Decoding the Other Side of Gen Z

Are you a Gen X or Y reading about Gen Z?

Are you the one having challenges dealing with understanding and dealing with Gen Z?

Are you interested in decoding Gen Z?

If the answer to any of the questions is YES, this blog post is for you. Also, a lot is already known about Gen Z regarding problems or negative traits, but if you need to see a different side, this blog post is for you.

Although I don’t claim to know it all, this blog post has been written after doing some research with help of psychologists, social reformers, teachers, students, the internet, and with the help of Gen Z themselves.

Meaning

Realistically, the name Gen Z is a label for the youngest people on the planet. It’s likely to transform as they leave adolescence and mature into their adult personalities.

The exact years born are in dispute, because there’re no comparably definitive parameters by which the earlier generations are defined. But as a widely accepted fact, anyone born after 1995 is considered Gen Z.

As the first social generation to have grown up with access to the internet and movable digital technology from a young age, members of Gen Z have been called digital natives, even though they aren’t necessarily digitally literate.

The reason behind the post

As a human who actively interacts with Gen, X, Y, and Z, I usually hear a lot of cries and complaints or rather misinterpretations about Gen Z and the way to handle them, especially at work.

There may be a lot of information or explanation about the behavior pattern of Gen Z but as per my understanding, every generation has something negative to say about the next generation.

People feel that Gen Z isn’t hardworking or loyal but I’d feel it’s just the options that are available nowadays that make them sway around. And that can be the case for any generation — it’s just that the older generations didn’t have so many options.

And they’re surely hardworking, in their little ways. They’ve got a different style as we all do. If we can’t realize it or we can’t inspire them, maybe we need to work more on ourselves.

The bright side

Not that they don’t have flaws but they’ve got a bright side too! They’re more diverse in every way, more technologically advanced and, their belief systems are stunningly different.

Generally speaking, Gen Z tends to be more independent, and they view their world with a healthy dose of doubt — something their Generation X manager or parent may appreciate, but they’re quite radical.

I’ve met so many of them who are holistically enlightened — a thing that I achieved after 35. Thanks to the exposure, they’re doing a lot of good for the world at a young age.

While I was thinking exclusively about sex and alcohol, Gen Z thinks about climate change, fair politics, social change, freedom, science and technology, volunteerism, storytelling, free markets, justice, equal opportunities, spirituality, other than sex and alcohol.

I feel behind but I’m on my way!

Core characteristics

An ethical, morally serious generation, Gen Z are mobile, crafty, careful, and up for the challenge. You can notice these core characteristics in them:

  • Diversity is the norm
  • First digital natives
  • Technology savvy
  • Shrewd consumers
  • Politically and religiously progressive
  • Open to learning and unlearning
  • Financially focused
  • Entrepreneurial  
  • Interested in social change

How can employers support their Gen Z employees?

As the new generation comes into the workforce, you need to create an atmosphere that appeals to them and develops with their needs.

  • Communication: Generation Z values social interaction. They prefer speaking to friends, family, and co-workers face-to-face rather than text. In the office, managers should create a culture that fosters team spirit to encourage them. Be sure to give them plenty of ways to collaborate and communicate in-person and online.
  • Financial stability: Growing up in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, this generation has a clear memory of their parents losing their jobs and siblings struggling to pay back massive loans. They may tend to put financial security above all else.
  • Independence and ownership: Generation Z isn’t motivated by job titles, but are role hoppers. These young employees usually have zero interest in ascending the corporate ladder, but that doesn’t mean they reject leadership altogether. As one of the most independent generations, managers should take benefit of their independence and research skills.
  • Skill development: One way to help is through thoughtfully designed online or offline learning programs that take into account the culture of flexibility many younger employees want. The idea is to keep them engaged in learning!
  • Stress management: Members of Gen Z already report higher levels of anxiety and depression than previous generations, and this can not only have an impact on brain development but can affect mental and social development. To help, employers should develop effective stress management programs and policies to support them.
  • Cultivating emotional intelligence: Research shows that emotional intelligence is an important characteristic of effective employees. Employers need to help Gen Z employees build their emotional intelligence.
  • Listen to them: One of Gen Z’s biggest worries in the workplace is discrimination. They don’t want to be ignored or have to let go of opportunities to older generations.

Conclusion

While Gen Z will continue to bring differences and variations to the world and workforce, it’s important to keep in mind there’re also a lot of similar virtues across all generations. We just need to understand them, mentor them well and sail along with them in the same storm.

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