Generation Z in Environmental, Health, & Safety (EHS)
Alan L. Johnson
The environmental, health, and safety industry has undergone plenty of manifestations and will likely continue to evolve, but this evolution and influence will come mostly at the hands of Generation Z. Generation Z is poised to quickly be 30% of the workforce. Their influence will be felt and perhaps this is for the best in EHS.
In the article recently published on GreenBiz "5 things to know about Generation Z and Sustainability," Susan Hunt Stevens makes the case that Generation Z through her research of over 30 survey sources are:
1. They’re the first generation to prioritize purpose over salary 2. They want pride in their organization 3. They prize and embrace diversity 4. Equality and environment are their top causes 5. They view mental health and obesity as critical health issues
What is interesting to me is that this generation is looking for job purpose and a company that is aligned to do good in the world. They embrace diversity of thought, equality, and environment, but are analytic enough to realize critical issues like obesity and mental health and how they tie to work and home environments.
It would appear that Generation Z is coming at exactly the right time to help influence the direction of our planet. From circular economies with circular products, to sustainable practices widely adopted by business, to a new social capitalist ethos, Generation Z may very well be exactly what the EHS market needs. They have exactly the right world view to make a difference through technology and socially conscious action. EHS leaders would be wise to learn from these native technologists and help them find their voice within their community. The EHS market needs more brave people who will stand up for what is right and help make the world a safer place.
An article published by the WSJ warned: "Gen Z is coming to your office. Get ready to adapt."
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. How do you think that Generation Z will affect your company?
Q2. Do you think that Generation Z will have any influence on the EHS industry?
Q3. What can you do to learn more about Generation Z and their tendencies?