Here’s What To Expect From Generation Z in the Workplace
Very competitive, accepting of others, a focus on quality over quantity
Given their focus on financial security, it’s not surprising that generation Z is poised to be cutthroat when it comes to getting jobs and establishing careers.
Jonah Stillman, a 17-year old from Minneapolis who, with his father David, wrote GenZ@Work, a book about how his generation will fare as members of the workforce. The pair conducted two national studies of 4,000 teens about workplace attitudes and preferences. They’ve discovered that these young people are in “survival mode” and believe they will have to fight for what they want. They would feel lucky to get a job, which contrasts with the common perception of millennials as feeling entitled to a job. Sixty-six percent of gen-Zers say their number one concern is drowning in college debt, and 75% say there are ways of getting a good education besides going to college.
“Generation Z is a very independent and competitive generation, having been taught by our parents that there are definitely winners and losers at life.”
“Millennials are the most collaborative generation, launching applications like Facebook and sharing everything with everybody,” Stillman says. “But Gen Z is completely different: They are a very independent and competitive generation, having been taught by our parents that there are definitely winners and losers at life. Millennials, on the other hand, were told that if you work together, everybody can be a winner.”
But even though they see the workplace as a battlefield, they are inclusive and tolerant of difference.
They grew up with a black man as the leader of the free world, with women in positions of power in the workplace, and with openly gay celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, and Neil Patrick Harris. “As a whole, gen Z is a very accepting generation,” Stillman says.
This was a “remarkable” year for hiring, according to Glassdoor’s chief economist, Andrew Chamberlain. He says that the U.S. added an average 180,000 new jobs per month, well above the “break even” pace of job growth of 50,000 to 110,000 economists estimate the economy needs to keep Americans fully employed.
Nontraditional offerings don’t boost employee satisfaction as much as health insurance, 401(k) matches, and paid time off. Pay is also on the rise. Median base pay for U.S. workers was up 3.1% from 2015, the fastest pace in three years. Can we top all that in 2017?
According to Glassdoor’s newest report on job trends, there are also a record number of unfilled jobs—5.85 million as of April—which represents the most since the BLS started tracking job openings in 2000. That’s compounded with the fact that every employer is hiring for tech roles, Chamberlain observes, and there are just so many talented candidates out there.
2017 JOB TREND #1: HR WILL TRANSFORM ITSELF
Which is why he’s predicting that 2017 is going to be the year human resources transforms itself into “people science.”
Chamberlain argues that the rise of big data has infiltrated and transformed everything from product design to finance. As businesses generate more data from their employees and customers, good analysis of that data can lead to smarter decisions, shorter project time lines, and happier consumers.
Unfortunately, HR and recruiting have been largely absent from this evolution, says Chamberlain. Data scientists, one of the most in-demand positions for the past two years, haven’t been much of a presence in HR-related tasks. But as Chamberlain points out, “Using data science in HR to make even small improvements in recruiting, hiring, and engagement has the potential for huge benefits to organizations.”
A good place for HR to start is by tapping into workforce analytics that can track every stage of an employee’s progression through a company from on-boarding, through training and promotions. These are available at low cost through a number of third party providers.
Another solution is to use a sentiment tracker to gather feedback in real time. Amanda Moskowitz, founder of the startup leadership sharing resource Stacklist, told Fast Company in a interview[/url] that founders of companies that don’t have formal HR departments are using tools like Glint and Small Improvements. Other available tools include platforms for A/B testing to experiment with different methods of workforce management. Chamberlain points out “there are many low-hanging fruit today for better data science in HR” and they don’t cost much.
2017 JOB TREND #2: MANY THINGS GET AUTOMATED BUT WE DON’T LOSE OUR JOBS
There’s a lot of talk about automation and how much its advancement will make human workers obsolete. Chamberlain cites research from the Journal of Economic Perspectives that indicate mass layoffs due to automation are unlikely. This correlates with findings from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) on the potential for automation across 54 countries and more than 2,000 work activities. The report found that the number of jobs that can be fully automated by adapting currently demonstrated technology is less than 5%. That number could go as high as 20% in some middle skill categories.
Says Chamberlain: “The jobs that will be most affected by automation are routine jobs that need to be done the same way and that don’t require much flexibility or much creative judgment.” As such MGI found that about 60% of all jobs have a least a third of activities that could be automated based on current technology such as answering email or scheduling meetings. “Workers increasingly need to build skills that are complementary to technology—learning to run the machine, not doing the same work the machine automates,” Chamberlain observes.
