HOW TO GET READY FOR THESE ENTREPRENEURIAL, YOUNG, DIGITAL NATIVES
From their deepest goals and passions to their social network preferences, Generation Z has already differentiated itself from millennials in dramatic ways. Simply put: Gen Z has grown up entirely in the digital age, and the result is they are much savvier because of it.
I have worked closely with members of this tech-savvy, ambitious cohort in recent years. These experiences have helped me gain many insights behind the drive of Gen Z.
To prepare to interact with this generation, I encourage businesses, political leaders and other community members to change the way they view and engage with Gen Z based on their specific set of values, behaviors and expectations.
A DEEPER LOOK AT GEN Z
The post-millennial generation, born between 1995-2010, is significantly different from earlier generations.
Gen Z has grown up with a birds-eye view of millennials’ misfortunes, often witnessing older family members move back home after college with few job prospects and an overwhelming amount of personal debt. As disheartening as this scenario has been, it gives Gen Z the advantage of learning from their loved ones’ challenges. As a result, they are more informed, resilient and quite driven.
One of the largest population segments since the baby boomer generation, Gen Z also has a reputation of being much more conservative with their money than their predecessors.
They are focused on acquiring secure careers, and they prefer to grow their savings versus spend money they don’t have in the bank.
A recent survey stated the majority of those in Gen Z worry about the economy, job security, privacy issues, the environment, government leadership, terrorism and war. They also are conscious of the world’s top issues — climate change, hunger, education and health issues — and want to develop solutions to make impactful change.
Here are a few additional facts about Gen Z:
• The most diverse, multicultural generation to date, they are open-minded and accept any sexual orientation.
• They don’t view gender in terms of society, career and other roles.
• They support “new” ideas, and many lean toward entrepreneurship.
• They are passionate about their beliefs and demand action, not just words.
How Can You Get Ready for Gen Z?
When it comes to supporting brands or joining the workforce, Gen Z has high expectations. To remain competitive, businesses, retailers and industry leaders that want to connect with this generation need to realize who they truly are, what they want (and how they want it) and line up their strategies accordingly.
It’s vital to communicate with Gen Z concisely and continuously (they have the shortest attention span of all generations thus far). They also tend to prefer visuals, such as videos and photos, over words – think YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.
The bottom line:
Gen Z is expected to rock the workplace, the economy and society in the coming years.
If you want a distinct advantage over the competition, genuinely get to know their likes (and dislikes) and welcome them with open arms; otherwise, you risk getting left behind.
A DEEPER LOOK AT GEN Z
Show them you care
about their concerns. Without question, Gen Z wants to drive results and solve problems. Encourage them to contribute and communicate with regard to how their contributions matter. In addition to their appreciation for collaboration and teamwork, they also don’t mind doing what it takes to get a job done, even if it means taking the reins and handling efforts independently.
Gen Z agrees: honesty is the best policy when it comes to leadership. If your company demonstrates honesty and integrity, you will have better opportunities to draw them to your brand. Many of those in Gen Z view leadership as an earned opportunity. Ultimately, they are searching for honest, relatable depictions of real life.
across multiple platforms. While they appear always to be connected, it’s critical to know how to reach them on whichever device they happen upon your company – and more importantly, at whatever time. Develop videos, social media posts and music to gain their attention. Explore additional digital tools to continue sharing your story over time.
Connect with a cause.
Gen Z has a desire to solve global problems. Find innovative and personal ways to connect social causes to your products, services or workplace.