- For the first time in history, five generations are working side-by-side in the workplace.
- Generation Z is tech savvy but feels ill-equipped to contribute to the professional workforce, according to a new study.
- HR professionals can build understanding between employees by implementing mentorships and multigenerational teams.
Come 2019, millennials won’t be the new kids on the block anymore.
For the first time in modern history, five generations will coexist and collaborate in the workplace. Traditionalists (people born before 1946) and Generation Z (people born after 1996, according to Pew Research Center) bookend the generations that account for the 129.4 million Americans in the U.S. workforce. In between are baby boomers, Generation X and millennials.
Although unprecedented, the multigenerational mix isn’t to be feared. Research from Dell Technologies predicts that the confluence will spur innovation and technology, and cultivate cross-generational mentorships. Workers from all generations can succeed by better understanding this youngest generation of workers.
Gen Z Defers to Older Generations
Of the more than 12,000 Gen Z students from 17 countries Dell surveyed, 73 percent reported they felt confident about their technological prowess but almost all of them felt unsure about their readiness for the workforce.
The cohort following millennials will make up 20 percent of a multigenerational workforce by 2020. A sentiment commonly felt among Gen Z is that they are deferential to older generations, as they realize they have a lot to learn.
Gen Z Prefers Human Interaction
Older generations shouldn’t brace themselves for a 180-degree workplace shift to accommodate newcomers. As the first true generation of digital natives, Gen Z will base their career goals on the company’s proximity to technology and usage of social media. However, the generation also desires more human interaction, preferring collaborative and team-based environments where they can receive face-to-face job instruction or feedback.
Optimizing Complementary Skills Among Generations
Human resources professionals and company leaders should proactively seize the unique opportunity and implement multigenerational diversity programs to make the most of the time. The age gap will be wide, but creating mentorships or mixed-aged teams among veterans and rookies will bridge the divide between the two and build on each other’s complementary skills.
Keep reading to learn about why millennials are poorer than generations before them.
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