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Lead Your Team Managing

Next Gen Workers Will Be Entrepreneurs, Even at Work

Next Gen Workers Will Be Entrepreneurs, Even at Work
Credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock

As employers look for ways to motivate and retain their millennial employees, they're going to quickly find out that the generation of workers after the millennials offers a whole new set of challenges.

Generation Z, those currently ages 16 to 20, are more entrepreneurial, less motivated by money and more focused on face-to-face communication compared to their Gen Y, or millennial, counterparts, according to a new study from the research and consulting firm Millennial Branding and the HR services and staffing firm Randstad.

The research revealed that it will take different strategies to attract and retain the next generation of workers compared to the current set of young employees. Specifically, more than one-third of future Gen Z employees said when they hit the workforce they will be most motivated by opportunities for advancement, compared to Gen Y workers, who are primarily motivated by money.

The study also discovered that those ages 16 to 20 are not as keen as Gen Ys on working in a quickly moving workplace. Nearly 70 percent of millennial employees prefer working in a fast-paced environment, compared to just 58 percent of Gen Zs.

The two generations also have different opinions on the biggest workplace distractions. Gen Z ranked instant messaging as the biggest distraction, while Gen Y employees listed email. [Tackling the Challenges of the Multigenerational Workforce ]

"Generations are increasingly separated along narrower age bands, requiring managers to juggle the needs and preferences of four or even five distinct generations working side by side," Jim Link, chief human resource officer for Randstad North America, said in a statement.

The research shows that when they do start working, Gen Z employees plan to be slightly more loyal to their employer than Gen Y workers are. While both generations expect to switch employers several times, members of Gen Z indicate that they plan to work for four companies compared to Gen Y's five.

However, employers may not have as large a pool of Gen Z candidates to choose from. The research found that 17 percent of Gen Zs want to start a business and hire others, as opposed to just 11 percent of millennials.

While they may differ in plenty of areas, the two generations agree on several points. Both generations think that honesty is the most important quality for being a good leader, and both prefer in-person communications with managers, as opposed to emailing or instant messaging.

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, said that when members of Gen Z do hit the workforce, they will have a leg up on their millennial peers.

"Gen Z has a clear advantage over Gen Y, because they appear to be more realistic instead of optimistic, are likely to be more career minded and can quickly adapt to new technology to work more effectively," Schawbel said. "Additionally, since Gen Z has seen how much Gen Y has struggled in the recession, they come to the workplace well-prepared, less entitled and more equipped to succeed."

The study was based on surveys of 1,005 respondents ages 16 to 20, and 1,016 respondents ages 21 to 32. The respondents were from the United States, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

During the surveys, those in Gen Z were asked about their thoughts on their future employment and workplace environment, while those in Gen Y were asked about their thoughts on their current employment and workplace environment.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.