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Can one generation save the whole world? This happened in the 1940s when the so-called Greatest Generation successful defeated Nazism, ushering a long period of stability and growing living standards. Now comes the rightful heirs to the mantle – a consequential generation that may be mankind’s greatest hope in the existential battles against inequality, global warming, and political and social instability. Yes, we are of course talking about Generation Z. As the workforce evolves, so does the way we manage our employees. That means dealing with Generation Z. They may appear to be a nuisance at first glance, but they are actually a very valuable addition to any business. In this article, we’ll be providing insight on what Gen Z is all about and the best way to manage them in any workspace. We’ll also highlight their needs in the workspace. So fasten your seat belts and prepare for take-off as we embark on this escapade. 

So who are Gen Z’s? Gen Z is the generation of millennials who are presently in their teenage years and entering adulthood. This generation constitutes people who grew up to be deeply attached to technology, particularly from the moment they became self-aware. They are the most racial, ethnically diverse, educated and digitally savvy generation. Being a nonconformist generation, they reject labels and traditional financial pursuits, and embrace non-binary ideas of gender and sexuality. Having survived a global pandemic, lockdown drills, wars on terrorism and an opioid crisis, they are the most resilient generation.

The Gen Z generation are cynical, pragmatic, resourceful, sympathetic and smart beyond their years but they are still a work-in-progress. Their social skills are less developed due to their mastery of technology, as a result, they struggle to recognize false information, and are afraid of making mistakes.

So what makes Gen Z different from older employees? Gen Z have learnt to think, learn, and communicate in a world characterized by ubiquitous wireless internet access, complete technological integration and endless content. They are always connected to each other and they have a limitless supply of answers to any question whether through social media, search engines, or instant messaging. As a result, many of them appear unusually bright to employers and business leaders.

Gen Z employees come from a generation where traditional approach to work is no longer adequate. They desire jobs that are fascinating and challenging with room for personal improvement. These people do not want to be constrained by rules that govern the workplace. So patterns that are overly rigid or formulaic is a turn off for them. Because of this, they are always in disagreement with employers from previous generations who are devoted to systems which were developed years ago.

The pragmatic and fun-filled nature of this generation makes them to constantly be in a hunt for new opportunities and challenges. They want to work in places where they can express their creativity, imagination, and problem-solving abilities. Companies that do not provide adequate opportunities for employee growth struggle to keep these people who are not afraid to change jobs and careers. Employers that expect their workers to focus solely on a particular pattern of doing a job may find Gen Z’s inclination for continually acquiring new skills and exploration bothersome.

This generation is accustomed to working in a flexible environment because they grew up in a world that is connected and borderless, thanks to the internet, social media and a plethora of devices. They want the freedom to work on their own terms since they are accustomed to working remotely, swapping shifts, and working from home occasionally. This trend is likely to persist as younger generations mature, because they would want more from their jobs than simply being confined within the rigid bounds imposed by older generations.

To manage the Gen Z workforce, it is important to create opportunities for growth and development. Additionally, a dynamic and fun-filled environment should be established so that employees remain engaged and motivated. How can this be achieved? Communication! Communication is important to this Generation because it is the essential component of all their relationships. They believe that excellent communication is crucial for trust, conflict resolution and for fostering positive connections. In fact, they consider effective communication skills to be a crucial life skill. 

Employers and business leaders should have frank and open communication with gen Z employees about new initiatives and expectations. Regular feedback forms can be adapted by companies for employees to air out their views. Time should be created for employees to share any idea or concern which they may have. By so doing, both parties can work together to create a positive working environment that encourages innovative thinking and growth.

Even though Gen Z and their phones may be inseparable, with the device being a tool to help manage their daily tasks, that doesn’t mean they are available to answer to people after office hours. They are more concerned about their well-being and happiness, and always set boundaries for the sake of their mental health. They want to be able to combine their work and personal lives, take time when needed, and be recognized for their efforts. Business owners should provide numerous opportunities for them to juggle their work and personal lives, and they should not confine their discussions about well-being to only physical health. They must be aware of the symptoms of stress and endeavor to foster a supportive work environment. 

If you are look to tap into the potential of Gen Z employees, then you need to incorporate the world of technology into your company. Employees in Generation Z are comfortable working in a digital environment because they are tech-savvy. They are used to social media, smart phones, and other communication devices. As a result, they are highly sensitive to new technologies introduced into the workplace. Business owners should prioritize the effective use of new technologies in order to prevent alienating their employees

Gen Z employees are very autonomous and prioritize independence above all. They want to make their own decisions, work in a fast-paced workplace, and direct their own jobs. To that end, businesses must provide an environment in which employees feel empowered and capable of working independently. Otherwise, the new generation of employees will feel suffocated by a never-ending stream of repetitive work in which they are only a cog in the machine.

The destiny of any organizational workforce rests on the shoulders of a single generation. Gen Z! This requires organizations to adapt and change with the times. It entails being open-minded and recognizing that not everything will go as planned. In order to manage this generation successfully, employers need to understand their work ethics, challenges and expectations. This article has highlighted key points on how to do just that. So, are you prepared to handle the Gen Z workforce?

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Words By: Victory Effiom

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