How Gen Z Will Lead Workers’ Safety in Technology

How Gen Z Will Lead Workers’ Safety in Technology

Many individuals from Gen Z will soon enter the workforce if they haven't already. They could be some of the most self-aware and risk-conscious members of the workforce.

Who Are Generation Z?

Gen Z, also referred to as iGen or centennials, is descriptive of the population that follows Millennials. Several research centers have different benchmarks to determine who classifies as a Gen Z. According to Pew Research, Gen Z captures the demographic born after the year 1997. However, all institutions agree that the cut off falls in the late 90s. Today, the oldest members of Gen Z are between the ages of 22 and 24. Many individuals from this generation will soon be entering the workforce if they have not already.

Gen Z in the Workforce

It’s hard to believe, but some workforces today may be comprised of up to five very different generations, Gen Z being the most recent addition. Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse and most sizeable generation in all of US history, with an estimated US headcount of 82 million by 2026. This will make it the most substantial demographic group in the US.

Gen Z is notorious for having grown up with constant access to the internet, social media, and smartphones. With that being said, members of Gen Z has lived a significantly different life than their Millennial and Baby Boomer counterparts. They are incredibly connected, whether that be with their teammates at work or friends across the world. Defining features of individuals who are members of Gen Z include their financial focus, their continuous welcoming of new technology, their environmental awareness, their ability to multi-task, their desire for independence, and their confident, autonomous nature.

Characteristics of a Gen Z Worker

Different generations are shaped by the environment in which they are raised. Values and characteristics become instilled in individuals over time and can be used to explain specific behaviors. Because of their incredible capacity for connectivity, Gen Z workers will likely take a leading position in implementing a positive workplace safety culture. The notable size and defining characteristics of Gen Z will likely result in these digital natives heavily influencing workplace processes and the future job market. More specifically, Gen Z’s inherent ability to leverage technology will provide fertile grounds for technological safety advancements.

Gen Z is also known to be a highly risk-averse group. According to Shona Paterson, Director at Shirley Parsons US, members of Gen Z are less likely to consume alcohol in general and are also more likely to wear seat belts. These attributes are said to stem from the generation’s comprehensive awareness of risk. This awareness is learned through the continuous absorption of information, which results from being connected throughout the day. With this in mind, Gen Z individuals are hyper-sensitive to safety in the workplace since they are aware and educated on all of the things that could go wrong. Thus, a safe work environment will allow Gen Z employees to feel more secure and to behave more productively.

Gen Z and Connected Safety

Connected Safety is an Internet of Things platform. It is designed and implemented to connect workers, equipment, and locations to enable organizations to fuel improvements in safety process automation and worker safety. You can learn more about the ins and outs of connected safety here:

When it comes down to it, a cloud-based work safety management system is essential if your organization wants to effectively monitor the safety of your workers around the clock. Because monitoring software is readily available on devices that workers already own, such as laptops, computers, and smartphones, the implementation and exercising of this type of safety solution is seamless. For this demographic, diffusion of information and ease of new technology adoption is exceptional. Gen Z employees are all about saving time, improving efficiency, and helping companies stay on track when it comes to safety.

Streamlined and automated safety systems are undoubtedly the future of workplace safety. Gen Z workers will continue to help companies provide real-time data, to enable them to make informed and efficient decisions. They will also assist in further implementation of automated, fail-proof solutions that will provide grounds for improved monitoring, accident reporting, check-ins, and audits. The on-going goal is the streamlining of information that eliminates the need for multiple individual systems.

Gen Z members are accustomed to relying on tech solutions, whether they are ordering groceries to their doorstep, organizing ride shares to save money, or streamlining office communications. Because of how tech-savvy Gen Z members are, organizations should not shy away from taking their advice when it comes to technological improvements and suggestions. This generation holds the key to even more significant improvements in connected safety and process automation that will protect workers even more in the future.

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OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

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