2017 JOB TREND #3: NONTRADITIONAL BENEFITS WILL BECOME LESS POPULAR
From assistance with paying back student loans to unlimited food and beverages, the benefits packages at many companies have altered the standard health insurance and 401(k) matches. However, Chamberlain sees a move away from the more exotic perks and benefits.
That’s because Glassdoor’s research revealed that perks such as gym memberships, charitable giving, and other nontraditional offerings don’t boost employee satisfaction as much as health insurance, 401(k) matches, and paid time off. If the goal of the compensation package (including both pay and benefits), says Chamberlain, is to “serve as a targeted investment, delivering great employee engagement, and keeping talent on board long term,” then companies should be rethinking their offerings in 2017.
2017 JOB TREND #4: WE’LL MAKE PROGRESS NARROWING THE WAGE GAP
Chamberlain believes this is the year the gap will narrow because we’re at a tipping point. More data is available than ever, transparency is a core value for many companies, and business leaders are recognizing that equal pay isn’t just a compliance issue, it’s a necessity to retain talent.
Sixty seven percent of U.S. employees said they were not likely to apply for a job at a company where men and women were paid unequally for the same work, according to Glassdoor’s research. Expect to see wider adoption of building analysis into companies’ pay practices in the coming year, says Chamberlain.
2017 JOB TREND #5: THE GIG ECONOMY WILL SLOW DOWN
Chamberlain expects the growth in the gig economy will taper off in 2017. He offers three reasons for the slowdown.
Despite the visibility of Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Task Rabbit and others, their impact is still quite small. A J.P. Morgan Chase Institute study found only about 4.3% of U.S. adults had ever earned income from an online “gig” platform as of June 2016, a figure that’s been declining over the last three years. Another study from the EPI made a similar discovery, that the freelance economy isn’t growing as much as we think. Gig work is inherently based on demand, and in times of less demand, those gigs dry up, further gutting potential growth.
Another limit to growth is that gigs by nature have to be simple and discrete projects or transactions. As Chamberlain notes,
“The fastest growing jobs today are ones that require human creativity, flexibility, judgment, and ‘soft skills.’ That list includes health care professionals, data scientists, sales leaders, strategy consultants, and product managers. Those are exactly the kind of jobs least likely to function well in a gig economy platform.”
Therefore he says, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to get legal, financial, medical, engineering, or other services through a gig platform in 2017 and beyond.
It’s a great time for both employers and workers to set themselves up to take advantage of the opportunities represented by these trends, says Chamberlain, so “Invest in skills and technology now while times are good.”
Thanks to Fast Company for their The Future of Work reporting!
When we try to lead change from a reactive mindset, we perceive problems as threats and fear of failure drives us toward a quick fix, as evident in our annual penchant for making (and breaking) New Year’s resolutions to “fix” bad behaviors. This vicious cycle yields low results.
In contrast, a creative mindset sees problems as opportunities and seeks solutions via vision, action, and passion. The Creative mindset, or “operating system,” plays to win; the Reactive mindset, or OS, plays not to lose.
How can we transcend the reactive and opt for the creative approach to leading change?
Over the years, we’ve witnessed thousands of people receive multi-rater 360 feedback using The Leadership Circle assessment. For many, it’s a gut-wrenching experience, one that can be either a catalyst for growth or impetus for inertia. Negative feedback challenges our sense of self or core belief. It’s challenging to reframe that belief, change it and move on. We all wrestle with reactive responses daily as we face fear, doubt, criticism or inner conflict.
Having run our own company, we know how easy it is for leaders to be reactive. When we are managing all the time, we struggle to see our patterns of thought and feel at risk when we are challenged. However, when we interrupt the reactive response and start seeing deeply into our inner operating system, we start seeing our pattern. We realize that we don’t have to continue along that track any more — we can be free from it and move on. But every time we meet a new edge, that fear resurfaces again as strong as ever. We can gain perspective on it by noticing it sooner and managing it, not taking it so seriously, but that doesn’t mean we’re not scared. When we’re caught in reactive mode, it has us. We sense that everything’s at stake here.
When we operate in a creative mode, we see that our fear is unfounded. We show up differently, more effectively, when we recognize the pattern to be reactive and choose to be creative. Our impact and influence on others and the organization increases.
