Generation Alpha, also known as Gen Alpha or Generation A, refers to the children born after Generation Z. They are the first generation of true digital natives and have fantastic potential for innovation. Although they’re still young, business leaders would do well to familiarize themselves with the Generation Alpha characteristics that set this age group apart.
What Are the Characteristics of Gen Alpha?
There’s some disagreement about when Gen Alpha officially begins, but the consensus is that the phrase refers to those born between 2010 and 2025. They are the first to be born into a world of constant connectivity, digital immersion, and artificial intelligence. As such, there are specific Generation Alpha characteristics we should be aware of as we move into the future.
For better or for worse, many of these children have been exposed to large amounts of screen time and Internet usage from a very early age. According to one study, two out of three children today have access to a smartphone. When polled, the Global Web Index also found that 93% of boys ages 8 to 11 had played some video games in the previous month.
Due to the pandemic, these children have had to rely on technology to communicate with their peers and connect with the broader world. They use screens for school, for hobbies and leisure, and to learn about current events. As a result, they are more tech-savvy than any generation before. However, this could also impact their mental health and development in yet-unstudied ways.
What does Gen Alpha care about? Many Gen Alphas pay attention to the news and are tuned to global headlines. They tend to be open-minded and effortlessly accepting of diversity. They are passionate, independent, and aware of social issues. We must keep These Generation Alpha characteristics in mind as these children grow into adults.
Generation Alpha Behavior in the Workplace
Although the oldest members of Gen Alpha are only 12 or 13, there is still time to start thinking about how they will shape corporate culture in the coming decades. Moreover, their unique Generation Alpha characteristics can be a boon for any employer willing to understand them.
Since they have been born into an ever-changing world, Gen Alpha can adapt quickly to new technology and trends. This will be an asset in industries on the verge of transformation due to AI integration or other evolving tech.
However, paying attention to how your industry’s educational standards change will be essential to ensure Gen A is still learning the basics despite their advanced understanding of technology. The rise of ChatGPT and other workarounds in academic settings can pose a troubling threat to foundational knowledge.
Generation Alpha is currently growing up with social media as a standard component of everyday life. As such, one of the most interesting Generation Alpha characteristics is the ability to collaborate. In addition, they have unprecedented exposure to other cultures and viewpoints, making it easy for them to work with people of different backgrounds.
Like their millennial parents and Gen Z before them, Gen A will likely value creativity and individuality in their work. However, if the previous two generations are any indication, Gen Alpha will prioritize personal fulfillment over company loyalty or a cohesive career path. Therefore, it’s vital to offer continuing education and advancement opportunities so they don’t feel stagnant.
Still, starting with millennials, there has been a shift in norms regarding what may seem like “job hopping” to the older generations. For most industries, gone are the days of staying at a company for a decade or more, especially when employees are new.
Instead, working shorter stints before moving to another organization is becoming more common. This trend will likely continue in Gen A, accompanied by a rise in freelance and gig work popularity. With their naturally entrepreneurial spirit, Generation Alpha may value the freedom and flexibility that being their bosses can offer.
More than salary and benefits alone will be needed to retain Gen Alpha workers. Due to prominent Generation Alpha characteristics, such as their strong sense of justice and empathy, they will also want to feel they’re making a difference in the world with their work.
Part of this relies on corporate responsibility. What is your company doing to give back to your community? Gen Alpha is likely to prioritize workplaces with a mission they can be proud of, but any company can harness that spirit by establishing a solid track record of philanthropy.
Overall, Gen Alpha is shaping to be a socially conscious, politically engaged, and sensitive generation with much to offer. Their innate understanding of technology will allow them to blaze new trails, and their passion for activism will likely push companies to be more transparent about their corporate values.
Embracing these Generation Alpha characteristics and learning to harness them will let business leaders successfully hire and nurture the next generation of employees. Want to make sure you’re ready for the next-gen? Click here to schedule a video call with a professional business coach to discuss how Generation Alpha’s characteristics can benefit your workplace.
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