Generation Z will be welcomed
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017
Millennials have a positive opinion of Gen Z, believing the group to have strong information technology skills and the ability to think creatively.
Looking to the future, Generation Z
When we started this series in 2011, Millennials were the “new generation” in the workplace and we wondered what their impact might be. By now, either through our day-to-day experience of working side-by-side with Millennials or through research such as this, we have a pretty good idea. It is the next wave of employees—Generation Z (
Millennials tend to have a broadly positive opinion of
The fact that they broadly view Gen Z in a positive light would suggest that Millennials might be willing to offer support and provide this as a perception rather than a criticism. Indeed, Millennials have many useful tips to pass on to their future colleagues. When asked what guidance they would give the next generation—based on their own early career experiences—the main areas of advice were:
- Learn as much as possible: Begin your career open-minded and be ready to learn from others.
- Work hard: Do your best and do not be lazy.
- Be patient: Take your time when entering the workforce and go step-by-step.
- Be dedicated: Be committed to succeeding and persevering.
- Be flexible: Be open and adaptable to change and try new things.
The advice Millennials have for Gen Z varies by country. Those in China, for example, encourage Gen Z to be “humble;” in South America, it is more typical to advise them to “be ready to learn;” and in the US and Canada, the message is to “work hard.”
Millennials believe Gen Z will especially need to develop softer skills, rather than technical or specific knowledge, to meet their expectations. Further, Millennials don’t think Gen Z’s primary strengths align well with the skills or attributes considered most valuable in driving long-term business success. Millennials in senior positions (those increasingly involved in decisions over strategy and direction) consider Gen Z to be underprepared as regards professionalism and personal traits such as patience, maturity, and integrity. This is something that comes from experience, though, and can be learned—especially, as we saw in the 2016 report, when a mentoring program is put in place.
Perhaps surprisingly, Millennials in senior positions rate information technology and social media skills as being of relatively low importance—especially when compared to attributes such as communication, flexibility, leadership, and the ability to think creatively and to generate new ideas. Encouragingly, this last trait is one of the things that Gen Z is thought to have in relatively strong supply. Taken together with Millennials’ generally positive assessment of the next generation, this provides a reason for optimism.