We’ve heard a lot about millennials in the workplace – but it’s time to start focusing on the next generation; Generation Z, who will, by 2020, comprise 20% of the workforce. This is a truly exciting generation who are, studies suggest, far more career-focused than any generation since the World War Two. And your business needs to be ready for them.

According to ACAS, managers and executives are still a little leery of the upcoming generation, so, let’s look at some of the key factors that define Gen-Z, and how your business can prepare and benefit from them.

They’re looking for security and stability

This is the generation that grew up during the advent of global terrorism and two worldwide recessions. Little wonder, then, that they don’t take employment for granted. Showing a real commitment and work ethic, a whopping 83% would choose the perfect job over the perfect relationship.

More so than millennials, research shows that Generation Z are really willing to put themselves out there for the right role – 67% would relocate for a good job – which shows they’re acutely aware of how competitive the world has become.

Driving home the idea that Generation Z just want job security is what benefits they look for in a job. According to Monster, their ‘top three “must haves” for their first job are health insurance (70%), a competitive salary (63%) and a boss they respect (61%).’ Or, to put it another way, the comforts that come from a stable career.

They’re hyper-connected collaborative tech-heads

It goes without saying that, as the first true ‘digital native’ generation, this gen is more connected than any before it. They literally don’t remember a time before the internet; surrounded by technology, everything happens instantly and on-demand. It’s how they work, how they play, how they socialise, and how they do everything in-between. That’s given rise to an enticingly collaborative atmosphere.

Jim Link, Chief Human Resources Officer at Randstad North America, revealed in a 2016 study that:

‘One of the most pervasive themes from this year’s global study is Gen Z’s propensity and desire for collaboration. Whether it is in a corporate office, at home or in a coffee shop, Gen Z workers prefer collaborative work environments.’

As such, he advises that companies invest in technologies and tools like messaging apps, software for training companies, and business workflows for content sharing – everything, then, that facilitates and encourages the ‘collaborative revolution’, in order to attract the best and brightest of Gen-Z. And if you doubt the empowerment that technology offers, consider that 76% of Generation Z told Wikia that technology will help them reach their goals, while 66% believe that the power of technology allows them to do anything. Essentially, they’re constantly using technology to communicate and collaborate – and that’s something all firms can learn from.

They’re hard workers that need training

So, we already know Generation Z are driven – arguably, far more driven than preceding generations – and that means they’re willing to put the work in. For instance, 68% are prepared to work nights and weekends in the right role. That tells us that there’s relentless desire to succeed within in this group, and one that companies need to seriously consider harnessing.

The answer seems obvious: Training.

Generation Z fully understand the need for solid education and training; as discussed, they appreciate that they need every edge they can get to survive in a competitive landscape. But then we reach a stumbling block. If a Gen-Z’er can simply Google the right answers, then a lot of the training out there becomes redundant.

Given all we know about the next generation, the type of training needed is clear – the sort of training that teaches career-building skills. Soft skills, then, over technical or knowledge-based training. As an example, consider the fact that 55% of Gen-Z’ers feel they lack face-to-face communication skills – a skill that’s vital to get on in the workplace. According to a study from business electronics company Rioch:

‘Other skills Gen Zers believe they need to develop quickly are communicating with colleagues in a professional manner (48 per cent), resolving conflicts or disagreements (47 per cent) and meeting deadlines (37 per cent).’

That opens up a whole avenue of training that not only delivers on a core need, but also fits within the training framework most desired by the generation: Individual, hands-on methods that reward hard work (there’s no ‘everyone gets a medal’ mentality for Gen-Z – competitive landscape, remember?).

But what Generation Z desire above all things is strong leadership, structure and guidance. And that’s just what businesses like yours can deliver.

They’re ready. Are you?

Prepare for Generation Z with the collaborative, connected accessplanit training management system. Book your demo today.