“Rob, I have an influx of Gen Zs in my company, what should I do with them?”
As a high-performance leadership coach, I get that question a lot and leaders can see that Gen Z has different needs than Millennials, Gen X and Boomers. From a statistics perspective, Gen Z is rapidly joining the workforce and, according to Bloomberg, Gen Z have surpassed Millennials as the largest generation in the world. As Gen Z becomes a higher and higher percentage of our employees, we need to adjust our leadership to what allows them to be their best.
What does Gen Z want from work?
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging – According to Great Places to Work, Gen Z is the most diverse generation with 47% identifying as BIPOC. In addition, 69% of Gen Z surveyed in this Tallo research responded that they would ‘absolutely’ be more likely to apply to a company that emphasizes racially and ethnically diverse practices.
- Ensure we have a strong DEI strategy that focuses on leaders, systems, processes and measures outcomes.
- Ensure we are fostering a psychologically safe workplace environment where everyone is valued, seen, heard, included and feels like they belong.
- Ensure we have systems and processes in place to understand if biases are affecting our hiring, wages, career advancement/development.
- A Company with Purpose – According to Deloitte, 49% of Gen Z and Millennials said they have made choices on their career path and potential employers based on the company’s values and ethics.
- Ensure we have a higher purpose for our company. Gen Z are very concerned with global issues like climate change, inequity and more.
- Ensure our leaders are acting in alignment with our company’s purpose, values & ethics.
- Transparency & communication are important in demonstrating how we are walking the walk with our corporate purpose.
- Transparency, Feedback & Clear Expectations – Gone are the days of an annual review being enough and everything being ‘need to know’. According to the Center for Generational Kinetics, Gen Z demands clear expectations around their role (60%) and transparent, direct & frequent feedback from their managers (60%).
- Ensure our leaders are comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations. Often, we can avoid having conversations about topics about which we feel like we aren’t an expert in or we avoid giving feedback in order to not hurt our people’s feelings.
- Ensure our leaders have developed emotional intelligence, empathy and listening skills. These skills are incredibly important in understanding what each individual needs from us.
- Ensure we are regularly giving transparent feedback, we are sharing information about our company’s performance, direction, strategy, etc.
- Ensure we set clear expectations of each role, what they are responsible/not responsible for and how their performance will be measured.
As with generations before, adjustments in how we lead need to be made to attract, retain and optimize Gen Z in our companies. Failing to do that will cost us dearly in the future!
If you want to hear more about what Gen Z needs from work, on this week’s Leadership Launchpad Project, we have Gen Z workplace futurist Danielle Farage joining us to talk about why 2022 is the year of purposeful work, how we can lead Gen Z more effectively and what Gen Z wants from work. Check it out on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and more!
If you want to set yourself to thrive in 2022, Elite High Performance offers leadership development, 1 on 1 leadership coaching, burnout, DEI and other leadership services that will take your leadership to the next level. You can check out our Leadership Coaching Programs, Leadership Consulting Programs & Services or email email@example.com and we can discuss which one is right for you!
– Coach Rob