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Gen Z Were Hit By Covid, But We Are Fighting Back With Resilience



As a young 22-year-old in my final year of undergraduate education, I'm excited and fearful of entering the workforce, and I know I'm not alone in this.

This pandemic has been an incredible disruption right at a crucial time in our transition from student to active participant in the workforce. It has the potential to affect our entire outlook negatively, yet somehow, I believe this crop of graduates will be some of the most resilient graduates ever.

Why is that? 

+ Covid Pandemic

+ Cancelled student exchanges

+ Missed networking opportunities

+ Declining job openings, cancelled internships, layoffs

+ Competing with experienced hires for entry-level roles

+ Remote work made it hard to engage, build trust and form connections

+ And FOMO!

What has wounded our hearts has not warped our spirits.

As a member of a new generation, we bring youth, hope and humanity to the workplace. The challenges we face in the workforce are important and need acknowledgement and consideration. We ask that employers lead with empathy, help smooth our transition to ensure our success and consider our value over the long term as members of tomorrow's workforce and leaders of the future.

Our concerns (1):

+ Opportunities to be mentored

+ Developing adequate professional connections & experience

+ Learning to negotiate

+ Networking

How can employers fix it?

  1. Reward employees with respect, no matter their experience level.

Invest in us, hire us, onboard us properly to allow us to thrive and consider our well-being. Employees expect to be equitably rewarded, appreciated and supported to stay current.

  1. Provide meaningful feedback:

Check in to see how we are tracking. Do we need more regular contact, direction, feedback or, conversely, more independence? Keep employees accountable but remember that 23% of the workforce is anxious about future job opportunities (2).

  1. Invest in mentoring and skill development:

Focus where there's demand for the future: Digital/data literacy, innovation & creativity, emotional intelligence, curiosity & adaptability, pattern recognition/critical thinking, virtual leadership, and storytelling (2). Encourage career growth and opportunities with attainable career roadmaps.

  1. Link "what" we're doing with the "why":

We want to contribute to society and work for organisations whose values align with our own. Almost three-quarters of workers expect their employer to become actively involved in cultural debates (3). Consider how global movements such as Black Lives Matter, Diversity and Gender Equality impact your entire team.  

As an employer, the investment you make in keeping your workforce engaged and up to date impacts your future prosperity. For recent graduates, we should be proud of completing our studies under these unreal conditions. Let's adapt positively and with passion, not be afraid to throw ourselves at issues we care deeply about, and let's not wait to be told what to do. These challenges are the crucibles in which forge leadership and character.

Get in touch to find out how Peoplogica can help!

Sources:

1. https://workforceinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Meet-Gen-Z-Hopeful-Anxious-Hardworking-and-Searching-for-Inspiration.pdf

2. https://newsroom.ing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ING-Future-Focus_preparing-for-the-digital-workforce-of-tomorrow.pdf

3. https://www.gartner.com/document/3983567

Written by Tess Herron

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