Goodbye Gen-Y.  Hello Gen-Z and iGen?  While I’m not sure all the talk on Millennials did much to change the world of business, even though it should in many regards, it appears that everyone is tired of hearing about this generation already.  While many of the things you hear about Millennials/Gen-Y simply aren’t true, people are ready to move on. But move onto what? Be careful what you wish for. I’ll introduce you to Gen-Z, but…first, let’s recap Gen-Y:

The New World of Gen Y

  • Largest generation in history – 34% of workforce
  • Will comprise 50% of workforce/economic dollar in 2020
  • By 2025, three out of 4 workers globally will be 18-34 – Adobe
  • $41 trillion transfer of wealth to this generation from older generations

Gen Y Values

  • Openness & transparency
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Appreciation for diversity
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Opposition to hierarchy

How They Work

Today’s digitally empowered Gen-Y work, shop, play everywhere — at home, strolling through the park, or while standing in line at the coffee shop. The old way of thinking sees these as separate physical places for separate functions. But for Millennials, these are just touchpoints that all aid in their work-life integration. The web, mobile, tablet, in-office and wearable technology all need to enable them to get their personal and work tasks done. There is no work-life balance. It’s all about integration.

Lost Productivity?

Studies show that people check their mobile devices up to 150 times every day. Yet despite employees being always on and constantly connected, most companies have not figured out how to make information easy to find. In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Human Capital study, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of employees say they still cannot find the information they need within their company’s information systems.

Ignoring internal employee experience costs money too – perhaps $10 million a year for mid-size companies. According to one study, 57 percent of interruptions at work resulted from switching among disparate standalone applications.

Changes?

Do we think things are going to change? I’m here to tell you that, yes, some things will change. In fact, we’ll see some old things become new such as family values, conservative principles on money, education and home ownership, but we’re also going to see sacred cows destroyed such as Television norms, business norms, and social norms.

The digital world of social, mobile, instant everything, personalization, IoT and the consumerization of IT are simply going to magnify x 100.


Organizations must undergo shifts in their structures to align themselves with how employees (and customers) act in a new world obsessed with digital experiences.
– Forrester


The iGen Audience | Gen Z

The iGen (or generation Z) is right now and there is a disruption of similar impact coming. iGen is a generation born with consumer-driven capitalism at its core and altruism at its heart. Never before has there been a generation so globally plugged in and so informed.

We need to recognize that their patterns and behaviors are opposed to anything that came before them and that they basically ignore what we know about previous generations and how they interact with marketing, social circle, and work.

iGen literally has digital appendages that give them, in real time, anything they want. It no longer takes time to earn knowledge and work, life, entertainment is no longer confined to particular times or places.

According to a great article from Ryan Jenkins, here are:

iGen Facts

  • Only 6% of Generation Z use email to communicate and 39% say the never use email.
  • 0% of Generation Z call Twitter their top social network, which is only slightly behind the 33% who chose Facebook.
  • Generation Z girls are more likely than boys to be tweeting (31% vs. 19%).
  • 75% own a cell phone.
  • Online socializing will continue to collapse geography, as Generation Z continues to make global connections.
  • It’s estimated that Generation Z will have 15 homes during their lifetime and 17 different jobs in different industries.
  • More than 90% use the Internet at home and 75% at school.
  • 3 out of 4 use social media everyday.
  • Generation Z has a bottom-up nature where most of their heroes are their peers on Vine, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • On average, they spend 7.4 hours a day using technology. (No wonder, 75% think they are “good” or “great” with technology.)

And There’s More!

  • Girls spend on average 1.2 hours per day longer than boys using technology. Yet, only 13% of girls claim to be technology “geeks” compared to 33% of boys.
  • Girls lead the way as the early adopters of technology, with a much wider use of different tech and higher usage.
  • Generation Z sends about 60 texts a day.
  • Generation Z places a premium on doing something they love for a living because 76% said they wish they had a hobby that would turn into a full-time job.
  • Big salaries?  Not that important.  Firm in their need for flexibility.
  • 63% still prefer to socialize in person with friends. But they still wish to seamlessly blend their online and offline connections.
  • Many will occupy jobs that don’t exist today.
  • 1 in 4 are “cell mostly” Internet users, forgoing desktops, and laptops for the convenience of their phone.
  • 95% are online, a percentage that has been consistent since 2006.
  • Growing up in the worst recession in 70 years has caused them to think more short-term, transactional, and like a free-agent which could make them more business-savvy and entrepreneurial than the Millennials.

iGen Facts and Figures

When you talk to the up and coming iGens, one thing becomes clear.  Generation Z is optimistic about the world and excited to create in it. This generation is bound both by immense technology potential and tough socio-economic environment.  Most of all, this is a generation who wants to create and innovate.  They believe they can hack the world around them for the better.

The negativity that plagued reports of Millennials so far hasn’t made its way to Gen Z, and that’s a great thing. All signs are pointing to a generation where creativity will explode and innovation will soar. Gen-Z is a powerhouse waiting to happen!  Brand collaborators.  Innovators.  Prepared to hack the world.

Conclusion

So, goodbye Millennials and hello iGen. Employers and marketers who didn’t realize that a shift was on for their corporate culture, their technology and their tools are in for a huge shock.


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