A Guide To The Strengths And Struggles Of Generation Z
Generation Z has big aspirations for the future. Contrary to popular belief, these young adults are motivated to climb the career ladder, and experienced mentors will play an important role along the way. As Gen Z members continue to enter the workforce in record numbers, they will bring new ideas and unique attributes to the workplace. They will also encounter hurdles that are truly unique to the youngest generation of employees. This guide to the strengths and struggles of Gen Z will assist employers in guiding and developing the emerging leaders of tomorrow.
Busting Myths: The Greatest Traits of Gen Z
There are many misconceptions surrounding Generation Z. Typical adjectives include lazy, self-centered or entitled, but these harmful stereotypes are simply untrue. This generation grew up during The Great Recession in the late 2000s and therefore understands the value of job security. They are more open to talking about their mental health, and their experiences have led to an increased interest in entrepreneurship, a competitive spirit, and a drive to succeed. As digital natives, Gen Z members are hyper-connected and skilled at multitasking, with an innate understanding of modern technology. Raised on the internet and social media since birth, they are not afraid to share ideas or voice their opinion. Notably the most educated and diverse generation to date, Gen Z is also more socially aware and open to people of different backgrounds, and they prefer to work for companies that embrace their values.
Facing Facts: The Struggles of Gen Z
In addition to an impressive list of quality attributes, there are a number of weaknesses that are unique to this generation. Gen Z employees are typically accustomed to communicating via text, video chats, or social media platforms, and they will often find in-person interactions a challenge. This strong reliance on technology, and the recent pandemic, has led to a preference for autonomy, and many Gen Z employees prefer independence over teamwork. New York Times Bestselling author Dan Schawbel put it best when he said, “Technology is a double edged sword.” In a 2019 article for LinkedIn, Schawbel discusses ways Gen Z is unprepared for the jobs of the future and suggests that companies should invest in training programs for both managers and employees.
Poor social skills also spill over to written communication. In a recent meeting with Robinn Beauchamp of Wentworth Institute of Technology, we discussed in detail how Gen Z struggles with writing and communication skills. This is an important issue that should not be ignored. For companies to grow and thrive, those hiring will need to pay close attention to the incompetencies of younger employees, and they will also need to provide help in these areas where skill gaps exist. After all, Gen Z workers are set to triple by 2030. These emerging leaders are the face of the future, and it is up to employees to help them grow and succeed.
Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group helps executive leaders consider their leadership styles, design professional development opportunities for their teams, and successfully manage large-scale growth. For more information on executive coaching for Gen Z, and how we can work together, contact us today!
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.