Gen Z in the Workplace

Lets talk about Gen Z and the many negative stereotypes that are attached with that generation. Like many things we do in this life we stereotype to better understand the things we really don’t understand. A lot of those stereotypes can be negative and sometimes can represent a small segment that we use to paint a broader picture for everyone.

As an HR consultant too many times I witness companies complaining or using negative stereotypes to describe Generation Z employees. They are lazy, unmotivated, self entitled, and lacking coping skills. I see a lot of negativity and not enough focus on the positives.

On another note, there is an interesting trend happening right now. For the first time, a younger generation’s work habits are having an influence on an older generation’s work habits. For as long as their has been “work” the standard has been that the older generations teaches the younger generation. As we continue to move forward Gen Z is setting the path for how we operate as a whole and teach us through their understanding of technology.

So lets go back to those negative stereotypes. Some companies choose to settle on those stereotypes rather than embrace change. For those companies that are successfully adapting they are capitalizing on flexibility, autonomy, and entrepreneurship.

Here are some quick points on what those great workplaces look like

  • Implementing a work place that is not just 9-5 and less driven from the top down. You need to create a workplace that is flexible and allow your employees opportunity to make a difference and be empowered. Too many companies are so far off the radar here it’s scary. Adapt or die.
  • Making technology a focus and not a one time fix. Technology is ever evolving and needs to be a part of your culture. Adapt or die.
  • Implementing new methods of training and allowing employees to advance quicker in their career paths. The “you need to do your time” method of career path is not going to work anymore, so you need to train faster and more efficient to keep up with needs. Adapt or die.

I feel a lot of these tips are obvious to some while others just don’t want to hear it. Don’t put your head in the sand or say “our organization is different and we can’t possibly make these changes.” 24% of the workforce is now Gen Z, so make changes now before you get left behind.