As millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce, and in some cases leadership positions, it is essential that employers understand the key differences between these generations. The millennial generation includes everyone born between 1981 and 1996. Generation Z includes everyone born between 1997 and 2012. These generations are the youngest generations in the workforce today, and they are changing the way much of the workforce has functioned over the generations before them.
One difference between millennials and Gen Z is their expectations of their employers. In a LinkedIn article titled, “Seven Differences Between Millennials and Gen Z”, Lesley Tracy points out that Generation Z seems to have higher expectations in that having a job will be fulfilling, fun, and offer financial stability (Tracy, 2021). However, companies, coaches, and college counselors and professors should prepare Generation Z for the realities of the workforce (Tracy, 2021). There are definitely positives of having a job, but there also will be challenges that Gen Z may not be mentally prepared for (Tracy, 2021). Millennials seem to have a more modest outlook on work and have a higher value of free time; however, as this generation enters leadership positions, work may consume more and more of their life (Tracy, 2021).
Both generations have a higher knowledge and time usage of technology and media than generations before them. However, Generation Z spends much more time on their devices than millennials do (Tracy, 2021). Although Gen Z spends more time on their devices, millennials appreciate working remotely more so than Gen Z (Tracy, 2021). Because millennials appreciate working remotely so they can be with their families and avoid being in the office, Gen Z may be left working in-person without feedback from coaches or mentors (Tracy, 2021). Employers may need to increase their awareness of who is working together in the office and find ways to provide mentorship for Gen Z.
Millennials and Generation Z both have had a large impact on inflicting positive change. In a Huffpost article titled, “There’s a Big Difference Between Millennials and Generation Z”, Casey Bond writes about how Generation Z cares a lot about social causes, especially when it comes to the environment and social injustice (Bond, 2021). This may increase the expectations of their employers to speak out on issues and put forth the effort to create change. Although Gen Z seems to be the most outspoken and active about social issues, millennials also have had a large impact. Amelia Rance, senior director of data strategy and analytics at marketing firm Fullscreen, says that millennials are the first to want to break stereotypes of their generation, and then make it happen (Bond, 2021). Both generations have had a lot to say when it comes to social issues, and employers should be aware of their priorities and expectations of corporate social responsibility.
There are many differences between Generation Z and millennials, but if employers can continue to learn from them and match their expectations, they will be able to work together in a productive, cohesive environment.
Bond, C. (2021, August 31). Please stop confusing millennials with gen Z. HuffPost. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/millennials-gen-z-differences_l_5f2b87f6c5b6e96a22adc439.
Ciobanu, G., & Gabriela Ciobanu (2020, March 26). 10 things millennial kids got away with that would never fly for generation Z. TheTalko. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.thetalko.com/millennial-kids-get-away-generation-z/. (photo)
Tracy, L. (2021, June 11). Seven differences between millennials and gen Z. LinkedIn. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/seven-differences-between-millennials-gen-z-lesley-tracy/.