What is Generation Z?
Generation Z, also called Gen Z, is the generational cohort following millennials, born between the late 1990s and early 2010s. Research indicates that Generation Z is the largest generation in American history and constitutes 27 percent of the country’s population.
Generational cohorts are defined by birth years rather than age, so the age range of Gen Z will continue to shift over time. Most sources agree that Gen Z begins around 1997 and ends around 2010, so as of 2020, the Generation Z age range is roughly between 10 and 23 years old. Many of the oldest members of Gen Z now make up a significant portion of the workforce.
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What are the characteristics of Generation Z?
Generation Z is the most diverse generation so far in United States history, with 49 percent who identify themselves as non-white. They are also considered digital natives since they grew up after the advent of the Internet and during the rise of smartphones—in fact, one figure shows that 98 percent of Generation Z members own a smartphone. As such, Generation Z is known for spending much more time online or connected to a smart device than previous generations, the average being three hours a day.
Another trend that researchers have observed from Gen Z is their desire for personal financial education and stability. Many grew up watching their parents struggle through the Great Recession. As a result, they are concerned about future finances and preparing now by opening savings accounts and avoiding debt.
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Generation Z in the workplace
It's unclear how Gen Z will be identified in the workplace because they've only recently entered the workforce. According to preliminary research, they are self-sufficient, hardworking, and well-educated. They appear to be driven by employment stability and financial rewards as a result of the financial challenges they witnessed as children. They are also concerned about issues of equality as the most diverse generation and wish to work for organisations that focus such concerns.
One of Generation Z's most noticeable work qualities is their proclivity for multitasking. Many people are accustomed to moving between apps fast, and they may approach their job projects in the same way.
Despite their constant connection to technology, Generation Z employees prefer face-to-face contact to digital alternatives. It also very difficult to retain and engage Gen Z employee. In fact, according to one statistic, up to 72 percent prefer face-to-face talks. This could be a reaction to the workplace's shift toward collaboration technologies like chat and email, and employers may begin to notice a return to more conventional, human contact.