There are 4.6 million reasons to engage Generation Z, the students of today and university graduates, employees and consumers of tomorrow. They are truly the 21st Century generation, with the whole of their formative years lived in this century. While Gen Z’s are today’s children and teenagers, within a decade they will comprise 1 in 3 workers and will hold significant purchasing power. Recognising and responding to the defining attributes of this emerging generation and gaining the knowledge and skills to engage this post-literate, multi-modal and tech-savvy generation is key.Workers today look to have multiple needs met at work. For them, it’s also about fun, social connection, training, personal development, greater fulfilment and even environmental sustainability, in addition to achieving task outcomes and receiving financial rewards. In fact the younger generations are not so much motivated by job security and financial reward as they are by other benefits.

When looking to attract and retain Gen Z, their values at work include ownership and individuality. Motivation includes job variety and creativity, while influences over career choice include the Internet and peer groups. Perception and experience shape the career perceptions and views of Gen Z, while innovation and empowerment are important to them in terms of key management tools. Typical training style preferred by Gen Z is interactive and multi-modal, while their key communication tools involve hands on learning and participation. Their leadership style is through consensus and feelers, their influences and values are global and short-term wants, while their management approach is involving and revolving around the statement ‘here’s what I think’.