Ready or Not Here Comes Generation Thumb

Talking about millennials in the workforce is so yesterday. Time now to start preparing for Gen Z, or, as Chad Norman calls them, Generation Thumb.

This is the generation born after the turn of the century. They’ve never known a world where two thumbs and smartphone didn’t connect you to everything. Hence, Generation Thumb, a name only a CMO (for Catch Talent) like Norman could come up with. But behind the funny name is a serious message he delivered to DisruptHR audience in Orlando: Just as the millennials disrupted the workplace — and still are — the children and teens of today will have their own expectations when they enter the workforce, so HR needs to be ready.

In a lightening fast delivery, Norman cataloged for his audience of HR professionals a few of these expectations:

  • Benefits: “We have to get on point with our benefits and our wellness programs because they are going to be expecting way more than we can deliver.”
  • Open enrollment: “Everything we can needs to be on their device or, you know what, they’re not going to do it.”
  • Transparency: “There are no more secrets.” “They have everything of humanity in their pocket at all times.”
  • Jobs: “They have a startup vernacular… Not going to college and getting a job… They want to start a company, so how do we wrangle them inside and make sure they’re inspired to do our work?”

So what’s a person to do to prepare? Norman gives some hints, starting with getting to know the zeitgeist of Gen Z or Generation Thumb. If you’ve been spending your time on millennial disruptions, Norman’s 5 minutes will convince you to start thinking about what’s next.

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