Generation Z: The Future of Workforce Change

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Things move fast in the digital age. Millennials, who’ve seemed to dominate everything the last few years, are no longer the face of young emerging adults or trend-driving consumers. Their influence is being superseded by Generation Z (also known as Gen Z, Centennials or iGen), the generation born between 1996-2015.  Like Millennials, they are a large, diverse and digitally entrenched group. Unlike Millennials, they’re more grounded in the present, with a more practical, less aspirational, mindset.

According to a national research study from the Center for Generational Kinetics, it is time for marketers to paying attention and adapt accordingly to this new generation of decision makers.


For Millennials, technology enhances the experience. For Gen Z, technology is the experience. Technology only seems new if you remember the old way. Generation X was highly influenced by the Baby Boomers before them; but starting with Millennials, influence and technology are rippling up. Younger generations now exert more influence on older generations: the rise of Facebook is one such example. Now is the time to audit your technology/media mix and acclimate to this new generation’s changing expectations.


Gen X and Millennials are the parents of Gen Z, but this generation seems to have the same “generational DNA” as their grandparents and great grandparents. Gen Z has been shaped by the Great Recession and watched unemployed Millennials move back home. They learned to budget and they began to save at an early age. Family life strengthened with Millennials and Gen Z also appreciates a strong family unit. However, they’re not afraid to solve problems for themselves and they are very resourceful. Compared to Gen X and Millennials, they are proving to be a more resilient and optimistic generation.


Very simply, Generation Z doesn’t notice diversity until it’s absent. Audit the depiction of your audience on your website, eblasts, marketing materials and social media. Make the necessary adjustments to reflect a more relevant representation of this young customer base.

One last thought. If you think you won’t have to think about this “generational thing” for another 10 years, think again. Today, we have 3-4 generations in the workforce. Experts say in years to come, we’ll probably have 6-7. Generations are getting shorter and compressed. It’s not about birth years… it’s more about shared behaviors.