56 HR MAGAZINE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GEN Z
under Generation Z. Unlike Millennials, we have
been raised to have individualistic and competitive natures. For that reason—along with growing
research into optimal o;ce design—we may see
the trend shift away from collaborative workplaces
toward more individualistic and competitive environments.
8. GEN Z IS SO DIVERSE THAT WE DON’T EVEN
RECOGNIZE DIVERSIT Y
Generation Z marks the last generation in U.S.
history where a majority of the population is
white. Given the shifting demographics of the
country, we don’t focus as much on someone’s
color, religion or sexual orientation as some of our
older counterparts might. To us, a diverse population is simply the norm. What we care about most
in other people is honesty, sincerity and—perhaps
Indeed, we have been shaped by a society that
celebrates diversity and openness. A black man occupied the White House for most of our lives, and
we view gay marriage as a common and accepted
aspect of society.
9. GEN Z EMBRACES CHANGE
Compared to teenagers of other generations, Generation Z ranks as the most informed. We worry
about our future and are much less concerned
about typical teen problems, such as dating or
cliques, than we are about becoming successful
in the world.
The chaos and unrest in our political system
have inspired us to want to get involved and make
a di;erence. Regardless of which side of the aisle
we are on, most of us are informed and passionate about the issues facing our society today.
Witness, for example, the students of Marjory
Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,
Fla., who organized a political movement around
gun control in the wake of a mass shooting at
Social media allows us to have a voice in our po-
litical system even before we can vote. This oppor-
tunity has forced us to develop critical-thinking
and reasoning skills as we engage in sophisticated
debates about important issues that might not even
a;ect us yet.
“Gen Z has a strong ability to adapt to change,”
10. GEN Z WANTS A VOICE
says Paul Carney, an author and speaker on HR
trends and a former HR manager with the Navy
Federal Credit Union. “For those of us who have
spanned many decades in the workplace, we have
seen the rate of change increase and it makes most
of us uncomfortable. Gen Z are the people who will
help all of us adapt better.”
According to numerous polls, the political views
of Generation Z trend ;scally conservative (stem-
ming from our need for ;nancial stability) and
socially liberal (fueled by diverse demographics
Given how socially aware and concerned its members are, Generation Z seeks jobs that provide opportunities to contribute, create, lead and learn.
“One of the best ways I have seen leaders engage with Gen Z is to ask them how they would
build a product or service or design a process,”
Carney says. “Gen Z has some amazing abilities
to bring together information, process it and take
action. When we do allow them to share ideas,
great things happen.”
We’re also an exceptionally creative bunch.
Managers will need to give members of this generation the time and freedom to come up with
innovative ideas and accept that, despite our young
age, we have valuable insights and skills to o;er—
just like the generations that came before us and
those that will follow.
Josh Miller is a speaker, researcher and
thought leader on all things Generation Z. He
is the director of Gen Z studies at management
consulting firm X YZ University and a high
school junior in suburban Minneapolis.
It’s important to be aware of the potential for
burnout among young overachievers—and
to incorporate fun and breaks into the work
environment and provide access to healthy escapes
focused on relaxation and stress relief.