Understanding and Supporting Gen Z: Our Newest Additions To The Workplace
This is going to make you feel old, but it’s time to get on board. If you’re a ‘Forward-Thinking Business Owner’, this is for you…
Born in the Apple Age
Let’s kick things off with a lighthearted introduction to our newest workplace entrants: Gen Z, whom I affectionately call the ‘Bluetooth Babies’ are all grown up now. These are the digital natives who have been ‘plugged in’ since before they could speak.
Born between 1997-2012 and aged 11-26 years, they’ve never known a world without the internet. Social media is their platform, emojis their second language, and they probably find the concept of a world without smartphones as bewildering as a life without electricity. These are the youngsters for whom Apple is not just a fruit, but a primary technology staple. They’ve been swiping screens since they could crawl, and for them, ‘dial up’ a Blackberry ’ are historic terms relating to old relics.
Embracing a New Era
As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of the modern workplace, it’s crucial to understand the unique perspectives and needs of Gen Z. This generation is not just our future; they’re actively shaping our present. They bring with them a wave of change, redefining what work means and what a workplace should offer.
“Understanding them is crucial for business growth and stability. They are the new workforce.”
Quiet Quitting – A Sign of the Times
The term ‘quiet quitting’ has gained traction, not as a sign of laziness, but as an indication of seeking balance and purpose. Often confused as entitlement; it’s an unapologetic shift towards a healthier work-life integration and non-negotiables that all generations can learn from. These steadfast principles are a clear indication that Gen Z’s value their time and mental health as a priority, and they’re not afraid to set boundaries.
What Gen Z Wants
Understanding Gen Z begins with recognising their priorities. They seek meaningful work, not just a payslip. They value flexibility, diversity, and inclusivity. They want to be part of a workplace that aligns with their values and offers opportunities for growth and learning; something that enriches lives and a legacy that leaves the world a better place.
Adapting in Healthcare
For private practice and even public hospital settings, adapting to Gen Z’s needs poses unique challenges. In a service industry where patient needs often extend beyond the typical 9-5 and remote work isn’t feasible, flexibility must be reimagined. Consider offering four-day work weeks or ensuring that staff have regular, planned holidays to rejuvenate. Encourage a culture where time off is respected and valued, and where personal health and well-being are prioritise alongside patient care.
Growth Through Inclusivity
By embracing the needs of Gen Z, we’re not just supporting them; we’re fostering an inclusive culture that benefits everyone. This leads to diverse ideas, innovative solutions, and a more resilient business model. It’s about learning together, with each generation bringing its unique strengths to the table.
A Call to Collaborative Leadership
The era of top-down leadership is evolving into a more collaborative approach. Gen Z wants leaders who are mentors [and even friends], not just bosses or managers. They desire feedback, engagement, motivation, and a sense of belonging. They crave safety and significance.
Adapting to the needs of Gen Z is not just a necessity; it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to reevaluate and to grow our businesses. After all, understanding and supporting Gen Z is like updating your phone’s software – it might take a bit of time to get used to the new features, but it’s essential for keeping things running smoothly. By nurturing the future of our businesses, we’re not just investing in Gen Z; we’re upgrading our entire operational system!
The Bridge to Tomorrow
As we journey forward, let’s remember: adapting to new generations isn’t about abandoning fond memories of our first flip-phone or Nokia N75; it’s about using our smart phones more efficiently. It’s about building bridges and embracing our role as leaders to guide, inspire, validate and co-create a future that’s beneficial for all.
Bringing you my best in generational change,
PS. If you’re looking for a tool to help you understand what is motivating your team to create happier, more engaged workplaces, you can register to try ‘Key Motivators’ free at www.growthrxtools.com