The spotlight has been on millennials for the past decade or so, and it’s time to make way for Gen Z. Too many people seem to think the Gen Z’ers are simply a continuation of the millennial generation, but it’s a false image. While they do share some similarities, and might look alike on the surface, they are very different and need to be managed differently.
Another thing that is interesting about Gen Z is that a lot of their values and principles are in resistance and as a reaction to millennials. This is why it’s important for the managers of tomorrow to understand what makes them unique. Here are some things future managers will need to understand about working with Gen Z.
They’re True Digital Natives
The term digital native has been used to describe some millennials but is not entirely accurate. Some analog technology was still present when most millennials were growing up. But Gen Z’ers truly never knew a world where everybody wasn’t interconnected. What that means is that management tools that don’t take full advantage of this interconnectivity will soon become obsolete, as well as the managers who can’t use or understand them.
Most Can’t Live without their Devices
While millennials were long vilified for being on their devices too much, Gen Z is the generation that uses their devices more than any before. As a matter of fact, it is said that they consult their devices around two hours more on average per week compared with millennials.
What this means is that BYOD or Bring Your Own Device policies will be hard to avoid. Those who don’t want to implement them because of security reasons or rigidity will have a challenge retaining Gen Z workers. The reasons will have to be clearly laid out and truly for the greater good of the organization for them to stick. Those who decide to go with the flow will have to work on compliance issues and have to deal with the heightened risks of breach or malicious attacks, both from inside and out.
They Want More from their Positions
But one of the biggest characteristics of the Gen Z worker is that they truly want to make a difference in the world and feel fulfilled. They also yearn for human interaction and connection. So, while millennials might shun team bonding events, Gen Z could be more open to them, as long as they’re meaningful.
And this is what a lot of managers get wrong about this generation. While many millennials have been bashed for being narcissistic and only caring about issues as a façade, Gen Z’ers are ready to get down and do the work. This is why it’s important for managers to understand this generation past the surface. If you’re currently in management or studying to become a manager, we strongly suggest you work with teams like Gen Z Guru. They know this generation inside and out and truly understand what makes them tick, allowing you to offer experiences and a working environment that speaks to their needs, attributes, and aspirations.
Gen Z’ers are more than a light version of millennials. They’re a whole different beast and one that needs to be respected. Managers who don’t start understanding who they are and their expectations today will cheat themselves of one of the most creative and potentially transformative generations the world has ever known.