It’s no secret millennials have changed and impacted the workplace as we know it, most notably the layout and operation of our workspaces. Open floor designs, flexible working hours and office amenities are some of the perks this generation seeks out when job hunting or desires from their current employer.
Say what you will about millennials, but it’s next generation of young workers, known as “Gen Z,” that is starting to enter college and will soon enter the workforce, bringing with them a new set of demands and expectations. While Gen Z may be close in age to their millennial counterparts, their differences shouldn’t be ignored.
Here are four ways to prepare your workplace for Generation Z.
1. Privacy Options
Like any business or company, determining whether the setup of an open office space is a success is up for debate. However, experts say future Gen Z employees won’t be as receptive to sharing a workspace compared to their millennial counterparts.
According to the design company Knoll, Gen Z expects order and predictability in their personal workspace, and that’s something an open office likely can’t offer. Of course, if the open office is too ingrained in your layout to change overnight, clearly separating areas for heads-down work and open collaboration will help Gen Z employees feel more organized.
2. Tools to Grow (Right Now)
Like millennials, Gen Z is invested in personal and career development. But unlike millennials, Gen Z wants these tools at their fingertips and demands more instant access. For example, millennials may be more interested in a conference or online course that lasts several weeks, but Gen Z doesn’t want to wait around to learn.Â
Even something as standard as a company call center should be configured for the Gen Z working style. In particular, setting up a cloud call center that’s nimble and can assist employees with a range of solutions is crucial to give young employees the instant development they desire.
3. Assure Job Security
Millennials want to make a difference and an impact in the workplace. While Gen Z holds those same values, they view job security even higher. In spite of an improved economy over the past several years, this next generation of workers is more aware that no job is guaranteed forever and more conscious about their own future with employers.Â
While a job cannot ever be guaranteed for anyone, your business or company can make a more concerted effort to define roles and responsibilities as well as growth opportunities that emphasize a more lasting future. Not sure how to go about it? A host of prominent HR organizations can advise and train employers how to lay out better career paths for their employees.
4. Create Healthy Competition
Because Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession, they believe life has winners and losers. This belief is the same in the workplace and creates a more competitive desire within Gen Z compared to millennials.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should recreate the sales floor from The Wolf of Wall Street, but it does mean you should create an environment of healthy competition. By offering transparent career paths, employees know what they need to accomplish to get ahead of their peers. This requires some navigation, but assuming everyone is on the same level playing field, it creates a healthy, competitive environment for this next generation of employees.
The contrast between Gen Z and millennials isn’t as drastic as millennials and Gen X or Baby Boomers, but it will require changes in your own work environment. Pay attention to privacy, development opportunities, job security and competition, and you will create a space for Gen Z to thrive.