Generation Z in the Current Workplace

About once in twenty years, a new generation joins the global workforce. Historical events, wars, recessions, and technological progress impact and alter the generations during which they occur. At the same time, each new generation shapes the work landscape with its specific characteristics, skills, and values. 

The workplace environment is now more complex than ever before. For the first time in modern history, we have five generations of workers, meaning five distinct approaches to work, both from employers and employees:

  • Traditionalists (Silent Generation) - born between 1925 to 1945
  • Baby Boomers (Me Generation) - born between 1946 to 1964
  • Generation X (Lost Generation) - born between 1965 to 1980 
  • Generation Y (Millennials) - born between 1981 to 1996
  • Generation Z (Zoomers) - born between 1997 to 2012

Generation Z (also called Gen Z or Zoomers) is the most diverse generation in our history. This new cohort of talents is joining the workforce with new perspectives and expectations, shaping the workplace for the next generations. 

Today’s entry levels are tomorrow’s leaders. 


  1. Who belongs to Generation Z?
  2. What makes Generation Z unique? 
  3. What does Generation Z expect from the workplace? 
  4. Wrapping up

1. Who belongs to Generation Z?

We all know and understand the concept of a generation within a family. Grandparents, parents, and children belong to three different generations. At the same time, each belongs to a distinct category created based on their dates of birth and major-scale events such as World Wars I and II, the Cold War, the internet, and recently the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Generation Z, or Zoomers, refers to the individuals born during the late 1990s and early 2000s. According to the Pew Research Center, the post-millennial generation includes those persons born after 1996.

2. What makes Generation Z unique?

Zoomers are joining the workforce, disrupting, challenging, and changing the previous ways of working and collaborating between team members, employees, and employers. 

Post-millennials are reshaping the workplaces as we know them with their expectations regarding company culture, values, mission, and vision.

According to many sources, Gen Z is the most diverse, inclusive, and educated generation among them all. 

The core aspects that define the Gen Z's identity:

a. The digital generation 

As they are born in the most advanced era, members of Gen Z are hypercognitive and demonstrate significant innate technological fluency; they are digital natives. Zoomers don't know and can hardly imagine a world without smartphones, instant messaging, vast amounts of information at their fingertips, and social networks and platforms. 

b. Eco Anxiety 

People born in recent decades - millennials and especially Zoomers - have been highly exposed to alarming news about climate change. Ecological disasters cause climate anxiety and never-before-seen levels of depression among members of Generation Z. 

c. The COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has affected all of us, regardless of the generation to which we belong. However, Gen Zs felt the effects of the pandemic more acutely than the other generations. Many Zoomers were about to join the workforce or begin their careers when the pandemic hit.

d. The unstable financial landscape

When entering adulthood, Generation Z "was in line to inherit a strong economy with record-low unemployment," according to Pew Research. Then COVID-19 happened, and it destabilized the social and financial landscape worldwide. 

3. What does Generation Z expect from the workplace? 

Maturing in the aftermath of the Great Recession (2007 - 2009) could have shaped Zoomers into a pragmatic and risk-rejecting generation. Instead, a generation more idealist than ever before has emerged. 

When looking for a new job, Gen Zs are less motivated by the salary and more attracted by the ethics and values of the hiring company. While salary is still the most important aspect, this new generation of talents expects much more from their organization.

To attract and retain Zoomers, companies must emphasize their efforts to provide an excellent work-life balance while committing to broader challenges such as climate change and sustainability. 

Generation Z is ready and eager to join the workforce. As an employer, your challenge is to persuade them to choose your company over the others. 

The defining expectations of Generation Z employees from any organization

a. Diversity and inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion is the catchphrase for Generation Z. Zoomers place a high value on representation in the workplace. A vast majority of applicants from this generation ask prospective employers about their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Emphasizing your company's DEI strategy is a crucial recruiting advantage. Prioritizing and promoting your loyalty to DEI values expands the pool of potential candidates.

When employees feel accepted, valued, and validated, they are more engaged and productive, contributing to your company's overall bottom line. 

b. Work-life balance and flexible schedule

Generation X grew up witnessing their parents' burnout due to the long working hours and an unbalanced work-life relationship. They are the first to prioritize spending time with their families.

Nowadays, Gen Zs don't see work-life balance as a perk but rather a default value of your company's culture.

Generation Z, unjustly described as lazy, entitled, and hard to work with, is essentially motivated by meaningful work in a company that shares its values and visions.

