within a digital landscape.

Driven, and with a determination to succeed, Gen Z are notably recognised as people who are willing to work hard. In order for them to do this, technology will be a vital part of how employees will work and live within the future of the workplace. When compared to past generations who are still in work, this makes for an interesting comparison.

A different type of worker

Gen Z are more focused on learning new skills, which is unlike baby boomers who were born in the 1950s – who usually start in a job for life and progress through that career. By furthering their specific interests within the workplace, this generation learns by focusing in on online courses, online books, articles, videos and other digital mediums to learn and progress as they go.

It has been argued that Gen Z are more readily willing to adapt to change. This is because their abilities to process information are based on how they function within the workplace.

Players within a team?

Based on their own development, Gen Z are always looking to further their own skills and continue their progression within the workplace. Millennials are interconnected, using social media as a platform to always keep in touch with other people. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re always ready to engage in teambuilding in the traditional sense.

Team-orientated individuals is a more appropriate description of how individuals function within the workplace now, as opposed to strictly working as part of a team in the traditional sense.

In this way, Gen Z can feel as though they’re retaining their individuality – while performing individual tasks that contribute towards a whole-team ethos. This is unlike workers of the past, who would usually work together in less isolating environments so that a job was completed.

Responsibility is usually distributed evenly over a number of individuals within a horizontal management structure. In this way, Gen Z recognise that becoming successful and influential takes time; within the workplace, individuals need to demonstrate the importance of their own contributions to get noticed.

Alongside their own identity within the workplace, Gen Z can recognise the importance of the culture within a business, even though they aren’t as team-orientated overall. 79% of millennials feel that culture-building activities in the workplace are vital when it comes to their progression. However, only 41% of baby boomers aged 51-60 felt the same, which suggests that although Gen Z want to be individuals, their identity is linked to the work that they do every day.

The impact this has on the workplace

So that businesses can thrive in the future, workplace managers need to trust the new approaches and procedures Gen Z bring to the workplace. This is so their creativity is able to stand on their own two feet. If employees within this demographic feel as though they aren’t able to innovate and progress, this will lead to their performance being stifled in the workplace – contributing to a lack of motivation, or an attempt to leave the organisation.

Those who attempt to show talent and individual talent within the workplace are those who will succeed in the future – aided through progression and development into management. Although this is not dissimilar to how the workplace has functioned in the past, it’s more about how the whole can benefit the millennial employee, rather than Generation Z becoming part of the whole workforce.

Sources:

http://www.learnfest.co.uk/headline-acts

https://www.digitalistmag.com/future-of-work/2015/10/05/what-gen-z-arrival-means-for-recruiters-03509530

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270764

https://talentor.com/blog/2015/07/06/generation-z-in-the-workplace/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/11002767/Gen-Z-Gen-Y-baby-boomers-a-guide-to-the-generations.html

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