The Washington Post, citing a study from Oxford Economics, recently disclosed an eye-opening prediction: “Gen Z workers are expected to more than triple to 87 million people by 2030 in Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, accounting for 30 percent of total employment.” Pew Research Center reports that the pace of Boomer retirement accelerated greatly between 2019 and 2020, and faced with a post-pandemic labor shortage, employers are relying on Generation Z to stay viable. Contrary to the myths and misconceptions that surround Gen Z, this up-and-coming cohort of young professionals brings new talent and a fresh perspective to the workplace. Here are three things managers have discovered about Gen Z employees.
1.Gen Z is unique.
In a recent blog, we discussed how to motivate and inspire Gen Z in the workplace. But how do employers successfully manage these emerging leaders? Born roughly between 1995 and 2012, it’s important to first understand the ways Gen Z is different from generations that came before:
- Members of Gen Z are true digital natives.
- They are the most educated and diverse generation to date.
- They have unique expectations from employers.
According to a recent Forbes article titled, 11 Things Leaders Need To Know To Successfully Manage Gen-Z Employees, “For a business to thrive, it’s essential for its leaders from older generations to understand how to best manage Gen Zers.” This includes a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging (DEIAB), effectively utilizing technology, and providing mentorship and leadership development opportunities.
2. Gen Z is productive.
The 2021-2022 State of Gen Z study by the Center for Generational Kinetics found that Gen Z employees prefer a flexible schedule. While fully remote work is hurting young professionals, a hybrid schedule offers the flexibility to work from anywhere and establish a work-life balance, all while increasing productivity.
Reporting on the best practices for managing a Gen Z team, Entrepreneur states that, “Gen Z prefers to work around projects instead of wasting time around the water cooler. Managing Generation Z isn’t complex. But it is vastly different. The key is to give them the freedom to create their work-life balance…. Give your employees more flexibility and watch them be more productive.”
3. Gen Z wants to grow.
We can’t reiterate this enough…. Gen Z values employers that provide growth and leadership development opportunities. This demographic has witnessed their parents struggle through a major recession. They have also witnessed friends struggle in a gig work economy. In a recent article titled, 5 Worst Gen Z Myths Debunked, Forbes notes that, “Having seen all that disruption, it’s not surprising many Zoomers now prize stability at work.” Again, successful managers know that investing in Gen Z is the key to attracting and retaining emerging leaders.
Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group has spent the past two decades delivering innovative and interactive approaches to leadership development for early career professionals, as well as providing comprehensive tools for those hiring and managing them. Through our multi-platform company, Looking Forward Lab, we provide in-person cohort learning and training, online courses, and group and individual coaching designed specifically for Generation Z. We also offer a community to network with and support each next step of learning. Visit our website for more information, or contact us and let’s talk!
Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm, as well as Looking Forward Lab, which offers a full-service learning engagement model focused on Gen Z workplace development and support for their managers.