In 2017, Lovell Corporation released a report exploring the emerging, post-millennial Generation “Z”. The results concluded that Generation Z can be understood as the “Change” generation, with the findings summarised below.
A survey of over 2,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 36 from across Canada. The report highlights generational differences in career aspirations, work priorities, communication preferences and memories across these age groups.
Out of the 2,000 surveyed, pursuing a career in entrepreneurship was the most popular option, followed closely by public sector work. For those who were not working, fewer than half expressed an interest in pursuing employment within the private sector. Whether Generation Z or Millennial, participants appeared driven to forge their own pathway in life, with over 50% having owned, or considered starting their own business.
This shows that employers now need to connect this generation’s long term career goals with their initial roles.
Respondents were asked to rate the importance of 28 work value priorities. For Generation Z, the top 3 priorities emerged:
- Interesting work
- Being proud of organisations they work for
- Doing work they are passionate about and believe in
We are now seeing a generation that prioritises purpose in their work above all else. They want to fuel their passions, and seek to have pride in what they do. Generation Z is also more inclined to consider positive work impact and relationships as a key indicator of their success.
Work and Career Opportunities
In terms of support from employers, Millennials place the highest emphasis on training, career support and education, whilst Generation Z seek greater mental health support. With young professionals now increasingly seeing education as an important priority within their work, employers need to think about how to support this generation. Young professionals are at the helm of pushing for corporate responsibility and transparency within business, setting themselves aside from previous generations. Employers wishing to retain this talent should think about fostering a culture that ensures well-being is of the utmost importance.
When considering young professionals, social media is often automatically assumed to be preferable. It is now a domain in which Generation Z gain much of their understanding of the world. Despite the rise of social media, email is still the preferred method of communication for both Millennials and Generation Z. Contrary to perceived wisdom, these generations were also shown to dislike seemingly popular communication channels such as Whatsapp and Snapchat.
Formative events such as the progress in LGBT rights, Donald Trump’s election and the Middle Eastern conflict have shaped these generations’ world views, igniting a strong passion for inclusion and equality in many of today’s young people. Engaging the workforce of these generations means employers need to understand how these collective memories have shaped young people’s motives, values, and needs, and how this translates into supporting them effectively in work.
Generation Z have grown up in a world that is more digitally connected than ever before, and they are now more aware of the economic challenges and global crises that prevail. Generation Z desire purpose, seeking meaningful work that create impact and aligns with their passions and beliefs.
In short, this is a generation that knows what they want, and are driven to seize every opportunity to grab it.