Managers should bring out the best in Gen Z’s

Generation Z

Whether Gen Z or millennial, everyone wants to feel respected and cared for.

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If you ask them whom they prefer on their team, millennial bosses will tell you anyone but a ‘Gen Z’ otherwise known as Generation Z.

This has been informed by the experience they have had with Gen Z’s. These bosses have turned to social media to express their discontentment.

One complaint that stood out was an instance where a Gen Z excused themselves from an early 8am meeting for they were attending their gym session. Another one, speaking at an interview said he had a problem with Gen Zs at his company as they are incorrigible.

According to him, any form of correction and criticism is interpreted as a threat to their mental health and it does not take long before they hand in their resignation letter.

Research shows that currently Gen Z’s make up 15 per cent of the employed population and the number will have doubled by 2030. At some point we will have a ‘Gen Z’ on our team no matter how hard we try to avoid them.

Instead of frowning upon their behaviour and being sckeptical about them, we could flip the coin and make the best out of them because trust me, they have their good side. So good that if you tap into their strength, you will reap heavily from their talents and will always want them on your team.

One characteristic of a Gen Z that sticks out like a sore thumb is their brutal honesty. They do not know how to sugar coat things. They don’t care about how it comes out or whatever the recipient of the message thinks of them after.

Millennials on the other hand are the direct opposite. They are careful with their choice of words, especially when addressing their seniors. They believe in adulating and revering the boss and being in their best behaviour when he or she is around.

They have even coined a name for him ‘Mkubwa’ and speak in hushed tones when Mkubwa appears. This makes them think of Gen Z’s as utterly disrespectful and arrogant. But let’s look at it from a different lens.

There are many companies that hold on to old practices and standards that are of no use to the company but no one has the courage to question. This is where a Gen Z comes in. Whether Gen Z or millennial, everyone wants to feel respected and cared for.

- Terry Njueini, Nairobi