Generation Alpha: The World’s Next Leaders

Culture

August 14, 2023

Taryn Hart

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X min

6 min

Everything you need to know about Gen Alpha – the tech-savvy trailblazers who will transform the working world.

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Step aside Millennials and Gen Z – there's a new generation entering the workforce.  

Meet Gen Alpha, the generation after Gen Z that is expected to shake up the working world in a big way.

Defined by the digital world, this tech-savvy generation is very familiar with smartphones, AI technology and social media. They will soon begin to trickle into the workforce, and it's time for employers and colleagues to take notice of this fascinating generation and prepare for the unique dynamics they bring to the workplace.

Who is Gen Alpha?

The children of millennials, Gen Alpha is anyone born between 2010 and 2025. Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and experts are paying attention to their children, how they’re being raised, and what this generation will value when they start their career journeys.  

Millennials are generally very caring and supportive parents, which means their children will most likely seek that out later in life. This means mental health, work-life balance and financial security will be crucial to Gen Alpha. In a recent study, 75% of 8–10-year-olds are already thinking about their mental health.  

Gen Z had a profound impact on how brands approached their consumer experiences, but companies need to brace themselves even more for the changes Gen Alpha will infuse,” says Dani Mariano, President at Razorfish.

What will Gen Alpha be known for?

This generation is rewriting the rules of engagement. While Millennials and Gen Z experienced the tech revolution, for Gen Alpha, technology has been seamlessly integrated into their worlds from the beginning – it's an extension of themselves. Many distinctions will undoubtedly influence their approach to work and collaboration.

Fuelled by technology

Gen Alpha's relationship with technology is a whole new level of intimacy. While learning to tie their shoelaces, they’re also learning to master complex apps, code, and any digital device. McCrindle Research is calling this generation the “Great Screen Age”, due to their extreme savviness with navigating the fast-paced evolutions in tech. More colloquially, these are iPad kids.

Multitasking champions

Gen Alpha has the ability to juggle multiple screens, tasks, and conversations simultaneously. They’re able to learn faster, and their capacity for maintaining information is much greater than the generations before them.  

Entrepreneurial spirit

Technology has allowed access to more information to Gen Alpha than any other generation before them. If they’re looking for a solution, they have Google at their fingertips to figure it out. This is also contributing to a new concept called kid-powered entrepreneurship - with technology readily available, they are learning how to problem solve, and be innovative and creative much earlier.  

What will Gen Alpha value at work?

As HR leaders, understanding the core values of upcoming generations is essential for building a cohesive and thriving workforce. Being attuned to these values will be instrumental in creating an environment where Gen Alpha can thrive.  

Download our free Recognizing Generational Diversity Culture Guide to learn more about the meaningful differences between generations, and what they each need to help you build a more vibrant company culture.

Gen Alpha's values reflect their upbringing in a digitally connected and diverse world:  

The private generation

Gen Alpha will not know social media without professional content creators – they are growing up in a world saturated with influencers and vloggers. Some may even have parents who are heavily present on social media. This may lead Gen Alpha to a more privatized social media life, and an increase in more personalized, one-on-one communication preferences like email or phone. This won’t take away from their talents in understanding the complexities with social media, but it will play a role in what they value when deciding on a career path.  

Diversity advocates  

Gen Alpha's worldview is naturally diverse and inclusive. Growing up in an era of increasing social awareness, they are more accepting of differences and strive for equality. Employers who celebrate and embrace diversity will be more attractive to this generation. Moreover, Gen Alpha's openness to new ideas makes them receptive to experimentation and change.

Personal life over work-life

Say goodbye to the rigid boundaries between work and personal life. Gen Alpha's approach to work is all about integration. They are not confined to the traditional 9-to-5 schedule and are more likely to embrace flexible work arrangements that cater to their lifestyle preferences.

How can HR leaders prepare for Gen Alpha?

With fresh perspectives, boundless enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn – Gen Alpha will bring many unique skills to the workplace.  

Gen Alpha will come with several expectations. though. With meaningful work in mind, they won’t be interested in an organization that is working towards a better culture – they will want an organization that has already established firm roots in their employee experience.  

Experts are predicting that Gen Alpha will see remote-first work as very normal, and value more work-life balance and social issues. This means they will most likely seek organizations who have already established robust company culture and are placing extreme emphasis on their employee experience.  

When they talk about what their goals are and the kind of workplaces they want to be in, they want flexibility and are looking for more meaningful work.” - Abdaal Mazhar Shafi, Co-Founder of UpstartED.

Purpose-driven engagement

Gen Alpha isn't just chasing paychecks; they want purpose. They're driven by a desire to make a difference in the world. It’s important that organizations align their company's values with meaningful causes to attract and retain their socially conscious spirits.

Flexible work is key

They will thrive in flexible work environments that adapt to their preferences. HR leaders will need to consider remote work options, flexible hours, and gig-based projects to keep them excited and productive.

Feedback loops

Regular performance reviews won't suffice; they crave ongoing feedback. Implementing real-time feedback mechanisms to keep them motivated and on track will be crucial.  

Gen Alpha will demand meaningful recognition

Gen Alpha is expected to value employee recognition, but the way they perceive and respond to recognition might differ from previous generations. Growing up in a digital and highly connected world, Gen Alpha is likely to have certain expectations when it comes to recognition in the workplace:

  • Instant gratification: Gen Alpha is accustomed to immediate feedback, and they might appreciate and respond well to frequent and timely recognition. Short, real-time acknowledgments can be more impactful for them compared to traditional annual awards.
  • Digital recognition: Digital recognition tools, such as Kudos, will resonate well with Gen Alpha for open and highly visible peer-to-peer recognition that aligns with their tech-savvy nature.  
  • Personalized approach: Generic recognition might not have the same effect on them as it does on other generations. Customized messages that highlight specific contributions or qualities can make recognition more meaningful and engaging for them.
  • Tangible rewards: While peer-to-peer recognition is important, Gen Alpha might also appreciate tangible rewards. These could range from experiences, such as team outings or workshops, to tech gadgets or innovative products.

Employee recognition is here to stay and is growing more and more important. HR leaders and managers should be mindful of their recognition strategies and take note of Gen Alpha's preferences, emphasizing personalized and integrated approaches that align with their digital upbringing and individualistic mindset.  

The world’s next leaders

As Gen Alpha starts to make their mark in the professional world, embracing their technological prowess, collaborative spirit, and entrepreneurial mindset will be key to unlocking their full potential.  

They may be small now, but their impact on the world will be mighty. By preparing for these next generations to enter the workforce, organizations can be ahead of the game with a future-ready workplace that is years ahead of its competition.  

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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