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Gen Z


The Purpose Generation

Over the past few months, we have been talking a lot about millennials – particularly as they’re set to represent most of the modern workforce. But what about Generation Z?

By Carly Hilkin | Corporate Communications

Born between 1995 – 2015, Gen Z represents today’s youth and will surpass millennials this year as the most populous generation. They have the most to lose from the negative effects of climate change; they are less trusting than their predecessors; and they are demanding action.

Perhaps that’s why they are motivated to see change through themselves – 64% of Gen Zers claim to be activists. (In case you’ve been living under a rock, see student protests inspired by Greta Thunberg.)

Now it’s safe to say that youth-inspired action isn’t a ground-breaking revelation. We have a long history of youth speaking out for what they believe in, and every generation has fought for different causes. However, an active generation that grew up with smartphones and social media from the start means that companies will need to change their behaviour – and move more quickly on tackling climate change.

Here are some points for companies to consider about the Purpose generation:

Care about climate.
The most obvious take-away from this should be that companies, with their senior leaders at the forefront, need to be taking an active role in tackling climate change. Setting 2020 sustainability targets are nice but won’t be enough, companies should be looking at defining how investment and commitments will help deliver a more sustainable future. There will also be an expectation for companies to apply pressure on politicians to effect change.  

Create opportunities for genuine engagement.
Gen Zers are motivated by social causes and are peer-driven. The majority of Gen Z will take action if it enables them to share content and engage with their peers, so consider social driven calls to action that empowers others to get involved. For example, the company Boxed Water has planted nearly 800,000 trees after pledging to plant two for every picture of their product shared on social media with the hashtag #betterplanet.

“Own” your purpose.
Not unlike millennials, Gen Z is motivated to work for a company with a purpose worth committing to. In fact, 74% value purpose ahead of their pay check. They want to work for a company where they can take pride in their role in helping deliver its purpose, and they need to see it reflected in tangible results. Be prepared to demonstrate how your organisation contributes to society (ahem, fixing the environment!), and how employees can link their role to this mission.

Still not sure what all this means?
We are working on it. Our Project Z report (soon to be published) will look at what motivates and stimulates Gen Z, their morals, thoughts on consumption and what the future looks like to them.