Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council
Born in the mid-1990s, the oldest members of Generation-Z have already begun entering the workforce. As more of them graduate college and get hired, they’ll have a growing and significant impact on the modern workplace.
As a business owner, you’ll want to be prepared for these newly minted professionals. Below, 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss how this upcoming generation will stir the pot and how leaders should prepare to manage them.
1. Don’t Fall Victim To The ‘Complexity’ Mindset
The notion that each generation requires its own “model” in order to be effective, efficient and productive is simply a myth. It is a sign of “unnecessary built-in complexity” that is typical of midsize organizations. Every employee has to be integrated and listened to in proportion. Add mentorship and opportunities to advance and you have a winning formula for human capital management. - Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
2. Reevaluate Your Employee Learning And Development
The members of Generation-Z are continuous learners who absorb and process information with lightning speed because of their constant digital connectivity. Don’t expect them to learn the same way as older generations. Replace your slower-paced, classroom-based training with bite-sized lessons. Engage them through mobile platforms, gamification, micro-learning and Slack chats. Informal learning is the way to go. - Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
3. Provide Context
Gen-Z is very serious about contributing; they are technically astute and very socially aware. So with any project, team or company initiative, provide some foundation for the “why” we are doing what we are doing. Gen-Z seeks the context and will be able to see how their contribution better impacts the whole company if you take a few moments to explain the “Why we do what we do here.” It matters. - Joanne Markow, GreenMason
4. Listen And Learn
Each generation brings strengths and weaknesses to the workplace. Gen-Y brought out-of-the-box thinking and the importance of workplace balance. Generation-Z could very well bring artificial intelligence (AI) and technology, but also a greater need for the human touch in the workplace. Leaders should listen to their Gen-Z workers and try to understand what they value and what values they bring into the working environment. - Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
5. Maximize Emotional Intelligence To Earn Their Trust
This is a globally aware, eco-friendly and tech-friendly generation. It is the generation that grew up post 9/11, witnessed the crash of 2008 and uses social media as an extension of their living rooms. They have little reason to believe that their employers have their backs. As a conscious leader, maximize emotional intelligence and find ways to earn trust. Their potential is gold. - Cheryl Leong, Leading with Consciousness
6. Create An Amazing Experience
Gen-Z has arrived, and with great aspirations. How can they thrive under managers and leaders that may be more mature? Try this: Create the experience at work that keeps Gen-Zers focused and engaged every day. When the collaboration, teamwork, shared purpose and end result take on aspects of a terrific life experience, Gen-Zers and everyone around them will enjoy the process. - John Hittler, Evoking Genius
7. Tap Into Their Entrepreneurial Spirit
Gen-Z thrives on being creative and turning ideas into tangible results that make a real impact. Tap into this entrepreneurial spirit by giving them projects that provide freedom and autonomy to shape unique solutions to some of your business problems. With their tech-savvy skills, global mindset and altruistic nature, what they come up with may leapfrog anything else in the market. - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy
8. Help Them Grow
The common belief is that Gen-Zers are anti-social; it is the exact opposite. They have been constantly stimulated by their smart devices and seek attention more than ever. Gen-Zers have their finger on the pulse and want to be part of it, and if you won’t allow them to grow and advance at a pace that might make everyone else’s head spin, they will soon be heading for the door. - Sabine Lammey, Lammey Group
9. Encourage Enterprising Thinking
Members of Generation-Z have spent their entire lives in the golden age of information and technology. They will play a profound role in the future of business, from new ways to look at and utilize data to the next major direction technology will take us. Leaders of today will find success instituting free thinking and open innovation systems in order to cultivate ideas and new approaches to problem solving. - Erik Fredrickson, Erik Fredrickson Coaching
10. Embrace, Engage In And Live Social Awareness
This generation, much like the Millennials, wants action when it comes to social impact and responsibility. Find ways not just to say you support causes or nonprofits, but to live it day to day. Connect your products and services more often to key campaigns and social impacts that tangibly show your value. It won’t be enough to do a once-a-year fundraiser. Infuse social engagement into your corporate DNA. - John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
11. Leave Your Assumptions At The Door
As we enter a workforce with the greatest diversity of thought, it’s important for employers to avoid making assumptions and labeling different groups. When we start to put people into boxes, we attempt to create cookie-cutter solutions. Instead, the focus should be about creating a culture that engages each person to show up as they are, contribute their strengths and develop their potential. - Carolina Caro
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