Characteristics of generation Z
- According to Forbes, Generation Z, born in between 1995-2005 are already showing their immense power in various sectors through technological transformation
- By 2026, Gen z could represent the largest U.S. consumer population of the world. This makes around 82 million people who will actively be involved in the market economy
- Gen Zers were immersed in technology as soon as they could hold an electronic device. It is the first generation in human history which is digitally native and were close to the technology nearly from their birth
Some of the major Characteristics of Generation z include:
- Financially focused: Generation z views their work as the means for proper satisfaction and end. Generation z always perceives that work is performed for financial reasons, unlike their millennial counterparts who often love what they do. They will readily accept those jobs which benefits them through higher income and prestige even though that’s not their dream. However, it cannot be said that this generation doesn’t prefer or love what they do. Whenever they have to decide between doing something substantial or getting a higher paycheck, they choose those jobs that provide them monetary benefits. These generations witness how quickly money disappears. So, they need to be focused on financially-driven actions to fulfill various obligations.
- Entrepreneurial: Generation z creates apps in their free time that make them overnight millionaires. This generation knows money spreads through goods ideas and innovation. They are ready to chase those ideas and believe that it will make them successful. They are also keenly aware that everything that they don’t know can be solved in simple steps just through a click. They are able to make bold decisions that could even solve complex and difficult problems. This general believes in making plans effective through strategic goals.
- Technologically innovative: The internet and cell phones are very common things from the time of their birth. They grow up engaging with technologies such as cell phones, i-pad, tablets, laptops, etc. Generation z knows that information is readily accessible and they need to solve their problem instantly. They can also have friends all over the world because connectivity makes communication virtually limitless. Communicating with someone distant away from them in another country might be easier than communicating with their own relative during a holiday meal. Generation z does a lot of online research and companies trying to communicate with them must serve and attract them through online means rather than old school methods of print, radio or television.
- Enjoys other people: Generation z likes face-to-face conversation which does not need to take place in the same physical location. They regularly utilize apps such as Face Time or Skype. They regularly have face to face conversations with their friends who are thousands of miles apart and utilize technologies of which they are so used to. Gen z has reduced amounts of eye contact, unlike the older ones. They are already so habitual with the technological development that they simply look into it even while they are at family discussions. However, it is not the symbol of disrespect which older generations interpret to them.
- Competitive: This generation is very focused and competitive in various sectors. They want to be best in schools, colleges and professionally at jobs as well. They want to be extra-ordinary in other activities such as sports or debate. Competition may sometimes be within them. This generation is constantly running with time to get the best version of them. They have very little patience they want to act quickly for what they want. They always have a fear that someone will beat them if they can’t run fast.
- Change is welcomed: Gen Z has a lot of knowledge and exposure to many different topics. This is because there is limitless information at their fingertips. This breadth of knowledge enables them to seek new ideas and experiences. Unlike previous generations, Generation z is actively engaged in political conversations. They have diverse opinions about political parties. However, many of them might not be able to vote. They can even be experts on various topics. They tend to go against all those reasons that push them back from achieving success. Ultimately, they are the ones to bring changes in the family and society.
- Diversity doesn’t register: Gen z is already grown up in a diverse world. Race, sexual orientation, religion, caste, etc. are not the identifying characteristics for these generations, unlike the older one. They simply identify human beings and get easily involved with them. It doesn’t mean they won’t judge people. This generation judge people on what they are rather than who they are. Generation z would be the last generation where the majority of the population is white. Gay marriage and a black president are common things. This generation accepts all sorts of diversity very easily making it their specialty.
- Prefers independence: Gen z has a higher preference to work independently. Millennial do believe in destiny and collaboration. However, the competitive nature of Gen z contributes to them wanting to control their own destiny. This generation does not believe in others for their success. They believe success is at their own hand if they labor hard with higher dedication. Members of Gen z may not prefer open work areas that were preferred by Millennial. Therefore, a company may have to re-think this strategy if they want to hire generation z.
- Wants to be heard: Generation z has strong ideas, opinions, and logic and therefore they want to be heard. This is very true when they are professionally bound together in the workplace. At the workplace, this generation wants to be an equal contributor. This generation believes that their ideas are very valuable, unlike other generations. However, they may lack experience and their ideas may not be realistic. They can come up with realistic ideas along with time. Their ability to change as per the time and situation, fast learning behavior, etc. makes them a strong voice to be heard in an organization.
- It can be a lot like their parents: Gen Z may argue a lot with Gen X because of diverse opinions and the generation gap. However, they are a lot like their Gen X parents. Behaviorally, Millennial also tend to reflect many of the characteristics of their parents. There might be some key distinguishing features between the two generations that separate them from each other. Gen z is focused on individualism and possesses a certain level of skepticism. Moreover, they are relatively optimistic and show a positive attitude with others though they cannot be fully trusted.
What are some of the weaknesses of Generation z in businesses?
Gen z is entering a large number into the workforce. They are high in number as well as have a great influence. These generations have already shown their power in schools and colleges through their technological strength. The biggest criticism for this generation is they are self-centered and are unable to compromise or negotiate. This can ultimately lead to conflict. These generations must keep in mind that they are entering the workplace where there is diversity among people’s culture, perception, tradition and thought. Therefore, organizations need to be really aware while they are hiring such generations at their workplace.
These generations are always seeking new opportunities and are unable to stick to one particular job. They find it boring while doing the same task repeatedly. In other words, this generation has very little patience and tolerance which may not yield a better result.
Companies need to, therefore, train such people on emotional intelligence, the importance of unity and collaboration at workplace and methods to handle conflicts that might even emerge at minor issues. These generations should never be disrespected on the basis of their post, salary or level of qualification.
Some important facts on Generation Z
- Generation Z comprises 32% of the total world population. So, this generation is very high in number.
- By 2020, Generation Z will form 40% of all US consumers. Consumption, production, and distribution will increase boosting the national economy.
- Generation Z influences $ 600 billion in family spending and their needs and necessities are increasing every single day.
- Almost 50% of generation Z is connected to the internet almost every 10 hours a day or more. Internet connectivity along with technological transformation is the great strength of this generation.
- 95% of teenagers use or have access to a Smartphone. They perform almost every job through smartphones.
- Gen Z is 2 times more likely to shop on mobiles than Millennial.
- Instagram and YouTube are the most popular social media platform for Gen Z which enables them to explore more contents and creativity. These are the sources to build up their knowledge and skill as well.
Gen Z is very different and unique compared to its millennial counterparts. However, both groups are close in age and technologically savvy. This group also has its own set of formative life experiences just as every generation had before them.