Generation Z is changing the way we think, and we can all be a part of it regardless of age

Mike Thatcher
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If we can all relate to our youths and adapt to how the world works today, socially, politically, and technologically, we can all be Generation Z

Here we are again. Another generation starts to enter the workforce en masse, and we begin to try to figure them out or compare them to previous generations. The same thing happened when Generation Y, or Millennials, started entering the workforce.

The same thing happened when Generation Y, or Millennials, started entering the workforce. Maybe this generation can be different. Maybe we can all be a part of Generation Z, regardless of the year we were born.

Who are the people of Generation Z?

At its most basic, Generation Z is a group of people born between 1995 (or 1993, depending on the source) and 2005.

There have been many adjectives and statistics used to try to label and understand this generation:

  • Humble
  • Optimistic
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Motivated
  • Self-centered
  • Responsible
  • Informed
  • Inattentive

These are just a few of the descriptions that have come from survey data about this group.

When high school students talked about their futures, 72 per cent of them wanted to start a business. 80 per cent felt they were more driven than their peers. Most of them stated they would rather save money than to spend it and more than 75 per cent said they had concerns about world issues.

What makes these studies relevant is that the list of characteristics and the various behaviors seem to have an effect on the workplace. These workplace habits seem to differentiate them from other generations.

Generation Z at work

Some companies have tried to work with Generation Z in different ways to be able to attract them and retain them.

They have found a few trends that they have used to improve their work with people of Generation Z.

Growth and development

Job turnover and tenure have been an important topic lately as companies continue to try to improve retention while employees of Generations Y and Z want to switch jobs more frequently.

Most employees feel that their first few jobs are just short terms stops along the way to their dream job. If companies want to retain employees for as long as they can, they need to promote growth and development opportunities for employees as soon as they can.

Idea sharing

Statistics show that many people in Generation Z have an entrepreneurial spirit and have ideas about starting a business. To capture this drive and use it for company growth, employers can encourage employees to share business ideas and feedback about the company in a transparent way.

Giving members of Generation Z the chance to help make decisions about the company will not only improve engagement but also increase retention.

Constructive critics

While employers look to give Generation Z a voice, they should be aware that not everything employees say will be positive.

Members of Generation Z may be critical at times, both on social media and within the company.

Open communication

Given their openness in regards to criticism, Generation Z values communication and feedback. Employers should be aware of the fact that Generation Z is used to constant and continuous feedback, similar to how they interact on social media.

Not having feedback about a job may make them uncomfortable. Companies can utilise this by creating forums and social media groups to promote more open communication.

Celebrate diversity

Generation Z is the most diverse generation to enter the workplace. The old categories of diversity may not apply anymore as many members of Generation Z see themselves as outside the current set of diversity criteria.

It is important to keep informed about all forms of diversity and how they may impact the business environment.

While reading through the list of adjectives about Generation Z and their work habits, you may recognise yourself in them. As technology grows and society changes, maybe we are all becoming a little bit Generation Z.

How Generation Z is changing things

Generation Z is changing people of all generations and the way business is done. We’ve noticed this in some of our clients’ companies such as Teamfluent, who have shared their experiences with some of our youngest team members. These adaptations are changing all of us, whether we like it or not, to become more like Generation Z.

Breaking down barriers

With a variety of generations in the workplace, Generation Z is making things more inclusive. Managers and leaders have to create opportunities for connection between various types of people. There is a lot we can learn from all generations and taking positives from all people can help us become better employees and better people.

There is a lot we can learn from all generations and taking positives from all people can help us become better employees and better people.

Leveling the playing field

It used to be that only people with access to information could gain certain skills. This access often took money, power, or influence. With the internet, information is everywhere. It is much easier to access all kinds of information. We can all use this information to learn whatever we want and to gain skills.

Supporting personal development

In order to compete in a diverse workplace, Generation Z has had to adapt. A good resume or a history or money and power are not enough to get a job anymore. People are having to create a personal brand through knowledge and personal development.

Making learning universal

Not only is general information more easily accessible but now formal education is becoming more widely available. Many universities have online or hybrid learning programs. Some of them are low cost or even free.

Adopting new technology

Even though technology is becoming more advanced, it is also becoming more equalised. That means that most people can learn and adopt new technology as it becomes cheaper and more user-friendly.

Creating new rules

The old rules of business do not seem to apply anymore. Many in Generation Z are part of the change in creating new rules for how things are done. To start a business or build a brand, you do not need to go through a traditional bank loan and a marketing plan. Many businesses are started and built through crowdfunding and social media.

If we are open to the ways Generation Z is changing business, we can learn to become part of Generation Z. We can learn to adapt and be open to change. This opens up the possibilities to connect people of all generations.

We are all the same year

Dan Keldsen, the author of The Gen Z Effect, champions the idea that anyone can be a member of Generation Z. It is less about the year you were born and more about how you define yourself and interact with the world. Generation Z has completely grown up in a technological and interconnected world. They are open to using technology in new and innovative ways, as well as working together with people of all types.

In a recent survey called “The Truth About Youth,” researchers at McCann Truth Central interviewed 33,000 people around the world. They found that Generation Z, just like all generations, is looking to find themselves and their place in the world.

If we can all relate to our youths and are adapting to the way in which the world is today, socially, politically, and technologically, we can all be Generation Z.

Maybe we can also focus less on how old we are and how ours ages create differences and more on how we are all similar, trying to adapt and fit into this evolving world.

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