Direct Connect Forum: Gen Z at Work

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Post By Anna Thiele, Deliberate Directions Leadership Strategist

Anna focuses on writing website content and hosting a “Leadership, No Homework” book club. Anna received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, with a certificate in Leadership and Human Resources, from Boise State University. In her spare time, Anna enjoys rock climbing, traveling, music, and the Enneagram.

Born ​​1995–2012, Generation Z is now graduating from college and entering the workforce. David Stillman, in his book Gen Z At Work, brings up a valid point when he writes that businesses have become experts in selling and creating for Gen Zers but maybe haven’t considered what it will be to work alongside them. Stillman helps guide us in understanding Gen Z as employees.

There are 7 traits of Gen Z persons that are helpful to know:

  1. Phigital (physical and digital aptitude)
  2. Hyper-Custom
  3. Realistic
  4. Fear of Missing Out
  5. Weconomists
  6. Do It Yourself
  7. Driven

Watch this video to learn more and then download the files below to complete the activity.

Activity

  • If you are looking to build a more diverse workforce but are still writing Job Descriptions for Baby Boomers, you’ve got a problem. Use the advice and traits from the synopsis video to adjust the attached Job Description to be more likeable to a Gen Zer.
  • The alternative activity option is to write your own job description. Use this as an opportunity to better understand your job, notice any discrepancies between what you think your job is compared to your manager’s perspective, or use this as an opportunity to communicate how you view yourself in your current position to your manager.

Collaboration, but Better

Mahalie Benson, an attendee from the live event on 7/13/22, had an interesting perspective as a Gen Z employee. As she watched the video, she marked her paper with notes. I was eager for the video to end to learn what she was thinking. “Millennials aren’t the only people to collaborate. Just because we do it differently doesn’t mean we don’t value it” – Benson.

Benson, like most Gen Zers, believes that by doing what people are best suited for, ideal results are gained much quicker and more efficiently. That being said, she does value a job where she can wear many hats and will happily learn a new job. I thought that was a fair point that was worth sharing.

In many cases, personally and professionally, it is easy to get tunnel vision of your solution and lose sight of the goal whether it is a Gen Z, Millennial, Baby Boomer, etc. The difference between Gen Z and a Millennial is it seems one fights for relationships and the other fights towards results. The question is how do we do both while respecting and working cohesively with one another?

As we grow more diverse work teams, with considerably diverse job descriptions, how do we maintain a team mentality and practice healthy compromises for the greater good?

 

Gen Z at Work Script

Download to learn more about Gen Z at Work.

Gen Z at Work in Action

Fill out this worksheet to explore how you’re applying your learnings from Gen Z at Work.

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