Gen Zs are highly intelligent, well educated, and will be the most successful generation in our world’s history says Christy Crump

I recently presented a workshop on Generation Z – those born 1998-2014, ages 5-21. The audience was ages 30-65, and they were not as open to the information as I expected. Feeling discouraged by their reception, I discussed it with my 17-year-old Gen Z daughter. Baylor responded:

“This information will be hard to get impart to the other generations, and they will fight and disagree with you. But in the end, I need you to know that you are correct, whether people choose to listen or not. You are helping my generation become more understood in the workforce and in life. If people choose not to listen and realize the information you are sharing is true, they will have a hard awakening when a Gen Z is their boss one day, and they won’t know how to deal with it.”

By 2020, 32% of the world’s population will be Gen Z. Rather than having specific expectations based on patterns and behaviors learned from their predecessors, Gen Z’s perspective on life and work is vastly different, especially from the Millennial generation immediately preceding them. By 2022, Gen Z will comprise 20% of the global workforce, and Millennials will comprise 50%. In other words, by 2022, 70% of the global workforce will be under the age of 45. This means that in the next few years, we could work for a supervisor who is under 30. With two generations composing 70% of the workforce, older workers will be challenged in finding and retaining employment, if we aren’t willing to acclimate.

Events That Define Gen Z

  • Heightened global terrorist activity
  • Mass shootings in schools and public areas
  • Worldwide financial crises
  • Full evolution of smart devices

Gen Z Characteristics

  • They are self-starters and problem solvers. They will be the most educated generation in history. College or trade school is a way of life, and they use digital space to learn anything and be connected to anyone anywhere in the world.
  • They thrive on overcoming obstacles they’ve been told are impossible to tackle. If told they can’t do something, they work diligently to prove they can.
  • Unlike their Millennial siblings, they have not been “shepherded” into adulthood by their parents. They are more independent and less reliant on their parents’ money or support.
  • They are fiscally conscious and willing to work to achieve financial stability. Gen Z desire a long-standing career in one company with opportunity to earn their way up.
  • Their social skills need improvement. They are often quiet in unfamiliar settings, which may seem rude. However, when they do speak, they are straightforward and practical, which also may seem rude.
  • They accept diversity, and they expect you to be equally accepting.

How do you prepare to work with them?

1. Gen Zs need to trust they are working in a secure environment.

Employers must provide that security for Gen Z’s personal safety, money, and property.  As the first generation to encounter active school shooter drills, they have been conditioned to believe routines are safety nets. When routines are interrupted, it causes anxiety, and anxious workers are less productive.

2. Gen Zs expect technological expertise and speed.

Because they have grown up with smart devices as an appendage, their workplace must be fully automated, and they have little tolerance for those who are not tech savvy. Online shopping and doorstep food delivery are their norm. They gravitate towards workplaces that use technology to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

3. Gen Zs demand acceptance of all people.

They do not tolerate unwillingness to accept diversity, and they encourage individuality. It’s imperative that you learn their diversity “language,” especially regarding gender-neutral issues. Refrain from inflicting your traditional or conservative beliefs on them. Attempting to guilt them into changing their open-mindedness is futile.

Gen Zs are highly intelligent, well educated, and will be the most successful generation in our world’s history. Their desire to have a stable work life and be fiscally responsible will catapult businesses and government to the next level. Read and study about them. Talk to, listen to, interact with, and mentor them. Learn to acclimate to them. Remember, they could be your supervisor in a few years.

Christy Crump has 20 years of experience in high-level administrative positions and five years as founder and president of Crump & Associates, a training and professional development company with a client list including Fortune 500 companies. In ... (Read More)

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