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How Gen Z is Redefining PR

Since time immemorial, evolution has always been the key survival skill for all life-forms. While at the surface level, a scientific concept, it has much deeper roots in the practical world we all reside in today. In a much higher sense, evolution is deeply connected to the fundamental concept of adapting to one’s circumstances. 

For Gen-Z, who are the greatest emerging workforce in today’s interconnected global economy, this is especially a key factor for them to chart out their way forward.

In 2024, the landscape of PR agencies has undergone a notable transformation, driven by the influx of Gen Z employees into the workforce. This demographic shift has prompted substantial adjustments within agency environments, placing a heightened emphasis on values such as work-life balance, the prioritization of mental health in the workplace, fostering open two-way communication, and cultivating more meaningful work experiences.

Qualities that make Gen-Z changemakers at the workplace:

Technological savviness: One of the most defining features of a Gen-Z is their tech savvy nature. Growing up in the era of social media has made them highly skilled in utilizing social media platforms and digital tools for their day to day work. This is an asset as Gen-Zs showcase higher flexibility in terms of their outlook towards new technology. 

Gen-Zs are not only a force to reckon within the present framework but the crux of business in the future. Their unique approach presents them with an invaluable edge in the workforce.

Diversity and inclusivity: Gen-Zs are considered to be a diverse generation wherein they are more perceptive and aware ensuring making everyone feel included regardless of their gender and race. These values enable them to be more understanding at the workplace and create a diverse space as well.

Emphasis around mental health: Gen-Z has definitely played a pivotal role when it comes to creating awareness about mental health and how it impacts their work and productivity. This has been made possible through the support of companies fostering a conducive work culture and striving for a healthy work-life balance. Such initiatives empower Gen-Z to pursue interests beyond their professional obligations, nurturing holistic well-being and enhancing overall productivity.

Shift in training and development: Gen Z employees prefer interactive video-based training modules that help them to solve real time problems. Organizations that are incorporating these changes and strategies are ensuring higher rates of retention and engagement, leading to a more effective output.

Collaborative mindset: Gen-Z foster a strong sense of collaborative mindset when it comes to working with their team. This has further resulted in organizations maintaining open and transparent communication with them to ensure their voices are being heard and incorporated as well.

Overall, Gen-Zs are shaping the way organizations are transforming not just from the business perspective but also how they are incorporating changes that will not only boost their productivity but also bring value to the work that they do on a daily basis.

While there's an array of positive contributions that Gen Z employees bring to the workplace, it's essential to acknowledge that there are also certain expectations and drawbacks from their perspective.

Growing dependence on AI: Recent study stated that Gen-Z employees feel guilty about using AI to aid them to their daily tasks. Relying heavily on ChatGPT and other AI tools has resulted in limited critical thinking skills and affected their creativity as well

Job hopping: Job hopping has become a common phenomena among Gen-Z employees. However, frequent job changes might be viewed as a result of instability or lack of commitment, potentially painting the candidate in an unfavorable light. This perception could affect a job seeker’s chances during recruitment and be seen as a red flag.

However, with constant changes in the workplace, organizations are understanding job hopping does not always reflect negatively but it also depends on different factors such as growth opportunities, upskilling and choosing better working conditions.

Shorter attention span: In the age of overload of information and internet and instant gratifications, Gen-Zs tend to have shorter attention span compared to the previous generations. Access to social media on their phone has resulted in them being easily distracted during work and not being able to complete tasks in a timely manner.

Preference for independence: Gen-Z prefer complete independence while working and don’t appreciate strict rules or any kind of management towards them. However, for the majority of the Gen-Zs who are just entering the workforce it is imperative that they get the right kind of training and attention before they are independent of their tasks.

The world we all reside in today is dynamic, the only constant is change itself. One has to mould themselves no matter what industry, background they come from or what skill set they possess. The ability to manage diverse challenges across a varied spectrum owing to the volatile nature of the industry is crucial. The buck doesn’t stop anywhere. In such a scenario, Gen-Z possesses a unique edge. Their mind is limitless and their approach is far more non-traditional when compared to the generations that preceded them. Gen-Z never want to settle, they want their work to optimize their potential to the fullest, and they want to make the most of their resources.

Janvi Mankani, co- founder at Mint + Milk Communications

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