Consulting to the next generation can be tricky, especially if you are generations older than your clients. In as little as 13 years, Generation Y and Generation Z will make up a staggering percentage of the working population, so it’s important to understand how they see the world in order to best utilize their talent. Here are some common worldviews held by Gen Y and Gen Z, and how to adapt your consulting practice to the upcoming generation.
Sometimes referred to as the “me” generation, the next wave of workers are, compared to generations before, interested in how things relate to them on a personal level.
Sometimes referred to as the “me” generation, the next wave of workers are, compared to generations before, interested in how things relate to them on a personal level. Cynics may attribute this behavior to years of doting parents and teachers, all of whom have reassured the generation of their high individual value. Technology, too, reinforces the merit of individual contributions – it allows anyone to broadcast their personal thoughts to thousands, even millions, of people.
Despite the cynics, you can view this behavior positively. This is a group of workers who believe in the power, influence, and relevance of one person. Instead of throwing their hands in the air in the face of difficulty, defeated by a problem too difficult for one person to solve, this group could be guided to tackle issues with full force. They embrace the power of individuality – all you have to do is help underscore personal stakes.
To reach this group, you need to engage them differently than generations prior. Most of the time, they are occupied by an Internet experience they can tailor to meet their every demand through various devices. When they’re not online, they are still connected, often engaged by a stream of pithy texts.
This skepticism can lead to costly problems for employers, like rapid movement between jobs – most leave their first job within two years.
Old communication strategies work less well with this group. To engage them, they need to be hands on. You can’t talk at them; they have to be drawn into the fold and given ample time to participate. In other words, don’t expect them to remain passive – give them the opportunity to actively engage with you and the message you are trying to bring.
Gen Y and Gen Z are very tech-savvy, as well. Many of them have had Internet access for most, if not all, of their lives. They bounce from one technological device to the next and, more than other generations, are eager to try out new tools. They are more inclined to seek out information through tech-based avenues, so it’s crucial to establish a solid web presence in order to reach them.
As far as employment goes, the younger generation is cautious about job security. They have witnessed a massive downturn in the economy, where many saw people who spent their whole lives at a company facing layoffs. This skepticism can lead to costly problems for employers, like rapid movement between jobs – most leave their first job within two years.
This trend can provide solutions, too. Many Gen Y and Z workers are self-directed, masters of their own destiny, and will get a job done if afforded even a bit of flexibility. That means serious productivity for employers who can get the most out of their workforce. Younger workers are also more open to freelance positions, which gives them the flexibility they crave and, for the employer, less expensive employees.
The upcoming generation is a reflection of their time – they’re technologically inclined, engaged, and self-directed. They look inward, and their employment decisions reflect that. For the best future, savvy consultants should be prepared to work with this emerging worldview, not against it.
Guest Author Bio:
Trace Anderson is a freelance writer and marketing expert working with http://www.aimcrm.com. In his free time he enjoys catching up on all the latest tech news.