While much has been written (and said) about Millennials and their impact on the workforce, a younger generation, Generation Z, is set to be the most transformative age group yet. Born in 1995 or later, the first wave of this new generation is already in the workforce, and they have high expectations. Keeping them happy is going to be both essential and challenging.
While there are many interesting findings and opinions about Gen Zs, such as their attitudes to positive work environments and job stability, three aspects of this generation stand out particularly to chief information officers and other IT leaders.
The first truly digital native generation
Although Millennials learned how to use today’s bevy of technology innovations, they were born into a world where people used “dial-up” to access the Internet, and Atari and Sega ruled the gaming scene. By contrast, Gen Z grew up with smartphones, smart apps, online gaming, and artificial intelligence (AI). Gen Zs have been immersed in technology since birth. They are comfortable speaking to voice assistants and swiping on smartphones. They role-play “social influencer” channels on playdates and dream of being video game voice actors instead of making it big in Hollywood. In fact, according to 2017 Nielsen data, almost 73% of people aged 2 to 20 have video game consoles. Gen Zs consider technology to be not merely tools used to achieve tasks but rather deeply integrated elements of everyday life.
In essence, Gen Zs will expect companies, and its leaders, to be on par with their digital knowledge and ability.
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