The Gen Z bashing is getting out of hand
There needs to be more responsibility and respect shown to our young people
The continuously negative commentary about Gen Z workers is potentially very damaging and over the top. Is it just me, or does there seem to be an obsession with branding our young generation as some sort of nightmare problem – a hard-to-handle and difficult to manage demographic of problems and headaches?
Gen Z are largely being blamed for the workplace phenomenon of “Quiet Quitting”. The workplace activity of only doing the bare minimum and not going above and beyond. However, “Quiet Quitting” always existed. We just didn’t have to hashtag it in the past and post about it on social media.
I know a lot of wise old articles who quiet quitted a long time ago, they just didn’t post about it on Tik-Tok! It is really wrong to land this on the younger generation and brand them as the ones that are responsible for it. I would be worried that the constant blame being put on Generation Z could create problems and I worry about how that generation are perceiving the commentary around phenomena like Quiet Quitting. Are we continuously presenting Gen Z as misunderstood, different, complex and unusual? If this were to be done to any other age demographic, it would be called out as discrimination or ageism.
Gen Z are today aged between 10 and 25 years old. The vast majority of Gen Z are attending School or College presently and only a minority of the demographic (the older Gen Z’s) may have entered workplaces to start their careers in recent years. So, is it fair to brand them as the ones who are responsible for Quiet Quitting?
The current generation of young workers are a highly educated and technologically savvy demographic. The younger worker has no memory of life before smartphones, social media and mobile apps. However, it may seem surprising that they seek a lot of the more traditional values from their managers – respectful & good communication, trust and well-designed training. They are also much more aware of their wellbeing and work-life balance in comparison to previous generations. They value the environment and diversity & inclusion more than any demographic before them. They are also a largely resilient bunch, as they lived their young lives through a deep recession and a global health pandemic. This is something that workplaces need to be aware of and approach positively, as cribbing and moaning about young people will only prove one thing, you are getting old!”
There have always been differences between generations and there are differences between millennials and the Generation Z demographic and so on. An integrated and integral approach is needed to nurture a generation that we should truly be proud of – a multi-cultural, diverse, well-educated demographic with a moral compass that will become our future leaders.
There is no doubt that there is going to be a different set of people management skills required to engage, attract and retain Generation Z workers. This needs to be a focus for organisations.
Employers need to afford time and patience towards tailored training that is people specific as opposed to generic or tick-box training. Most especially, when it comes to the onboarding and induction of younger recruits.
Younger workers are the most well-educated generation of workers that have ever entered the workplace. That in itself can be a challenge so, will they frustrate other age demographics? of course they will, all age demographics frustrate the other ones. However, Gen Z are going to be a huge addition to our society and workplaces but this also means that a new standard of cultures and values will be demanded in the future of work. The people management skills of employers and people managers will need to adapt.
“Genzers” are much more aware of their mental health & wellbeing and work-life balance in comparison to previous generations, that needs to be embraced as a good thing and worked with. Mental health & wellbeing was brushed under the carpet for far too long. This is something that workplaces need to be aware of and approach positively and proactively. I believe there can be a good overall outcome to the recently highlighted phenomenon of Quiet Quitting” if a healthy approach is taken to it in response and it may indeed be the “Genzers” themselves who show us how that is going to be done.
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