A few years ago, Dell Technologies surveyed 12,000 Gen Z secondary and post-secondary students across the globe. The results of this research study, titled The Gen Z Effect, showed that, while confident in their abilities, Generation Z feels overwhelmingly unprepared to enter the workforce. At the same time, senior professionals reported feeling worried they would be outpaced by younger employees.
According to the job recruitment online platform, Indeed, most employers face the challenge of managing a workforce made up of five generations. This age divide has had huge implications for companies striving to maintain a successful track record and build a sustainable future. Here, we will discuss the benefits of a multi-generational workforce, and how to adapt a company’s culture and generational dynamics to become more inclusive for everyone.
What Gen Z Can Teach Older Employees
As digital natives, Generation Z has a deep understanding of technology, a skill set that most previous generations lack. Of the students polled by Dell, 77% said they are willing to be technology mentors to others at work. In addition to boosting the computer and social media skills of older employees, pairing different generations together can help to create a strong balance of experience and ingenuity. Gen Z can also teach older employees how to be more empathetic in a changing world. As the most diverse generation so far, Gen Z brings new perspectives to the table. Leading by example, Gen Z is also not afraid to fail, and that is a good thing—80% view failure as a way to be more innovative.
What Older Employees Can Teach Gen Z
Members of Gen Z have an innate knowledge of technology and how it impacts the way we work and live, but they also yearn for a human connection, especially at work. As telecommuting increasingly becomes the norm, companies must be sensitive to the needs of new employees by facilitating both in-person and virtual workspaces, teaming Gen Z members with more seasoned employees, and supporting skill development and an open exchange of ideas. While Gen Z members can bridge the digital divide in a multi-generational workforce, they struggle with crucial soft-skills, such as public speaking, writing, and collaboration—skills older employees are typically well-versed in.
Adapting Your Company Culture To Appeal To Gen Z
To attract and retain Gen Z employees, companies must focus on creating a “diverse and future-ready workforce.” Reverse mentorship, and establishing an inclusive and supportive work environment, is paramount. From hiring and onboarding, to mentoring and advancement, employers must focus on a holistic daily work experience. This includes engaging young employees, as well as investing in training and leadership development. Gen Z wants to grow with companies that can offer stability and the tools to succeed in their chosen career.
Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group has two decades of experience building companies focused on delivering innovative approaches to leadership and organizational development. Through our Looking Forward Lab, we provide in-person and online courses and training, as well as group and individual coaching designed specifically for Generation Z. Contact us to get started or to learn more!
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.