Are you ready for Gen Z: The Most Unique Generation?
The Diary of a CEO episode with Simon Sinek emphasised Gen Z will be facing many issues in their careers. What are those issues?
We have said it before, and we are saying it again, Gen Z are the most unique generation. The advent of both the smartphone and social media is arguably this generation’s greatest single defining feature. It has affected every single aspect of their life, from socialising to schoolwork, entertainment to exercise and so on, often spending 8 hours on screens a day, more than any other generation. Resultantly, they communicate digitally 74% of the time, meaning face-to-face conversations are more likely to be outside their comfort zone.
Gen Z are also the most diverse and inclusive generation ever. 91% of Gen Z believe everyone is equal and should be treated so. They feel most passionately about social justice issues and consequently tend to support free speech restrictions more than other generations, often disinviting speakers from their university campuses who hold beliefs out with their own. Moreover, this diversity is not limited to race. Gen Z also tend to be more supportive of gender-neutral terminology and choices, with this generation containing the highest ever recorded percentage of transgender individuals.
So, how have their lives influenced their working culture?
Due to Gen Z’s lack of work experience, childhood within a safety culture and extensive experience with mental health issues, they have a higher level of fear and uncertainty about the workplace. Employee well-being is also crucial to this generation. Despite the world being safer, Gen Z are 21% more prone to anxiety than previous generations, which has led to higher levels of self-harm, suicide and confidence issues like the ones discussed above. For this reason, Gen Z expects their employers to take these issues seriously and prioritise them.
The safety culture that Gen Zers tended to grow up in is also very different from their older counterparts. More overprotective parents have encouraged their Gen Z children to adopt a ‘slow life strategy’ due to a reduced financial need for modern teens to transform into adults. Growing up slower, alongside parental protection from life’s adversities, has detrimentally impacted the generation’s development and ability to cope. Older generations were allowed to fail, thus, building character and resilience, which is hugely beneficial in the working world where not everything is a straight road. Gen Z tends not to be accustomed to failure.
However, Gen X, Millennials, and Boomers have an obligation as leaders to help the younger generation build these skills. It is down to the leaders to create a culture where Gen Z feel safe and empowered. Older generations must work with Gen Z through the storms to feel supported.
Why not download our white paper, ‘Gen Z are Coming,’ here to learn how to manage this unique generation.
Watch The Diary of the CEO episode feature Simon Sinek here.
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