Gen z at work- It is time to delete your misinterpretations
Since being a student of hospitality management at Hotel Institute Montreux I am daily working close to the new generation z. With late night group works, and previous experience working with them, I see myself as a close observer to know more of their characteristics. Additionally, being a young millennial, I have grown up with similar attributes with not so many years apart. Sometimes I hear classmates and friends of mine here at Hotel Institute Montreux feel misunderstood due to of negative publicity about their generation, “This is not me”. So, Is the new generation Z as irresponsible as we think they are?
Over the past few years the public interest has been about millennials and the younger generation: Generation Z. Born around early 1990s, they now start to enter the workforce, but still, people have misinterpretations about them. We need to plan for this generation to come, to be able to capture the skills and abilities they actually can foster to companies. Gen Z is our future, either we like it or not. It is often talked generously, how the new generation Z is raised by a cellphone in their hands and not having social abilities that is required. It is said, the they have problems concentrating, are lazy, and less smart than other generations. But Is this really true, and who lies responsible for this?
Researching more about generation Z online, I have found that they have a further complex way of thinking than earlier generations, growing up in a world of constant and instant information. But, having knowledge from early age, will create a broader perspective and for them, easier being critical and compare information they find. A company can then get help of gen z to analyze factors to find improvements, before taking important decisions.
Growing up in a technological hub, today’s young generation will have detailed knowledge for different technological products, and how to communicate with them. For example, being active on social medias, having a blog or an Instagram account, where they share their thoughts and discuss different topics. They did not grow up being passive recipients for someone else’s announcements, they grew up being interactive and talkative for themselves and their own opinions. They do not fear telling their thoughts and will therefore bring new ideas and come with constructive feedback that will be helpful for companies to improve.
But growing up in this technological hub, can also have its downsides. It is said that depression and low self-esteem is increasing in our society, and who is responsible for this? Generation Z needs guidance to help them find their own values not to get lost on the way. They need role models to help them understand the importance in life and this has to come from adults that has this experience already, teachers, parents and employers. This becomes more important in a world that easily can project an imaginary world and create complexes that affects the self-esteem in these students. I have seen many examples of wrong thoughts and ideas here at school, even though I see the potential in them, no one was able to capture it that made them feel lost.
After a second thought of observing students, I know that we are responsible of helping them on their way to success and not just leave them dealing with it alone.
With the complex way of thinking and technology flourishing around them, it is first of all parents, teachers and then the employer to make sure they do not create wrong ideas about life. If guided the right way by making this generation feel valued and recognised, these students and future workers will conquer society with entrepreneurship and optimism for innovation and new ideas. Just acknowledging all amazing ideas that flourish around students here at Hotel Institute Montreux, I know they have the competence to support companies to progress in the right path just as I’ve explained, and to help improve the future for us all.
Companies will not get successful by holding on to the past, we all need to position our focus to future trends, how to attract younger generations, and what is not better than to start with the generation to come? This new generation might be misinterpreted, but to be successful in a continuously evolving civilisation, we need to consider the changes within generations too, and this gen z is our future. We can all learn from each other, and we need to be able to adapt after how society is creating its citizens, but even more important now, is to show we care and not leave this generation to deal with problems alone. They need leadership that will nourish them to grow up as new, young talents. Finally, do not misinterpret this generation based on biases or stereotypes that you’ve read or heard. The charm with human beings, is that everyone is different, we can all learn from each other. Put effort and trust in Generation Z, and they will give it back. Gen Z is our future.
Tell me, what do you think? What experience do you have? Who is responsible for this generation? Share this and comment, to help me spread new positive information about gen z!
Author: Josefin Lundqvist, Hospitality Bachelor student at Hotel Institute Montreux (Sweden)