Oct 15, 2020 | 4
Minute Read

The New World of Work: Gen Z in the Workplace


The new world of work is made up of many factors: constantly improving technology, the global and national economy, new norms and social standards, and, importantly, the people making up the workforce in question. A significant portion of that workforce is made up of Gen Z, the latest demographic to join the workforce. Here’s what you need to know about them!

All statistics shared here, unless indicated otherwise, are taken from the 2020 Gen Z research recently shared by the Pew Research Center.



Who is Gen Z?

thunderbird-asu-students2Generation Z is the latest generation in the global population, composed of individuals born after 1996. Gen Z already makes up 24% of the workforce, and make up 24.3% of the U.S population, according to Forbes.

Many people still mistakenly identify young adults as Millennials. While there are some important similarities between the two generations, Gen Z are undeniably unique.



What Does Gen Z Bring to the Workplace?

brainstorming-at-a-meeting-room-of-creative-agency-1Now that you know Gen Z are entering the workforce, you might wonder why you should seek them out to join your organization.


High Levels of Education

  • Gen Z are on track to be the best educated generation ever, with a 5% increase in enrollment in college over Millennials and 14% increase over members of Gen X.
  • Gen Z is also more likely to have a college-educated parent, which reflects on the trend indicating more Americans than ever are pursuing higher education.

This means that college degrees are less and less of a differentiator in the workforce. It also means that you can expect up-to-date knowledge and high expectations from this academic generation. They’re comfortable with digital tools, analytics, and data, and they’re ready to adapt.


Work to Live, Not Live to Work

  • Roughly a quarter of our Gen Z respondents are dissatisfied with their work-life balance. Millennials have it slightly better, as only 18% are as unhappy. Commercial Cafe
  • “If given the choice of accepting a better-paying but boring job versus work that was more interesting but didn’t pay as well, Gen Z was fairly evenly split over the choice.” Deloitte

Gen Z aren’t showing up for work that doesn’t matter to them, period. You need to show them upfront that their investment of their work and careers will be reflected back to them in their values. They are not willing to spend a lifetime at a company without serious compensation and meaning within the organization. (More on this later!)


Diversity in All Areas

  • Half (52%) of Gen Z are non-Hispanic white, a sharp decrease from Millennials, who in 2002 were 61% white.
  • 25% of Gen Z is Hispanic, 14% is Black, 6% is Asian and 5% is some other race or two or more races.
  • 35% of Gen Z personally know someone who prefers to use gender-neutral pronouns.
  • 50% of Gen Z think that society is not accepting enough of nonbinary people.

Much like their Millennial predecessors, Gen Z are tolerant and accepting of others. Members of Gen Z are more politically progressive than other generations, regardless of party affiliation. In general, Gen Z supports non-traditional families, the LBGTQ+ community, and equality in the workplace. They are also the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in the United States.



What You Need to Support Gen Z in the Workplace

business-women-having-a-conversation-1Members of Gen Z will be huge assets to your organization, and will make up a majority of the workforce before you know it. Here’s what you need to support them in their work environments.


Establish Authenticity

Gen Z has a keen eye for details. They’ve been marketed to their entire lives, and as a result, they know when a business isn’t being genuine. This is something you need to consider in every factor of your business, from your communications to your marketing to your social media presence. If you can’t back up your company culture or mission statements with tangible actions, Gen Z is going to notice.


Find a Mission in Your Work

Speaking of that mission, you need to make sure that your company has one! Gen Z wants to do work that matters. 93% of Gen Z said that a company’s impact on society affects their decision to work there, according to Ryan Jenkins. That’s not a statistic you can ignore.

An easy place to start is to link your company with a local charity. Offer personal days for volunteer work and organize that work across teams. While core beliefs should be present in everything you do, every day, this visible output will go a long way with Gen Z.


Create a Diverse Workplace

It makes sense that a diverse and inclusive generation would want a workplace to reflect those values as well, and they do; 77% of Gen Z said that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there.

The good news is that increasing the diversity within your organization will only help your business efforts. “Diversity encompasses a lot of different elements; race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability and disability, and even diversity of thought,” shared Jaime Faulkner, TTI SI’s content manager. “Research shows that diversity improves virtually every aspect of an organization; diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee, according to Deloitte. McKinsey shares that racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better than their less diverse peers.”


Develop Your Team With Mentoring

A top priority of Gen Z is to develop their careers. 73% of Gen Z would like to be taught one-on-one, and 85% believe straightforward communication is the most important part of succeeding in the workplace. Make sure your team members have regular communication with their direct reports, and provide them with external development.



Move Forward with Gen Z in the New World of Work

Gen Z is, quite simply, the future of the world of work. Their values, demographics, education, and skill sets are all exciting indicators of where we’re going and where we can go. Follow these guiding principles and set your organization up for success.

If you’re looking for a way to elevate your business and develop your employees, contact TTI SI here.

If you’re not a member of our network but want to learn more, find the information you need here.

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Jaime Faulkner