Influence of Gen Z on companies growing rapidly according to study

The influence of Generation Z on society is growing rapidly - with increasing pressure for change on companies as well. New identity offerings must be created, HR and marketing strategies redeveloped, according to a study by Pressrelations Human Unlimited and Zukunftsinstitut Workshop.

The young generation is in the process of turning its back on numerous previously established values and establishing a new, holistic and sustainably oriented paradigm for the future.

The resulting pressure for change in society has a massive impact on how companies manage their recruiting and HR, how they structure their marketing activities, and which products they can use to win over this generation as consumers. In the future, the focus must be on development instead of growth, on better instead of more. This requires a complete renewal of all existing corporate visions in the direction of more holism.

The most common narratives

A FirstSignals analysis conducted for the study shows: If you add up the media resonance of all the cultural trends shaping Gen Z, such as self-care, LGBTQ, wokeness, body positivity or climate fear, and understand this complex of topics as an expression of identity formation, this is currently the fourth-largest social narrative communicated in the media after the climate crisis, digitization and sustainability. If the major topics that are also closely linked to Gen Z, such as equality, veganism, diversity and the gender discussion, are added to this, the media presence of this topic complex is directly behind the top global topic of climate change.

"We are in the midst of a profound change of times, explicitly triggered by a generation that is bringing a mindset into society that is substantially different from the culture that has prevailed so far," says Oliver Heyden, Chief Strategy Officer at Pressrelations. "Through them, climate crisis, sustainability, digitalization, diversity and feminism are advancing to become big narratives of our time. This development is the starting signal for profound changes in the political, social and economic world shaped by older generations."

What do companies need to do?

As society transforms, companies must also act. The key question here: What does Gen Z's search for identity mean for companies? What identity offers can companies make to their future employees - and what identity must they represent themselves in the process? How do their HR, marketing and product strategies support a sustainable lifestyle?

Companies are already feeling the effects of this new wind when it comes to recruiting - the key words being "great resignation" and "anti-work. The gender pay gap, the lack of a work-life balance and patriarchal relationships have become significant problems and ensure that fewer and fewer employees feel a close connection to their company. HR managers must therefore already formulate good answers to the very critical questions of their future employees.

The free Study "Generation Question Everything - Unseen, but Huge". by Pressrelations, Human Unlimited and Zukunftsinstitut Workshop is intended to provide communications and HR managers with a guide to better understanding, reaching and retaining Gen Z.

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