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Are Gen Z workers ready to work in retail?
by Arron Baxter - Tuesday, 29 September 2015, 5:12 PM

Retailers are already hiring many members of Gen Z (currently aged 19 years and younger) and some are wondering how the generation will fare as workers compared to preceding generations.

Ricoh, the maker of printers, said a global survey conducted by the company found that the stereotype of Gen Z as "overly demanding screen-swipers in search of instant gratification" is false.

The survey of over 3,300 from all four generations spanned 22 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The study found that Gen Z members have been "strongly shaped by their individualistic Generation X parents" while learning from their Boomer grandparents, as well as the errors and successes of Millennials. In particular, Gen Z's digital prowess is expected to be an asset for hiring companies across business sectors.

Enterprise organizations stand to benefit from their "upbringing of ultra connectivity and collaboration" while Gen Z's "constant demand for workstyle innovation" will help "vertical market players seeking globalization."

The survey found 88 percent believed that having a workforce of different ages is an asset to a company.

On the downside, over a third (35 percent) of older employees expect workplace tensions to increase with the arrival of Generation Z at their companies. Fifty-two percent overall indicated employers were failing to meet the needs of different generations in the workplace.

Sixty-five percent agreed there are fundamental differences in how employees from each generation work. As an example, 77 percent of Boomers prefer face-to-face communication at work, but that drops to 58 percent for Gen Z. Meanwhile, 73 percent of Gen Z respondents believe their future employer will cater to their needs, opposed to only 48 percent of the other three generations.

"Trying to squeeze employees — particularly Gen Z — into the same traditional ways of working, and forcing them to use the same tools, simply will not work," said Mr. Mills.

From an article by Tom Ryan