Without this awareness, the more leaders rise in position and the more complexity they face, the higher their fear level grows — even to the terror level. Awareness of the fear is critical to move through the reactive stage or operate well in it. Since most leaders aren’t aware of how much fear is inside them, when they face challenge or change, their old self and old way of operating are threatened.
As leaders, we tend to define our life on other people’s expectations of high performance, or technical wizardry and genius, and never stop to ask ourselves what we really want — the heart of the creative operating system. Self-authored vision is the central organizing principle: “This is what matters to me.” “This is where I stand.” “Here’s the organization I believe in and want to build.”
In creative mode, we stop chasing short-term results long enough to ask, “What would you do if you could?” In creative mode, we play to create the future we want or believe in versus trying to move forward by playing not to lose — it’s a very different approach to life and leadership.
To boot up our leadership capabilities and operate consistently in creative mode, we need to run on a self-authoring mindset. Making that shift is challenging, and it’s where many people get stuck in sort of the schizophrenia between the inside self-definition versus the outside definition, and the fear that might be attached to declaring that inside-out definition.
When we move to creative mode, we face uncertainty — everything seems questionable and up for grabs. Old definitions simply don’t work, and new ones may not have arrived yet. So, uncertainty and fear are prevalent in the early creative stage.
If we’re not accustomed to that open space or lack access to a coach who knows that terrain, we find it easy to fall back or slip back into a more reactive, less effective way of leading.
Your organization is likely designed for and supports the reactive style. When you move into creative mode, you become an alien, without the old support community.
As we coach leaders who are in transition from reactive to creative stage, we find that they all experience two major shifts:
Optimizing the tension between purpose and safety
Shifting identity from the outside-in to the inside-out
As we orient on what we most want, we face what we most fear. Always, our purpose and passion await our commitment. Always, fear lurks inside, cautioning us not to move toward — it seems too risky. But if we do not live at the edge of our creativity and passion, we become toxic to those around us and to ourselves. Our biggest wants are met with our biggest fears. We either move through the fear toward our passion, or we slowly and inexorably die.
Most of us are looking for a safe path through — a safe place to be great. There isn’t one. There is no safe way to be great, and, there is no great way to be safe. The safe paths have all been taken. The paths left to us require risk. Leadership is inherently risky because leadership is the act of creating outcomes that matter most.
If we orient our lives on safety, we remain constantly insecure. If we orient on that which seems to want to have its way with our lives, we live into the futures we were born to create. And that brings with it its own security.
In leadership positions, more people get fired for their caution than for their courage. If we play for purpose, we accept the inherent risk of leading, of living full-out, and that brings with it a sense of security that is not rooted in powers outside ourselves, upon which our future seems to depend, but in our capacity to create the future to which we aspire.
If we orient primarily on safety, we live and lead reactively. If we orient on the pull of purpose and vision and accept the inherent risks, we evolve the Creative Mind. The core of the creative operating system is a play-on-purpose game based on faith and love. In this game we orient on what we love enough to risk for. It is designed to create the future to which we aspire.
Outside-in leadership is focused not on vision, but on removing, fixing, or reducing problems and threats. It is run by fear, motivated to reduce the internal conflict generated by the problem. Behavior is a reaction to this internal conflict, and the focus of behavior is to get rid of the problem.
Reactive Leadership is like a balancing loop that creates an oscillating pattern of results around a set point to maintain equilibrium or homeostasis. We set goals and then act in ways contrary to our commitments because we have competing commitments, which are often run by internal beliefs that drive behavior designed to maintain current equilibrium. Beneath our pattern of results are powerful unseen beliefs, operating on autopilot and structured from the outside in (how other see us defines us). We are the effect of the assumptions we adopt earlier in life — because they made sense at that time.
Since these assumptions may not match the complexities of our life, they become the structural limit to what is possible for us. They seek to maintain a state of equilibrium and often drive behaviors that compete with our vision and commitments.
With thanks to SmartBrief for sharing this insight from the Lead Change Group.
In 2016, we’ve seen mobile completely redefine how people interact with one another as well as with brands. And while social and mobile have had an indisputable impact on marketing, communications and business, in 2017, we’re going to see old dogs with new tricks in areas such as content mixed with new dogs who want to change the game all together. With thanks to Kevin King, global practice chair of Edelman Digital, in AdWeek, December 2016.
