Let me teach you how to work with GEN Z!
Updated: Mar 26
Hello everyone, I am a millennial who is independent and full of demand. Everybody has already known about my generation, so I will not introduce myself again but today I would like to tell you about the hottest topic that is generation z. As we know, in the near future, we have to work with gen z. I would say I am so lucky that I have one younger brother who was born in gen z and I have the experience to study and work in a group with them. I am sure that I am really familiar with gen z. Therefore, I have something to guide you. It is a technique to work with gen z. If you are dealing with gen z and you think it is difficult. You have come to the right blog.
You have to give them freedom.
Two weeks ago, I talked with my friends who are gen z about gen z in the workplace. I am quite surprised about their answer because I thought gen z and millennial are quite similar in terms of independent but in reality, gen z is more independent. They said they do not like routine work. They want to decide for themselves when they want to come to work or when they want to go back home. My generation thinks in the same way but we still under the rules, so most of my friends become flight attendants because working hours are flexible. Gen z wants to make their own decision. Following the other command does not in their head.
They really hate the hierarchy system. As a millennial, I also do not like the hierarchy system because I cannot share my ideas and I have to follow the older. However, I am still fine if someone would help me in making decisions. For Gen z in the workplace, they want to be themselves and have their own decision 100%. They think the company’s rules do not necessary. They want the company to focus on people’s satisfaction more than the rules. I will give you an example of the school’s uniform. I asked my friends what do you think about the school’s uniform? because it is the rules that everyone has to follow. Most of my friends do not like to wear the school uniform because they think it is not necessary even though you wear the school uniform, it does not mean you will have a good grade and the school’s uniform has only one size. It is not suited for everyone. They think wear their own private suite is better. In addition, they said, “It is good that everyone under the rule but school should give them choices for all students to make us happy and when we are happy, we can show the good performance”. If you work with gen z. You have to be flexible and try to give them the choice that they can make their own decision.
You have to give them love.
My friends told me that if the company does care about them why they have to work for that company. I was shocked at that time. I have never thought gen z is very sensitive. In my experience, when I worked, I have never cared about what the company thinks about me. I just did what I had to do for the company and at the end of the month, I got paid. But my friends disagree with me. They said the company's environment is important for them. They want to work with a company that makes them feel like a family. That reminds me to think about my younger brother. He got a job in a big company in Thailand but he does not like the company’s culture because senior workers have never cared about his life. He worked so hard but he still thought he was useless and not important for the company. I think gen Z has never looked down on themselves. They have value and they want the other to recognize they value too. If you have gen Z in the workplace. you have to make sure you are listening to them and respecting them as a person who works together as a team player.
You have to give them a reason.
Everyone knows gen z is realistic, logical, self-confidence, and habit of asking questions. Therefore, when you work with gen z, you have to explain the reason to gen z in every project work. In my case, when I work with my younger brother, he has never believed in me. If I do not have a good reason to support, he will keep asking me why I decide to do that. And he will show his opinion after that we have to start to discuss opinions to find the best solution for the task. For me, even though I think I am reasonably person but millennial prefer to keep the reason with ourselves while gen z like to show their own opinion. However, there is gen z in the workplace will make other employees improve themselves because everyone has to give information to support their ideas and that reason has to be logical.
You have to give them equality.
Gen z is the youngest workforce in the workplace. Some people who work with gen z will have biases about age. It always happens with millennials too for example when my brother and I have to work with father. Our father has never opened his mind to listen to our ideas. We have to listen to them and follow what the older want. Actually, I do not think it is a big problem but for my brother, he is very upset. He thinks when we work together, we should stand in the same position and make decisions based on the knowledge and opinions of everyone. It means gen z want the other to see their abilities and give them a chance to shine on the state. I think the same as them. I think it does not matter how old you are but if we work together. We are the same and everyone has to be open-minded to listen and share knowledge and experience.
You have to give them life.
Although I am a millennial, I still need my life. I totally agree with gen z that we should have a work-life balance. I do not think we should spend most of our time with the job. I used to discuss this topic with my friends also. They said the older though they are lazy because they just want to work 8 hours or less than 8 hours per day. How can the older know working 12 hours will help the company make a good profit than working 8 hours? It is quite an interesting question for me and I agree with them again. Who says that working long hours equal to the best result? My friends said we should focus on quality, not quantity. It is really true. If you are the boss, who has to work with gen z, you should focus on their performance, not the working hours. If they have already done their project and they want to take a rest, you just let them go.
To make you clearly understand gen z, I would like to invite you to read this article ”Expecting a workplace that I deserve” which I found from Z.lab. You will see the real gen z’s opinion to the workplace and you will know more about how to adapt yourself to work with gen z.
It is not difficult to deal with gen z in the workplace. You just do not control them too much and try to make them think they are important for the company. You should stop order them without explanation and work with them without bias. Moreover, gen z is not a workaholic.
Finally, I would like to know your opinion. Please leave a comment to share it with me. I am looking forward to read your comment and if you agree with me why not share it with your friends. Thank you.
Author: Natthaya Luangmaneerote, Hospitality Master Degree Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from Thailand.