Happy young man holding a clipboard and cup of coffee. yacobchuk/ThinkstockPhotos

Welcome Generation Z to the farm workplace

The first completely digitalized generation is headed to work. What should you expect?

For nearly 20 years, employers have been hiring new graduates from Gen Y, also known as “Millennials.” Stereotypes commonly associated with Millennials are that they are confident, tech-savvy, multi-tasking, goal-oriented, seekers of constant feedback, expect participation trophies for everything and are parented by helicopter mothers and fathers.

Millennials in the workplace have become a subject of comedy routines, YouTube video series, and TV shows. Negative or positive, these stereotypes will be hard to shake for a few years, even as the next generation starts in the work world.

And who is this next generation? Generation Z is just beginning to enter the workforce. They are sometimes also referred to as Centennials, or the iGeneration.

There is no precise age range for Gen Z since researchers disagree on the exact birth years. Depending on the source, Generation Z begins with birth dates anywhere from 1995 to the mid-2000s.

Gen Z’ers are your new high school graduates and upcoming college students that will be looking for internships and finding their first job in the next few years.

What can we expect from Gen Z?

This is the first completely digitized generation that has always been connected to the internet and as expected, they are proficient in technology. Being digital natives, Gen Z’ers are online every day and internet reviews are important to them.  

Technology is vital to Gen Z and has been the focus of studies and press regarding generational differences. The Center for Generational Kinetics conducted a study, iGen Tech Disruption, examining the technology uses of Gen Z. They found that social media affects Generation Z both internally and externally more than any other generation. Interestingly, this new generation expects to be more conservative in their cell phone usage at work. In The Center for Generational Kinetics study, only 6% of Gen Z’ers felt it was appropriate to use their cell phone during the workday, whereas 18% of Millennials thought it was appropriate.

Youth making up Generation Z are diverse and are predicted to be independent thinkers and doers. Z’ers are also expected to be more financially conservative.

Employers have been programmed to work with Generation Y, and are just learning the new traits of Gen Z and how this working relationship might differ. Harness the unique skills and qualities Gen Z’ers bring to the workplace. Build the talent pipeline of this new generation to your organization. Find out more at www.AgCareers.com

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Management
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