Zoomers are reshaping the workplace environment with their devotion to work-life balance. When looking for a job, they choose a company that genuinely cares about its employees' well-being.

c. Feedback in the workplace

According to Gitnux, there are some interesting stats relevant to feedback:

  • 59% of Generation Z respondents expect feedback multiple times per week. 
  • almost 40% of Gen Z workers prefer face-to-face communication.

You should reflect on these numbers as an employer who wants to attract Zoomers. 

Born and raised in digital times, Gen Zs value real-time feedback and transparency. These instruments provide clarity, enhance job satisfaction, and improve employee experience.  

Gen Z employees are highly comfortable with technology. Providing digital tools for timely feedback, such as chats and instant messaging platforms, satisfies their communication needs and preferences. 

Regular check-ins and honest discussions contribute to their professional growth and improve their loyalty and your company's success. 

d. Rewards & Recognition

Technology impacts the behavior of Gen Zs at every level. They want instant gratification for their results due to the digital epoch they grew up in.

Zoomers don't just work for the paycheck at the end of the month. Generation Z workers place immense significance on your recognition and appreciation

Whether you give them financial rewards, a gym subscription, public congrats, or a private message, any sincere and personalized recognition of their efforts makes them feel valued and appreciated.

e. Collaborative workplaces

Each company is striving for success. In today's workplace environment, teamwork is crucial to achieving it, specifically with Generation Z. 

Zoomers thrive in workplaces that promote collaboration, transparency, open communication, and teamwork.

As the most diverse generation in history, its representatives love face-to-face interaction and collaboration with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. 

To meet Gen Z's expectations and create a workplace that is highly appealing to them, you must encourage teamwork through collaborative projects and initiatives. Consider implementing team-building activities and nurture a sense of community among your team members.  

f. Learning new skills

As they join the workforce, members of Generation Z bring a unique set of technological skills and abilities that reshape the way companies have regarded learning and professional development. 

To provide them with personalized learning, companies must first understand how Gen Zs envision accumulating knowledge.

➔    Learn by doing. Zoomers prosper in an active learning environment where they can practically implement their knowledge. They are the generation that acts, makes mistakes, learns, and moves forward.

➔    Learn on-demand. Gen Zs are avid learners, and they have unprecedented access to information. They are always eager to acquire new skills and nurture their personal and professional growth.

➔    Learn collaboratively. From a young age, zoomers are accustomed to sharing their ideas with individuals worldwide. They value interactions and learn better in a collaborative workplace, where everybody shares their knowledge. Soft skills help in such situations.

To align with Zoomers' expectations, you must provide them access to a video-based learning platform with a mobile-friendly design. 

g. Career development

Gen Z workers want to learn, make an impact, and progress in their careers quickly. Ambition and a goal-oriented mindset are characteristics defining members of Generation Z. 

As an employer, you must clearly define career paths for your new Gen Z hires. They value transparency and clarity about your organization's focus on their ongoing employment and professional growth.

Establish one-on-one performance reviews to keep Gen Z employees on track toward their career goals. Use these sessions to evaluate their strengths and discuss long-term career aspirations and development. 

h. Integration of technology

Unlike previous generations who had to adapt to using digital tools on the fly, members of Generation Z perceive technology as a built-in part of their lives and experiences. 

They are innately conscious of the presence of digital technology and use it for communication, decision-making, collaboration, and problem-solving. 

In today's highly competitive job market, it has become imperative for businesses to provide their employees access to cutting-edge technology. 

Integrating Generation Z employees into your workforce means investing in robust mobile platforms and networks and ensuring uninterrupted connectivity, regardless of your employees' physical location. 

4. Wrapping up

We are witnessing the transformative impact of technology on all aspects of our lives as Generation Z is taking the world by storm. 

The professional landscape is evolving into something completely new. Gen Zers are reshaping everything we know about workplace culture, from working schedules and offices to well-being and professional growth.  

Members of the digital-born generation bring a new set of perspectives, skills, and expectations to the professional environment. Technology takes the leading role in a harmonious and smooth integration into the workforce.

Understanding and recognizing Gen Z workers' unique needs and desires is a strategic priority for companies aiming to thrive in the current business scene.

Shifting from a more traditional to a smart working environment improves employees' overall experience and productivity. By embracing this approach, companies can tap into and harness the immense potential of the new cohort of talents. 

Automate your leave and attendance management and tracking with the easy to use cloud-based HR management software.

Easy set-up ● No contracts required ● No credit cards