Working With Generation Z

By Sara White posted 17 days ago


David Stillman and Jonah Stillman in Gen Z @ Work How the Next Generation is Transforming the Workplace shares the following from research they have conducted. The whole book is worth a read as this is just some of the key concepts.

  • 47% of the Millennials are now moms/dads and not kids anymore
  • Gem Z was born 1995-2012 and hence just entering the workforce and college students. This generation has 72.8 million folks and are not at all like the millennials
  • Generations at work
    • 75 million Traditionalists pre 1946
    • 80 million Baby Boomers 1946-1964
    • 60 million Generation X 1965-1979
    • 82 million Millennials 1980-1994 ( Y-Sizing Your Business is a great book on Millennials)
    • 73 million Gen Z 1995-2012
  • The authors indicate the following six key traits of Gen Z
  • Phigital where every physical aspect (people and places) has a digital equivalent
    • The real and virtual world naturally overlap with virtual simply part of their world
    • Technology and connectivity is part of their world and are expected such as e-commerce, Skype, FaceTime, Video resumes, working remotely
    • They can’t image a way where you couldn't log on to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin etc.
    • The world of work has been slow to adapt to digital solutions
    • Consider recruiting tools that combine the digital with the physical, such as Skype, JobSnap and more.
    • 91% say an organization’s technological sophistication would impact their decision to work there.
    • Never underestimate the value Gen Z still places on face to face interactions however.
  • Hyper-Custom.
    • Gen Z has already worked hard at identifying and customizing their Brand for the world to know so dig in and get to know Gen Zer’s personal brands
    • Their ability to customize everything has created an expectation they will be able to do so in the work world which may be a challenge for employers who try to be fair and consistent to all employees such as
      • Personalize the recruiting experience
      • Consider allowing these employees to create their own job titles and consider customized job descriptions as 56% would rather write their own job description versus being given a generic one
      • Personalize their career paths to capitalize on their ambitions and strengths
      • Create targeted training that combines self-teaching tools with face to face mentoring and coaching
      • Incorporate new ways to track, post, monitor, measure and share performance data
    • Help Gen Z step out of its self-administered “echo chamber” to be exposed to other points of view
  • Realistic
    • Growing up during the aftermath of 9/11, with terrorism part of everyday life, as well as living through a severe recession early on, has created a very pragmatic mindset.
    • With the idealistic Millennials as their frontline managers the potential for gaps/frustratons is huge.
    • As Gen Z sees it, if you are going to survive or even thrive you had better get real about what its going to take
    • Help Gen Zers have realistic conversations about careers
    • Create career paths focused on skill building rather than just title or rank
    • Reflect realistic messages in recruiting and be honest about work hours and rules.
    • Expose Gen Zers to pharmacy roles at younger age-aim for high school or middle school and include introduce pharmacy technician roles as well as pharmacists per recruiting
  • Weconomists
    • From Uber to Airbnb, Gen Z has known a world with a shared economy.
    • Gen Z will push the workplace to break down internal and external silos to leverage the collective in new convenient and cost effective ways so be prepared for them to adopt “skill sharing” in the workplace and blurring the line between employees, “customers” and vendors as excess capacity is shared.
    • Recognize Gen Zers focus on optimizing resources via the sharing economy but doing it efficiently
    • Help Gen Z focus on real results, not just feeling good gestures
    • Gen Z will expect to partner with their employers to fix the wrongs they are seeing in the world so expect them to help your organization do good by doing well
    • 93% of Gen Z say that an organization’s impact on society affects their decision to work there.
  • DIY Do It Yourself
    • Having grown up with YouTube which can teach you just about anything you need to know hence Gen Z believes they can do just about anything themselves and 71% believe “if you want it done right do it yourself
    • They have been encouraged by their independent Gen X parents to not follow traditional paths.
      • Tap into Gen Z’s risk taking capabilities
    • Gen Z is fiercely independent and will collide head-on with so many of the collaborative cultures that Millennials have fought for.
    • Understand how intensely Gen Z experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) so as employers expect to redefine what it means to capture their attention such as finding ways to help them deal with distractions.
      • Remind them what they are learning, how they fit into the larger picture, and the achievements they’ve had to help combat career FOMO
    • Help them break down big projects into manageable tasks then check in to make sure they are focused properly
    • Specify whether you are okay with a quick survey of available information or need them to take a deeper, more thoughtful dive. Help them define “good enough”
    • Define how handoffs and check-ins will work with this independent generation and how they should keep the boss in the loop
    • Be open to new sources of information and expertise and help them with how to establish the credibility and capacity of sources they identify given their use of the Internet
    • Be prepared to manage “side hustle” (having your own business on the side) issues as they arrive. Coach managers on the parameters they need to know
  • Driven
    • With parents who drilled into them that participation is not a real reward and that there are winners and losers such as in the recession so Gen Z is ready and hungry to roll up their sleeves
    • They will be more competitive as well as private than previous generations
    • 72% said they are competitive with people doing the same job
    • Embrace and enjoy Gen Z’s desire to win as you will need to help them balance their competitive drive with being team players
    • Encourage Gen Zers to admit mistakes and talk about they can learn from losses
    • Keep one foot on the brake pedal to avoid Gen Z going so fast they make critical mistakes
    • Coach on when to take a step back and let ideas and information percolate but also capitalize on their willingness to move a project forward quickly
    • Keep Gen Zers learning and growing rapidly to avoid losing them

What are you going to need to change in your leadership as you interact with Gen Z?




1 comment




7 days ago

​Good information Sarah. As mentioned the technological advancement of an organization plays a BIG impact on their desire to work for a particular employer. With the workplace slow to adopt digital solutions, and healthcare in particular even slower than the norm, I fear that many of this generation will simply be "turned off" by the current state of healthcare and choose to put their efforts somewhere else.​