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Gen Z Is Heading Into the Workforce — And That’s a Good Thing for Everyone

Stephanie Asymkos

Come 2019, millennials won’t be the new kids on the block anymore.

For the first time in modern history, five generations will coexist and collaborate in the workplace. Traditionalists (people born before 1946) and Generation Z (people born after 1996, according to Pew Research Center) bookend the generations that account for the 129.4 million Americans in the U.S. workforce. In between are baby boomers, Generation X and millennials.

Although unprecedented, the multigenerational mix isn’t to be feared. Research from Dell Technologies predicts that the confluence will spur innovation and technology, and cultivate cross-generational mentorships. Workers from all generations can succeed by better understanding this youngest generation of workers.

Gen Z Defers to Older Generations

Of the more than 12,000 Gen Z students from 17 countries Dell surveyed, 73 percent reported they felt confident about their technological prowess but almost all of them felt unsure about their readiness for the workforce.

The cohort following millennials will make up 20 percent of a multigenerational workforce by 2020. A sentiment commonly felt among Gen Z is that they are deferential to older generations, as they realize they have a lot to learn.

See: Millennials and Boomers Now Finally Agree on This Important Money Decision

Gen Z Prefers Human Interaction

Older generations shouldn’t brace themselves for a 180-degree workplace shift to accommodate newcomers. As the first true generation of digital natives, Gen Z will base their career goals on the company’s proximity to technology and usage of social media. However, the generation also desires more human interaction, preferring collaborative and team-based environments where they can receive face-to-face job instruction or feedback.

Check Out: Who Really Had It Best — Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials or Gen Z?

Optimizing Complementary Skills Among Generations

Human resources professionals and company leaders should proactively seize the unique opportunity and implement multigenerational diversity programs to make the most of the time. The age gap will be wide, but creating mentorships or mixed-aged teams among veterans and rookies will bridge the divide between the two and build on each other’s complementary skills.

Keep reading to learn about why millennials are poorer than generations before them.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Gen Z Is Heading Into the Workforce — And That’s a Good Thing for Everyone