Here are a few areas identified as part of Edelman Digital’s annual trends predictions for 2017.
Messaging apps are becoming the new second home screen. Why now? There’s a chatbot revolution going on, and it’s primarily being fueled by the adoption of chatbots by major social and messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Google, Microsoft Skype, Salesforce, Slack, Twitter DM, WeChat, Kik and Line. Now that there are billions of daily users of messaging platforms who are accustomed to engaging with brands in the feeds, the platforms hope they will enable marketers with the ability to scale creative 1-to-1 engagement opportunities called “conversational experiences.” These conversational experiences will bring together past revolutions in ecommerce and text services while highlighting the potential of artificial intelligence.
2017 is going to mark a turning point in the way audiences interact with and consume video content. Through the releases of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PSVR and Niantic Labs’ Pokemon Go on Unity, virtual reality and augmented reality became important technological breakthroughs in 2016. In 2017, we anticipate significant improvements in immersive devices as well as software. Also, look for efforts from brands with skin in the game to make using a headset culturally acceptable.
According to eMarketer, 2017 is predicted to mark a major milestone for digital advertising—for the first time, digital spending will surpass that of TV. So where will those dollars go? Considering the challenges marketers face with bot fraud, ad blocking, social algorithms and general skepticism, influencer marketing will play a renewed and central role in the marketing mix for 2017. Influencer marketing isn’t new, but it will mature in 2017 as we see brands not only partnering with digital savvy Snapchatters and YouTubers but co-creating original content that can’t be found anywhere else.
What Uber did for on-demand auto transformation Blockchain promises to do for financial transactions. And with $1.4 billion in venture-capital money in the past three years, 24 countries investing in Blockchain technology for government services, 90-plus central banks engaged in related discussions, and 10 percent of global GDP to be traded via Blockchain technology by 2025-2027, it is important that marketers understand the potential implications for their business. We believe Blockchain technology will be a part of The Next Great Flattening and removal of middle-layer institutions.
B2B Under increasing pressure to demonstrate tangible ROI on marketing and communications investments, business-to-business brands continue to adopt techniques including account based marketing, or ABM, marketing automation and advanced targeting. In 2017, we see B2B marketers aggressively moving away from basic awareness metrics toward identity-based KPIs that attribute high funnel marketing activities to downstream sales engagements and revenue generation. While some B2B brands will continue to experiment with emerging consumer-oriented technologies and platforms, we believe ROI pressure will lead marketers to seize ownership of the overall customer experience and create strategic alignment across marketing, communications, sales and IT.
Sizzle meets steak: balancing what works today with what will work tomorrow
There will be no shortage of steak or sizzle in 2017. As influencer marketing for example matures, brands will measure it with the same rigor applied to traditional, or “tradigital,” media. Content that has largely become a commodity for brands and consumers will strive to dazzle us in multiple dimensions, seeking to stand apart from the crowd.
For marketers and brand managers, our remit is clear—we must master both the shiny and the substantial as part of our everyday roles and responsibilities. 2017 will be a year when we are tested on both fronts: being able to execute what we know works today with what we believe will work tomorrow.
Reach out and touch your holiday shopper! Increases in Content Sharing, e-Shopping Help Brands Reach More Buyers
Because of consumers’ increased online shopping, media consumption and social sharing, marketers and communicators have one of their best opportunities yet to reach more potential buyers during the 2016 holiday season, according to new research from data-driven marketing tech firm RadiumOne. The company recently released the results of its Holiday Consumer Behavior Data Report, highlighting how retailers can capitalize on online consumer behaviors during the holiday season.
In fact, the report found that connected devices play an important role in holiday research and shopping, with more than a third of gift givers researching or buying presents online. It also revealed that media consumption increases significantly during the holidays, as most consumers will spend more time online, watch more TV and go to the movies more often. Additionally, one in three consumers will share more content during the holidays than the rest of the year, with 82 percent of all online holiday sharing activity coming from dark social channels such as email, instant messaging and text messaging.
“Consumers are spending a significant portion of their time online, which has created billions of data points that help marketers identify and predict interest and intent,” said Bill Lonergan, CEO at RadiumOne, in a news release. “Because consumers spend an increased amount of time online during the holiday season, retailers can increase the likelihood of acquiring new customers by aligning their strategy to what consumers are doing. By engaging consumers through all channels, marketers can maximize their holiday shopping campaigns, allowing their dollars to go further.”
