Today we issued new research findings about Generation Z employees in New Zealand. Nintex’s research reveals career drivers and values for the country’s soon-to-be-largest generation, who is overwhelmingly saddled with student loans.
The study, “The Gen Z Effect in New Zealand: Understanding your newest employees’ views on work, corporate culture, automation and you”, unveils that Gen Z, those born between 1996 and 2012, is ready to commit to an employer – provided their values align and they are given learning and development opportunities to succeed in their chosen careers.
Our research shows distinct differences between Gen Z and their Millennial predecessors. Recruiting firm Robert Walters found external motivators, like public recognition of achievements and opportunities to exercise influence, kept Millennials engaged at work. Nintex research, however, found Gen Z employees have clear career ambitions that first appear at university and follow them into the workforce.
The study reveals “personal interest” is the primary motivator in selecting their focus of study at university, not long-term earning potential. Forty-two percent of Gen Zers cite “new learning opportunities” and 61% cite “expected career growth” as the most important factors for job selection.
Our research reveals that Gen Z is a career-driven generation who need to be managed and mentored differently than the prior generation. Employers who appreciate the personal interests, values and career ambitions of their Gen Z employees and effectively coach and train these young professionals, while celebrating good work and meeting in person, will have happily committed Gen Zers in the workplace.Ryan Duguid, Nintex Chief Evangelist Tweet this
1. Gen Z has a personal and purposeful stake in their work
Though the majority (80%) of New Zealand Gen Zers take on student loans, their focus of study in university is informed by genuine interest rather than earning potential. Gen Z’s emphasis on personal interests follows them to the workplace – where one in three prospective Gen Z employees said the job offer they accept after university must come from a company whose mission or values align with their own.
2. Opportunities for growth drive both Gen Z job selection and attrition
New learning and growth opportunities were the most important factors in Gen Z’s job selection process — far ahead of salary (31%). In fact, the absence of long-term growth opportunities could send about one-third of Gen Z employees searching for a new job sooner than planned.
Company leaders, however, do not understand their youngest employees’ motivations. When asked why Gen Z employees might leave a role sooner than planned, 61% of decision-makers thought it would be for a better-paying job, while 31% attribute attrition to slow promotion timelines.
3. Meet Gen Z in real life (IRL)
Gen Z may be stereotyped as “screenagers,” but their preference is for frequent, in-person communication with their manager. Almost all (94%) Gen Z employees prefer in-person check-ins with their manager over virtual meetings. Of that group, three-quarters want every check-in to be in person rather than through collaboration platforms.
These conversations can prove fruitful for the Gen Z employee and for the company. Overwhelmingly (89%), Gen Z feels their managers are open to their ideas for improvement, while the managers Nintex surveyed report that about one in every five suggestions from a Gen Z employee regarding improvements to process, technology or tools are adopted.
4. Gen Z is not fazed by tech troubles
Gen Z is able to solve their own tech problems as well as their managers’. In fact, more than half (53%) of Gen Z employees say they have been asked to fix a superior’s tech issue.
When Gen Z encounters tech problems at work, fewer than 40% said that they would submit a formal request. Instead, the notable majority (61%) will either solve the problem themselves by Googling it, ask a colleague for help, or solve through trial and error.
Managers are fully aware of Gen Z’s tech aptitude, with 76% of managers acknowledging that Gen Z is more tech-savvy than they are.
5. Leaders worry about potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation for future generations
Both Gen Z and decision makers see the opportunity in technologies like AI and automation, with the notable majority of Gen Z workers (75%) and decision makers (82%) stating that automation has the potential to make their job easier. The two groups are also in agreement when it comes to concerns for new technology as it relates to their own job security.
Forty-three percent of Gen Z employees are concerned about the impact of automation on their job security, and 45% of decision-makers said the same. But when asked about Gen Z job security, not their own, more than half (53%) of decision makers are concerned about the impact of automation on the career prospects of their youngest employees.
The Gen Z Effect in New Zealand study provides strong evidence that the youngest working generation’s identity is deeply tied to their jobs. It will be critical for business leaders and managers of Gen Z employees to ensure these individuals find meaning in their roles and do not hinder their ambition with inefficient or broken business processes.
Process management and automation capabilities can play a decisive role in fostering workplaces that help Gen Z flourish and build their careers. Technologies like the Nintex Process Cloud platform were designed to help companies improve how people work by making it easy to manage, automate and optimize every business process with powerful technology that keeps employees engaged and customers happy, and drives businesses to outpace competitors.
People are your most important asset in today’s tech-driven workplaces. Empower your employees, including Gen Z, to make wise choices and select technologies that improve how everyone works as it is people who are critical to ensuring your business and all of your processes are the best they can be.Ryan Duguid, Nintex Chief Evangelist Tweet this
We’re pleased to share The Gen Z Effect in New Zealand study findings in more detail at Nintex Promapp™ CONNECT 2019 in Wellington on 11 June and Auckland on 13 June.
To register, visit https://www.promapp.com/connect-2019/.