While both Generations X and Y have deeply inculcated their careers, Generation Z’s “digital natives” are crowding the job market. Generational change is not only changing the workforce but also changing the HR departments themselves, so what does HR have to adapt to?
While Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) was still considered ambitious, ambitious, and materialistic, Generation Y (1981 to 1996) turned the job market on its head due to its affinity for technology and self-focus, but also with its positive team-orientation. The ideal and the ideal. Generation Z (1997 to 2012) is now driving professional life – and in addition to its distinguishing characteristics, its affinity with digitalization brings with it a cultural turmoil that also creates new opportunities. But what is Gen Z really in the workplace? The
The study “Young People in Germany” by Simon Schnitzer shows that their confidence, level of eyesight, predictability, and their promotion of individuality are important.
Digital natives: growing up in a digitally networked world
Of course, not every young man born in the late ’90s is created equal. But one thing is definitely true: Generation Z arose with the capabilities of a digitally networked world. Digital natives are accustomed to being part of a 24 hour networked community, using a torrent of information for themselves and cultivating virtual and personal contacts. This also brings with it new expectations for everyday working life.
What Generation Z expects from everyday work:
- There is no longer a clear separation between the real and virtual world – both worlds merge into one.
- In place of lifelong occupational security, flexible arrangements, self-determination and socially responsible behavior are increasingly valued.
- Mixing work and life: The optimum combination of work and private life is pursued using all technical possibilities.
- Digital technology is seen as a natural extension of an individual’s personality and potential and is used extensively.
- Instead of high salary and job-related status, the focus is on enjoyment at work, good work environment and proper work environment.
How innovative is HR really?
In order to adapt to digital natives, companies need to rethink faster and more. In addition to new forms of collaboration, there is a need for greater use of modern ICTs, digital HR processes, and a proper understanding of roles – just as young people are accustomed to.
However, many HR administrators do not (yet) have the digital skills or concepts needed for transformation today and in the years to come. so gave in
DGFP Study “Digital Skills for Employee Developers”, 54 percent of those surveyed stated that they had no clear idea of the skills required in the context of progressive digitization. From the perspective of 66 percent, there is also a lack of a clear concept of digital skill development among employees. It’s clear: digitization doesn’t seem to be a top priority yet.
However, if you want to remain competitive, the way HR sees itself must change: while the HR department is still primarily responsible for management today, the role must change in the direction of designers in order to create a framework Successful work across generations. It is important to reconcile new needs with technological advances and the cultural structures of your company.
Why should HR shape digitization
Human resource managers must become change managers in a process that can advance with generations and with modern technology. Or in other words: in team play with digital people and tools, the HR department must take on the role of transformation in terms of designing a new corporate culture. The following aspects are important:
- New, hybrid and remote work makes collaboration increasingly mobile, digital, and heavy, which requires a solid foundation.
- More and more hierarchies are fading out and being replaced by an eye-level exchange, which is why HR has to create conditions for good management of employees.
- The human resources department should stand ready as a mentor in the transformation process, and provide training or discussions so that administrators can learn about and implement a new management model.
- The independence and personal responsibility of employees should be expanded and strengthened.
- The HR department must coordinate closely and regularly with employees and obtain valuable feedback.
- HR itself must also have an affinity for technology and be able to use digital tools such as HR software on a daily basis.
Does HR need more responsibility?
Changing generations is not only changing the labor market, but also changing the human resources departments themselves, and the lack of diversity and active expansion of the field of human resources competence to include technical subjects remains a major challenge. Often the tagline is: “Working in HR is attractive simply because it deals directly with people and the focus is on soft skills. It is handed over to the IT department and decisions are made there – not always with the goal of getting the best possible result in HR.”
This is the reality documented in many companies. And so the provocative questions arise: Can HR ever be up to the task of tomorrow if the majority of people working here have only limited interest in IT issues or have to delegate them? How can HR do justice to their creative role when very few people have or are allowed little interest in the company’s strategic future topics? Because one thing is clear: Those who can’t have a say in big data, social media, HR software, and other critical corporate digital issues won’t be taken seriously by top management.
Or do you just need more IT skills?
It’s not at all about the current qualification offers, it’s about the lack of diversity of interests. As a result, some HR roles that are particularly important for the future have not been adequately filled. Many companies in Germany already lack IT experts, human resources, knowledge and experience. So the greatest danger may be the lack of diversity of interests. And so it also depends on your job ads. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman – if you want to perform the HR role convincingly and successfully, you must have today and tomorrow more of the often-cited soft skills: the ability to have a say on strategic business topics, digitalization issues, and IT skills are required. In this way, experienced career changers can also score points because they may better understand what the organization needs in terms of digitizing human resources.
Generation Z equals generation of opportunity?
Clearly: Generation Z people can be a great opportunity for businesses. To do this, responsible HR departments must adapt more than ever to potential top performers in order to meet their needs and not lose out in the competition for talent.
What can companies specifically do to reduce the risk of burnout in the current generational diversity of their workforce and the lack of diversity of interests in their HR department? How can the increasing need for business and IT skills be translated into human resource roles? What digital tools, solutions, services and strategies can support this? We’ll tell you that and more in Chapter Two of our main topic, which deals with what needs to change in terms of digitization by and for HR.