May 02, 2019

How Generation Z is the Next Big Change for Fenestration

by Carrie Scheetz

We already know times are changing, and they’re changing fast. Technological advances led to automated lines; environmentally conscious trends led to green building standards. But the next phase of industry changes now stems from a changing workforce. Generation Z, or iGen for short, is growing up and they’re ready to enter the workforce. And for some, that means joining the fenestration industry.

Each generation carries with it a mix of historical events, cultural norms and social trends that help define why and how people born in that era act. Think about it: most iGens weren’t alive for 9/11 like Gen X or Baby Boomers were, so for them, it’s part of our history instead of a memory. Born in the mid to late ‘90’s and 2000s, iGens are now in their early 20s and looking for their first jobs. The U.S. Census Bureau says nearly 61 million iGens are expected to enter into the workforce in the next two years. And with that influx of people comes a shift in values, cultural norms and social trends.

Here’s just three ways we see iGens changing the working landscape:

They are their own top priority. For iGen, its all about me. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because this generation grew up with seemingly infinite amounts of information at their fingertips, they’ve learned how to consume large amounts of information and then decide what’s best for them. When they’re looking for a job or making a purchasing decision, they’ll likely check out your social media channels, website, online reviews and more before making the choice to reach out. Customized marketing is more important than ever now, thanks to iGen.

One-to-one relationships are a necessity. Because of their focus on self, iGens value positive work relationships and look for that in a prospective job. Per Forbes, iGens “want to engage one-on-one with their organizational leaders. Management should be actively involved in the progression of their careers. Creating an effective strategy to allow this generation to receive mentorship, sponsorship, and also one-on-one guidance from leaders can be a beneficial approach to keeping this group engaged.”

They’re true digital natives and expect instant results. And that makes sense. What else would we expect from a generation that grew up with the internet in their back pockets? According to Harvard Business Review, “iGens require information on-demand, and trust the advice of friends, even strangers, more than authority figures, organizations, and brands on social media.” Which drives home my second point of the importance of authentic relationships even more.
 
What are your thoughts on Generation Z? And how are they already changing your workplace? Contact me at carrie.scheetz@quanex.com.  
 

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Posted: May 02, 2019 by Carrie Scheetz Filed under: employee, engagement, HR, Workforce