The report dove into consumers’ shopping habits during the holiday season and revealed that 38 percent of consumers will research and purchase presents online, with only 8 percent of consumers reporting that they will research and shop exclusively in-store. However, 28 percent of gift givers wait until the final month to start planning for holiday gifts, with 5 percent waiting until the final week.
The study also found that 29 percent of online shoppers will use multiple devices for shopping and research. Desktop was the most common device used (37 percent), followed by tablet (15 percent) and mobile (12 percent).
MEDIA CONSUMPTION HABITS
Findings from this report discovered almost half of consumers will spend more time online during the holiday season. Where consumers increase their time on devices the most television (59 percent) tablets (53 percent) and smartphones (53 percent).
SOCIAL SHARING HABITS
The research found 72 percent of consumers share content online during the holidays.
The research found 72 percent of consumers share content online during the holidays. The most commonly shared content includes festive pictures (65 percent), festive videos (49 percent) and gift ideas (45 percent). The majority of sharing happens through dark social, compared to only 8 percent on Facebook, 3 percent on Twitter and 7 percent on other channels.
Not surprisingly, sharing activity on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is twice as high as the average for the rest of the holiday season.
Through its findings, RadiumOne identified three primary methods for marketers to maximize their marketing promotions during this busy time of year:
Understand consumers’ holiday shopping behaviors: Know the importance that smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops play in both researching and purchasing holiday gifts
Increase promotions across all screens: While TV advertising is certainly effective during the holidays, marketers cannot ignore the increased media consumption on smartphones, tablets and other devices
Deliver holiday content that consumers will want to share: Make it easy for consumers to share pictures, videos, gift ideas and other festive content
The report looked at the online activities of 1,000 consumers who celebrate the holidays.
In 1996 the first member of what is called Generation Z came into our world. And in the very near future they will become a big part of the world of marketers.
Numbering 23 million, there are 1 million more members of Generation Z (born between 1992 and 2011) then the Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000)
Here’s how to get ready for a generation just now entering their peak buying years and very different from Millennials and Boomers – but a lot like those born between 1925 and 1942 – the parents of the Boomer generation and known as the Silent Generation who saw a series of major world wars in their lifetimes.
Generation Z doesn’t just stand out in terms of how they relate to brands; they’re also spending their money differently and will take this into their adult years.
A survey by Lincoln Financial Group of 400 members of generation Z aged 15 to 19 found that they are saving far earlier than than older generations: 60% of them already have savings accounts and 71% say they are focused on saving for the future.
Their top three priorities are getting a job, finishing college, and safeguarding money for the years to come.
They rate these goals above spending time with friends and family, working out, or traveling. Jamie Ohl, president of retirement plan services at Lincoln Financial, says that we’re seeing similarities between this young generation and the one that emerged in the years following the Great Depression. “When I think about the ‘greatest generation’ having gone through the Depression and how they taught their children, the boomers, to save, that’s what this generation of parents is teaching generation Z,” she says.
But while generation Z is realistic about the challenges ahead, 89% of them remain optimistic about their futures, which is higher than any other generation on record.
For the past several years, the media has been obsessed with millennials, the most studied group ever. But as Generation Z grows up and gets ready to enter the workforce, corporations are paying more attention to this crop of young people born between 1996 and 2011. At 60 million strong in the United States, they outnumber millennials by 1 million. It would be easy to assume that they are just an exaggerated version of the generation that came before them, spending even more of their lives on social media, doing even more of their shopping online, and demonstrating an ever greater collaborative nicer nature.
But generation Z grew up in a starkly different historical context than millennials, which has given them a distinct outlook on the world.
Millennials were internet pioneers. They invented Facebook, shopped from their smartphones, and smoothly transitioned from satellite TV to Hulu and Netflix. Generation Z, meanwhile, doesn’t remember life without these basics of 21st century life. Millennials helped elect a black president and legalize gay marriage; many generation Zers see these milestones as the norm. Millennials came of age during a time of economic expansion and were shocked to find a diminished, unwelcoming job market after college; generation Z has been shaped by the recession and is prepared to fight hard to create a stable future for themselves.
They sure sound like a great generation in their own rite and as marketers we should be making changes right now to accommodate their outlook, wants and needs.