Why would a company like Elevate K-12 concern itself with the expectations of the youngest generation in the workforce?
For starters, this generation currently makes up 25.9% of US workers. It isn’t just their sheer number, however, that inspires companies to align with the newest generation of employees. It is their work ethic and steadfast value systems that are inspiring companies to rise to the challenge.
Gen Z is looking for learning opportunities and a mission in the workplace. They expect that with hard work they will have the chance to advance in their careers. For this reason, they gravitate towards work cultures that are empowering and encouraging. They want stability and are prepared to show loyalty to the company that invests in their growth. We asked Ryan Byrnes, Head of People for Elevate K-12, how his company is working to align itself with the expectations of this new generation.
What does the workforce at Elevate K-12 look like?
Very diverse! We have people from all backgrounds, cultures and experience ranges. This is what makes us so dynamic. We can leverage many different perspectives and viewpoints to tackle challenges. It is into this culture that we welcome Gen Zs. Their fresh perspectives and willingness to learn fit right in with the way we operate.
What are some common misconceptions about Gen Z in the workforce?
Because members of Gen Z are digital natives and are considered the most tech savvy generation, there is a misconception that they are “know-it-alls.” This simply isn’t true. While our Gen Z team members can teach me a thing or two about what is “no longer cool” in the social media space, they know that the more seasoned staff members have a lot to offer them. They are eager to learn and develop new skills. They are creative and approach new challenges with open minds. This comes with the desire to grow in their roles and the knowledge that growth requires hard work.
What have you found to be most important to them when it comes to choosing a company?
It is really important to this generation to find a company whose mission aligns with their own values. They want meaningful work and to see their efforts affect the company and world outcomes. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they will be satisfied with menial tasks. When they join your company, they are joining because they want to be an integral part of the team.
What has Elevate K-12 done to ensure that it is meeting Gen Z’s expectations?
We meet the Gen Z expectations because mission is who we are. You can stop any Elevater from anywhere in the world and they can tell you what the company’s mission is and what they’re doing to support it. This makes it the perfect fit for a generation that expects companies to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. With this driven company culture comes constant growth and innovation creating opportunities for career advancement.
What excites you about working with Gen Zs?
Everything! They aren’t afraid to speak their minds and offer new perspectives. This can be jarring at first for some people, but when you open your mind and listen to their ideas, you’ll find they have a lot to offer. Their passion is also exciting. This is a generation who wants to give their all when they have buy-in.
How does the Elevate K-12 mission align with values of this generation?
Another misconception about this generation is that they are full of wide eyed optimism. This isn’t true. Gen Zs see the true state of things and want to work to fix it. Our mission at Elevate K-12 is to bring high-quality, live streaming instruction to low income, rural and urban schools as well as create more opportunities for women in the workplace. Working with us means you are working to make the world a better place for thousands of children that need it most.
The work at Elevate K-12 is not for the faint of heart. To borrow from Simon Sinek, we consider ourselves “Infinite Players.” We are focused on achieving our goals rather than beating our competitors. This means we are constantly moving, constantly learning, constantly innovating rather than getting caught up in one upmanship with competitors. This fast pace coupled with a clear mission is a good match for Gen Z!