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If you thought Millennials are tough to work with, meet Gen Z

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Employers haven’t had it easy with Millennials, with many complaining about their sense of entitlement, or their easy inclination to quit.

It looks like employers could have an even harder job on the horizon, as Generation Z which is just turning 18, might want more than Millennials, especially in one key area: work that is meaningful.

Study by ADP Research Institute revealed that these 18 year-olds are searching for meaning beyond lucrative salaries to feel fulfilled. 89% of respondents choose to work on personal interests/things that impact society and 82% define their own work schedule.

“Today, the younger generation of Millennials places more of an emphasis on a search for meaning within their jobs than previous generations, who tended to look for meaning outside of work,” said the study, which surveyed 2,400 employees in different age groups, including Millennials, working at companies with over 250 people.

ALSO READ: The generation gap – can we make it work?

Adecco surveyed 1,000 students last year and found that 41% of millennials wanted jobs that provided scope for growth, while only 30% of Generation Z respondents asked for the same.

Being in a dream job is the greatest aspiration for more members of Gen Z than Millennials (32%  versus 24%), while more Millennials opt for financial security (34%) over Gen Z (29%).

These bits of research on what kids today want from future careers indicate that “getting ahead” might be less important, leaving HR professionals scratching their head about what the future work place will look like.

ADP suggested HR leaders to start thinking about questions like “How can employers keep Generation Z engaged as today’s currently employed generations move up in their careers?” and “Will individuals in Generation Z and Millennials require a different business model?”.

Millennials have pushed companies to change in key areas, including giving employees more freedom to work from wherever they want, for example and autonomy including to “self-manage”, rather than be managed. But that will not be enough for Gen Zs.

Employers will need to cultivate a work environment that allows for greater freedom and collaboration, manage employee concerns around job security and provide opportunities for meaningful work.

Another common characteristic among Millennials and Gen Z is that they tend to delay starting their career, going on a gap year after graduating  high school or university.

Compared to older generations who wanted to get out of school as soon as possible so they could start bringing in money to support the family, Gen Z may be perceived as too laid back.

But according to Andrew Scott, an economist at the London Business School, who co-authored a soon-to-published book called The 100 Year Life: Living and Working in An Age of Longevity, these young men and women know exactly what they want and where they are heading.

“It turns out that these youngsters are not slackers, but brilliant time-horizon analysts. They may live until they are 100 years old, implying a much longer life of labour, so what’s the hurry? Millennials get it,” said Scott.

ALSO READ: Gen Z’s biggest career-related fears

Image: Shutterstock

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