How to grow your Gen-Z’er.
Updated: Mar 26
Whenever I hear talk about the recent generations, I get a bit annoyed. Because I keep hearing adverbs to describe us youngsters, that are really individual traits. Words describing our behaviour as lazy and selfish or self-involved. Now I must admit that I can be a bit self-involved myself at times, but I refuse to believe that everyone in my generation share my negative traits, just because it's so general. Hell, I'm not even sure whether I'm a millennial or a Gen-Z'er, or whatever we or they are called.
It's fair to say there are differences between generations even though we are so unique individually within the generations. The generations grow up at different times under different circumstances, which implies that a new generation will have different priorities and expectations & needs than those of the previous generations. So, what characterizes the Gen-Z age group?
With a quick google search I am presented with an abundance of Gen-Z characteristics. Reading through the various articles, I discovered that the way we are characterized is very generic. It’s almost like reading horoscopes, it’s all very relatable. With basically anyone being able to relate to the Gen-Z characteristics, what factors can we look at to diagnose the Gen-Z age group?
I discovered that the way we are characterized is very generic. It’s almost like reading horoscopes, it’s all very relatable!
We grew up in the heat of the digital revolution. The older part of the Gen-Z age group will probably remember the significance and seriousness of the internet. I still remember the dial-up sounds when connecting the stationary computer with its static glass screen (yes, the earlier computer screens were made from glass), and panicking trying to exit the internet browser on my first mobile phone cause my mom said it was super expensive.
The internet used to be a luxury, and so it was only natural that it became more significant in the eyes of young children. The younger generations are usually the quickest to adapt, and as we were the first generation after the creation of the World Wide Web, we were the first to adapt to it. Gen-Z'ers are in general very familiar and confident with technology, and I bet that if you have a male Gen-Z in your house, he is the first person you call if you need any help with technology. My generation is filled with ICT home-experts.
The blossoming of the internet and ICT gave us an abundance of information at our fingertips, and the possibility to communicate with anyone in real time. The access to borderless communication changed the world, and allowed us to be aware of events and happenings around the world.
I believe that this access of information has given my generation a unique perspective of the world and how our societies function. It has given us the knowledge to become mini-experts in specific areas of interest, and this diverse expertise gives us a creative edge in problem solving.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that we are the base of an accepting society. There is only one race in our eyes, and that is the human one. We don’t see nationalities, we don’t judge others based on their sexual orientation, and the latest which has even a lot of us on the fence, gender identities. We don’t care about them because they are irrelevant in the workplace. Now if there is one area where you should try to be “young” and “hip”, this is it.
So how do you get all these positive qualities out of your younger employees? To help me explain this, I have used the simple steps of growing a flower to help illustrate.
The inspiration I drew to write this post came from the blog post from a fellow student, Ms. Mia Yu, who explained: “If employers can meet the desire of Generation Z of learning and provide opportunities for continued growth, they can successfully attract and retain the next generation of talents who will soon be on the scene.”
I found myself agreeing with a lot of the contents of her post, as she specifies the importance of internal growth for ourselves. The part I picked from her post explains plainly and simply how taking our goals and desires into consideration benefits the company as well.
We are the new generation and yes, we are different. But we’re not alien.
We are humans and we share the basic needs with everyone else, but our career needs and priorities are different, and they are based on the state of our surroundings in our childhoods. Just like every other generation. But we are unique in the sense that we are young and hungry for success.
If you have managed to suffer your way through this waste-bin of my self-involved thoughts, I would love to hear yours. Please leave a comment below or share the post with someone who might find it interesting.
Author: Mr. Marcus Rygh, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from Norway.