You’ve heard quite a lot about millennials. Now Gen Z is entering the workforce. What do you need to know about managing this newest generation in the workplace?
To say Gen Z, whose oldest members were born in the mid-1990s, are tech-savvy is a bit of an understatement. “Computers and social media are about as natural to this group as the oxygen they breathe,” writes Victor Lipman in a July 10 article on Forbes.com.
To be taken seriously by this generation, managers should be familiar with social media platforms and appreciate their power, he says.
This generation is considered to be serious-minded. Growing up in the wake of 9/11 and the Great Recession, this group has experienced political and economic instability, Lipman notes. “As a group, they’re often described as more practical and realistic than some of their predecessors.”
With earnest employees, managers would do well to make development opportunities available, he says.
Finally, Gen Zers are entrepreneurial and self-reliant, possibly as a result of the Great Recession. Managers need to realize they are dealing with employees who respond better to leaders who understand their need for flexibility, meaning and recognition rather than command-and-control tactics. “It means avoiding micromanagement and instead building a work environment where creative individuals can take chances and innovate without fear of recrimination,” he says.