As 2019 comes to a close, it’s a good time to take stock of what worked, what could use improvement, and what will carry over to 2020. One undeniable trend for next year: hiring and managing Gen Z workers, who are entering the labor force in record numbers. Gen Z employees hold huge potential—that is, if employers know how to recognize and leverage their talents.
In our new survey, Generation Z and the Future of Work, we polled Gen Z workers on what matters most to them on the job. The findings suggest that, counter to a few stereotypes and perceptions— for example, that these digital natives have short attention spans and will be tough to manage—Gen Zs bring valuable qualities and skills to the workplace.
Here’s a look at some of their distinguishing traits:
They want to show off their soft skills
Contrary to some ways they’ve been characterized, Gen Zs see themselves enthusiastic and motivated to establish real connections at work—and in possession of in-demand soft skills. Over half (53%) of Gen Zs said they have valuable problem-solving skills; 58% believe they can help teach older colleagues open-mindedness; and 46% say they can teach the best ways to have fun at work.
They’re eager to learn
Gen Zs are as eager to learn as they are to teach—something employers should welcome in an age of continual job shifting and reskilling.
Over half (59%) say they want to learn tips on work habits and how to launch and maintain a successful career within their industry from their older colleagues; 51% come into the job expecting to learn new skills specific to their career from their older colleagues and managers. A healthy proportion (41%) also say they want to learn how to build an effective work ethic from their older colleagues and managers.
They welcome job feedback
According to the survey, 85% of Gen Zs consider constructive feedback “very important” when assessing their relationship with their managers. That aligns well with managers’ expectations as well: 89% of ServiceNow managers believe constructive feedback will be very important to Gen Zs.
They crave face-to-face interaction
Who says Gen Zs are inseparable from their phones? The vast majority (83%) of surveyed Gen Z employees say they prefer to communicate with their managers face-to-face—not over email, text, or messaging platforms.
As companies start recruiting for 2020 and beyond, they should keep these qualities in mind as they take a closer look at the Gen Z talent pool—and remember that ultimately these young workers want most of the same things we all do: to do purposeful work, learn and advance in their career, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.