Decoding Gen Z at the Workplace

The workplace environment is constantly changing and evolving. Especially, after Gen Z has started making its own mark in the job market. 

There have been major shifts in the workplace. New terms have been coined, old work policies are becoming outdated, employees are prioritizing their well-being, and so on. 

Credits to Gen Z for bringing up these changes in the workplace! (Because we all agree that it was much-needed at some point in time)

However, with all of these shifts, It’s now crucial to understand what Gen Z really expect from their organizations. Since the source reveals that they are estimated to make up 27% of the workplace by 2025, it’s high time that companies understand their needs and requirements. 

Who are these Gen Z?

Individuals who are born between 1997 and 2012 are known as Gen Z. They are also called iGens since they have grown up in the digital age where technology has always been a part of their lives.

But, what’s really unique about them? 

Although, there isn’t much of a difference between ‘Millennials’ and ‘Gen Z’, the latter has higher expectations and opts for new challenges in terms of their career. For them, salary isn’t the only factor to sign up for a new job role. They are more purpose-driven and choose workplaces that are aligned with their values. 

They know what they want in their jobs and hence, it’s time for organizations to reevaluate the workforce planning and policies. Below are a few of the expectations Gen Z usually have in their mind while they are applying for a job: 

What do your Gen Z employees want you to know about the workplace?

  • Mental health is non-negotiable: 

“Mental Health matters” – That’s what Gen Z said!

Taking mental well-being seriously is a major factor they look out for in their job role. And the best example of it is the ‘Great Resignation’ that took place during pandemic times. 

According to Handshake, 59% of students and recent grads said company-wide mental health days are important to them.

Due to anxiety and stress overload, Gen Z is far more open up about their mental health. Hence, they expect the same at the workplace too. 

Advice: 

Create a sustainable workplace culture where mental health is not taboo. Ensure that progressive adjustments are made where employees’ well-being is supported and taken care of. 

  • Culture of transparency: 

Gen Z places a high value and ethical behavior in the workplace. Since they have been born in the digital era where information is available at just a push of a button, they expect the same at the workplace too. 

Their ‘need to know’ attitude wants their employers to be honest and open with them. They act on genuine validation. Therefore, want two-way communication at their workplace. 

Advice: 

Ensure that your workplace is a safe place for employees to share their ideas and opinions. You can do so through one-on-one meetings, daily check-ins, and two-way feedback. Also, be open about your team’s strategy and clear policies of the workplace to all your employees.

  • Diversity and Inclusion, Please!: 
    • According to a Gallup survey,15.9% of Gen Zers identify as LGBTQ.
    • 47% of Gen Z employees identify as the most diverse workforce. 
    • As per a Monster survey, 83% of Gen Z candidates said that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer.

And with the above-mentioned facts and figures, it is clear that Gen Zs are more interested in workplaces where diversity and inclusion are well-taken care of. For them, this factor is a dealbreaker and this isn’t just about race, gender, and caste. It’s more about how different views and perspectives are accepted and valued in the workplace. 

Advice: 

Foster an inclusive and welcoming culture for employees from all backgrounds and identities. Implement them in the workforce policies and ensure training and programs for the employees. Also, assure that the organization is a safe place for them where their perspectives and opinions are listened to and valued.

  • Flexibility is the new normal: 

Gen Z craves flexibility. They enjoy their freedom and don’t want to compromise it with their personal lives. 

While it may seem like 9-5 timings ensure discipline, It’s not for everyone. 

73% of Gen Z respondents prefer having a flexible schedule

They like to have control over their schedule as it helps them to maintain work-life balance. Also, Gen Z values result over traditional expectations i.e. achieving goals and delivering quality work > How and where they are working 

Advice: 

Implement a flexible work schedule at the workplace. Focus on the end result, not the process. Let them decide ‘How, when, and where’ they want to work and be accountable for their tasks. 

Trust us, it’s the best decision you are going to make for your workplace. Not just for the sake of Gen Z but for everyone working at the organization. 
  • Upskilling is the top-most priority: 

Gen Z doesn’t just look at their work as mere jobs. They see it as a way to learn, upskill, and grow professionally. 

Since the job market is constantly evolving, they want to stay ahead of the curve. While there are valuable resources available on the internet, Gen Z sees jobs as the best way to learn new skills practically. 

Advice: 

Have one-on-one meetings with your employees to understand and help them recognize their career paths. Try giving them tasks that align best with their interest and learning opportunities. You can also organize seminars, workshops, and mentorship programs that can help employees to learn new skills and the latest trends in the industry. 

While you now know what Gen Z expects at the workplace, let’s dig in further to understand how they talk. 

Well, it seems like a cliche topic. But some confusing and unfamiliar slangs are really hard to understand. To fit in their zone, we need to take a step further to know some of their buzzwords. 

Let’s translate the most-used office slang:

There are hundreds of slang and phrases that have been going around. Of course! It’s hard to learn all of them. Hence, we have hand-picked a few of the buzzwords that you can expect to hear from your Gen Z employees: 

  • Vibe: A generic positive feeling they have for someone or something 

Example: “I love working here. Our team has such a great vibe!”

  • Tea: Aka spilling the tea. A gossip, rumor, or juicy information about the subject. 

Example: “I see something is going on with the marketing department. Anyway, our manager will spill the tea about it eventually.”

  • Sus: An abbreviation for Suspicious. Usually, when the situation is considered to be abnormal.

Example: “Why does our team leader seem so serious since morning? That’s sus!”

  • Basic: Something that is considered unoriginal or mainstream or boring

Example:  “I honestly didn’t like the design. It was so basic.”  

  • Hits different: Something that feels different or unique compared to before 

Example: “My lemon tea hits different after 2 hours of the client meeting.”

  • Fr: Shorten version of ‘For real’. When someone is honest or truthful about something

Example: “If my boss will reject my content even after 10 changes, I’ll be upset Fr. 

  • Bet: Way of accepting the challenge or saying ‘yes’ or ‘Ok’. 

Example: “Could you please work on the presentation?” “Bet!” 

  • Understood the assignment: When someone did something well and understood what they were expected to do

Example: “Great job guys! You guys really understood the assignment and implemented it perfectly.” 

  • No cap: Way of saying ‘I am totally honest’ 

Example: “I swear I did what he explained to me on call. He never mentioned the research work, No cap.”

  • CEO: Not the abbreviation of Chief Executive Officer. When someone is best at anything. 

Example: “She is the CEO of persuading people. Wish we could have her in the sales team.” 

To read more about Gen Z at the workplace: