New Generation on the Horizon

There are always changes when working with employees.  There are some big ones in store for many workplaces in the next few years.  Gen Z will arrive soon, and in some ways, it will open a whole new frontier in HR.  It’s a brave new world.  LOL.

There has been much discussion in recent years of generations in the workplace, particularly about assimilating Gen X and Gen Y employees into the work force.  Now Gen Z is on its way.  Generation Z has been defined as those born in 1991 or later.  This group will soon be entering the work force in greater numbers, and being ready to interact with and respond to this group effectively will require some rethinking of historic methods.  JMO.  This is the social media generation.  AFAIUI.  Growing up with cell phones, personal computers, Internet, and texting; this generation communicates in vastly different ways from those before it.  UGTBK, right?

This group brings many opportunities with the challenges.  This group can provide information with mass effect and get answers to nearly anything in seconds, yet many in this group struggle with personal interaction and may fail to interpret face-to-face interaction correctly.  They share intimate thoughts and experiences with hundreds of Internet “friends,” but can have trouble engaging in conversation.  This group has been over-stimulated and over-socialized—at least in a virtual way.  As this group hits your workforce, your employer will need to structure positions with frequent task changes.  SLAP.  There will need to be direct, precise tasks with frequent validation and instruction.  They will also look for social networking options.  There will need to be mentoring for soft skills, but the technological expertise and willingness will be strong.  This group can perform multiple, simultaneous tasks.  With some understanding and calibration, there will be growth avenues that benefit your workplace, once you establish ways for meaningful communication and assign responsibilities that allow for effective use of skills.  HTH.


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About Andrew (Andy) Wampler

For over a decade, I have provided legal services to businesses and individuals in Northeast Tennessee. I spend time litigating breaches of contract, medical malpractice, and commercial disputes and have worked on a number of transactions. I also advise businesses, working much of my time on healthcare and employment matters.

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