Gen Z is here, are we ready?

Companies are still on the research stage -trying to decode the Gen Z and their needs.


What a great year this will be. As Gen Z turn 22, they will also be the first bunch to join the workforce. In fact, 2019 will be the year where all four generations will work together collaboratively. This new generation of workforce will be significant for India than any other geography as India is home to the largest Gen Z population than any other country – surpassing China.

As we set the stage to welcome this new breed of employees to join in doves, organisations will have to step up to accommodate them at the workplace. It’s given that tables will turn and one policy can’t fit all. Needless to say, to accommodate the millennials and the Gen Y, organisations had to fine tune their HR policies to suit their needs. Millennials are now passé and quite settled in the workplace, Gen Z is what organisations need to gear up for.   Gen Z compared to the other generations, especially the millennials, are differently wired. While millennials are often called selfish, psychologically scarred, in constant need of validation, Gen Z are perceived to be entrepreneurial, with a strong desire to stand for a cause rather than pitch loyalty for a brand. At the same time, these true digital natives want immediate gratification.

Manish Majumdar

“Organisations will have to go for third part payroll or involve them in specific projects, which is yet to catch popularity in India currently”

Organisations will need to revamp their HR policies or add in the new elements that cater to the needs of Gen Z. It’s time for organisations to decode the characters of Gen Z while building on the HR policies.

The very entrepreneurial nature of Gen Z goes on to say that they are likely to be averse to traditional jobs. This can be validated by numerous examples of young entrepreneurs making money early in their life through creative sources such as YouTube. A study by HBR states that around 70 per cent of the Gen Z will be self-employed.

Manish Majumdar, head HR & COE, Novo Nordisk, says, “Organisations will have to go for third part payroll or involve them in specific projects, which is yet to catch popularity in India currently.” This will probably work in their favour and fuel the Gen Z traits of being self-employed or stay independent”.

Next, Gen Z is born in the era of text messages or social media frenzy. This implies that they will always seek immediate answers and demand instant gratification. This also establishes the fact that for organisations to engage this lot, they must involve them in innovative, pulsating project driven assignments that will can get them immediate result, and offer newer opportunities, thus taking care of their independent trait.

Archana Singh, senior V-P HR, Reliance Broadcast Network opines that organisations will also have to rework on the performance and productivity measurement tools in a project driven work environment. Moreover, this generation is unlikely to follow the traditional practice of a 10-hour shift at the workplace. Rather than time bound, it must be result oriented.

“The productivity measuring methods should be such that they measure productivity irrespective of the location they are working,” she says.

However, it will be wrong to read their craving for instant gratification and individuality as being self-centred. In fact, they are high on self-awareness and are likely to be most dedicated if the business fulfils a greater cause apart from just meeting their monetary needs.

Therefore, organisations will have to not just change their business goals, but also make Gen Z part of a larger cause not just to keep them motivated and productive, but also to help them thrive in a collaborative environment.

Archanna Singh

“The productivity measuring methods should be such that they measure productivity irrespective of the location they are working”

Globally, it’s been observed that this generation is less inclined towards conventional system of education and choose to obtain knowledge through online courses, alternative programmes or just experience. This perhaps may not hold true for the Indian Gen Z population owing to our cultural inclination towards obtaining traditional education. Sooner or later, this trait is likely to catch up with the next generation of Indians too.

According to a boutique research report, 81 per cent of Gen Z have one or more friends who are of a different race other than their own. This clearly indicates their global mindset. Most GenZers believe in global citizenship and are concerned about worldwide issues, rather than being geographically inclined. As businesses turn global and enter new territories, collaboration between various teams will be much easier with Gen Z at the workplace. Many companies that HRKatha spoke to were still on the research stage -trying to decipher the Gen Z and their needs. Time to act fast as they are already on the doorstep.

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