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Survey dispels some Gen Z stereotypes

The future of the workforce shows some positive signs.

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  • | 6:20 a.m. September 30, 2021
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Courtesy. Jessica Schwaller, senior director of associate performance and development at Tampa-based Kforce.
Courtesy. Jessica Schwaller, senior director of associate performance and development at Tampa-based Kforce.
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A new survey from Tampa-based professional staffing giant Kforce cements some management must-dos for working with the youngest generation in the workforce, Gen Z — while also possibly dispelling some myths.

One interesting data nugget: on the question of what is the most important factor when considering a job offer, the bottom answer from Gen Z was corporate social responsibility. A mere nine of 677 people who identified as GenZ on the survey, 1%, chose that answer, survey data shows. That goes against some conventional wisdom on Gen Z, generally people born from 1996-2015, that changing the world through their job is a top priority.

On the flip side, opportunities for career growth are, by far, the most important factor Gen Z jobseekers look for in work, at 61%. Second place is work-life balance, at 19%, followed by salary, at 11%.

Another factoid from the survey is an overwhelming majority of Gen Z respondents, 86%, consider strong communication, being stimulated and being supported as the top three factors in a relationship with a manager. Those factors are rather similar to what A-level employees of any generation tend to look for at work — which dispels another myth, that GenZ employees are vastly different than preceding generations.

Managers who oversee Gen Z employees, says Kforce’s Jessica Schwaller, should still take note of those responses — particularly in keeping lines of communication open, early and often.

“Gen Z is not only prioritizing career growth, but also transparency,” says Schwaller, senior director of associate performance and development at Kforce, in a statement. “Our survey data shows that this generation considers strong communication to be the most important factor in their relationship with their manager. It’s critical for leaders to have open conversations, and to also establish diverse channels for communication. So, you may have your weekly face-to-face meeting, virtually or in-person, and then communicate with them throughout the rest of the week via text, email or chat.”

Other questions in the Gen Z survey looked at remote work — little more than half love it, little less than half are neutral — and what challenges managers face in supervising this cohort. On the latter, again, good communication is crucial.  

“Providing clear expectations and feedback is paramount with Gen Z,” says Schwaller. “Having consistent one-on-one meetings during onboarding, implementing a mentorship program during their first year and having a streamlined process for designating and monitoring tasks are great ways to combat those problems.”




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