What drives Gen Z? Embracing failure and taking risks
- A new EY study found that 80% of Gen Zers think failure makes them more innovative, and 17% said it prepares them for new challenges. EY polled 1,400 Gen Zers at its annual International Intern Leadership Conference to gauge their outlook on work as they enter the labor force.
- Key survey results show that 70% of Gen Zers believe it's more important to approach life with curiosity and an open mind than to possess a certain expertise or a specific skill. Almost a quarter said they would be excited about being given a new challenge that takes them out of their comfort zone. And nearly all respondents said they are open to receiving continuous feedback on ongoing or completed projects. About two-thirds said they want to hear timely, constructive performance feedback throughout the year.
- In other survey results, 63% of Gen Zers said it's important to work with people who have various skill levels and educational backgrounds. A fifth said they believe a team's most important element is its construction of people from different ethnicities. More than three quarters said they prefer to have a millennial as a boss over a baby boomer or a Gen Xer.
Some managers have predicted they will struggle in managing Gen Zers; a third of managers expressed this concern in a 2017 APPrise Mobile study. But the EY survey may give hope to managers fretting about Gen Z's entrance into the work world. This generation of workers are unconventional in outlook and mindset. They embrace fear as a learning experience and willingly venture outside of their comfort zones. They value open mindedness, teamwork and diversity — all values that modern employers are trying to emulate.
Attracting, retaining and engaging Gen Zers, however, might come as a challenge. Employers will need to understand what will attract and motivate them, including ample development opportunities, and what could drive them to look for more satisfying work elsewhere. Survey results like EY's can help employers provide Gen Zers with the incentives to satisfy them and help them be productive.