In the business world, we are quite familiar with the phrase, "Generation Z has arrived—and they’re very different from millennials." by Denise Villa. But as we get into the intricacies of their wants and needs, we question, are they really that different, or, in fact, do Gen Z and millennials want the very same things?
Time has evolved over generations, and people now have better ways of expressing their needs. For years, employees have stayed under the compassion of their respective employers, quietly adhering to work standards. There was a lack of many well-developed policies that have shaped the lives of employees today. Paternity leaves, mental health workshops, remote working, and office play zones are certain modern-day policies that are more normalized now than ever before. The reason behind the structural advancements in workplaces is the growing demands of Gen Z. However, it's important that we don’t overlook the fact that millennials wanted the same things but were never driven because of their situations. Here’s a peek into how millennials were brought up.
Think about what millennials went through as they stepped into the working world. They faced the Great Recession which limited opportunities for them and questioned their abilities. It took a lot of recovery time for them to get to their goals and achieve the extraordinary. They have always seen the hard way and have worked relentlessly to feel secure in their jobs. But Gen Z has experienced a season of recession followed by a quick boom. The technological advancements haven’t let most companies down even during the pandemic scare. Gen Z employees are always on the move seeking out the best opportunities.
2. Limited Opportunities
Millennials had to find ways to get what they wanted. There were no footprints that they could trace to achieve success. Most of them ventured into different fields and made their mark with innovation. Their companies were few of the firsts that saw success on a grand scale. Gen Z grew amid such experiments and found the technique to rise and bring a change. They received guidance through their millennial mentors and learned from their experiences. This enabled confidence in them and created more opportunities for them. Take an example of a Gen Z-backed start-up; they quickly diversify and make changes if something does not work out. This wasn’t quite the case with millennials who believed in persistence.
Now that we understand how things were for both generations, it’s clearer that both of them are unique in their own ways. But are their wants the same or different?
Millennials and Generation Z
1. Work-Life Integration
Growing up in the hustle culture, it was the millennials who first voiced the need for work-life integration. Most of them kept themselves so busy in their professional lives that they had nothing left to give themselves personal time. That thought subsided amidst the swift changes experienced in the job market until they finally gave in.
Gen Z pushed by better work scenarios and ethics has clearly advocated the need to balance their personal and professional lives and fortunately are getting on with it. Additionally, the pandemic helped women find work-life integration and they ensured they were heard.
Although the pandemic scared everyone with the mobility factor and unemployment spurred along, it bestowed greater powers on the Gen Z. They knew that they could demand a hybrid work scenario when the situation improves. Parents too prefer returning to work if they get some flexibility. Rightly so, some companies have gone entirely remote enabling employees to better work-life integration. Some of them even have given the normal work timings a pass and ensured flexibility to the employees as long as the work gets done. Millennials on the other hand cage themselves to allotted time frames and responsibilities.
3. Thinking Out of the Box
As Gen Z cracks the code of better productivity, they sense that time isn’t a measure but work quality is. Hence they invest in thinking out of the box for creative work strategies. The younger employees bring forth different ideas that unite the organization while making exceptional advances in productivity. Such ideas include workshops on meditation, wellness programs, and even official team breaks. Millennials on the other hand had to oversee these approaches because getting things done was more important then.
The Key to Success Is Progression
It is only normal that Gen Z and millennials have psychological differences from what they have seen in their lives. And even though Gen Z appears the smartest of all generations to be able to transform their demands into reality, millennials played an integral role in it happening. It was always this way. The spontaneity of the new generation awed the old generations where some from the latter had an opinion. With the recent trends in business, it’s a relief to know how Gen Z is preparing itself to lead in different roles. It is imperative that organizations echo their efforts by providing them with a healthy work culture and aligning business strategy with Gen Z demands. At the brim of all these, we must not lose sight of progression.
Progression is the key and as far as emerging generations are mindful of that fact, they will never disappoint or lead in the wrong way.
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