The past decade has had significant focus on the impact Gen Y is having on our workplaces. Since different generations are raised with different values, it’s not surprising that we experience shifts in our workplace values as well. Simple value tensions like respecting authority (Baby Boomers) versus a distrust of hierarchy (Gen Y, aka Millennials) will cause workplace conflict. Overall, this increase in generational value preferences has been a healthy movement as it has given us the opportunity to understand our differences. However, the focus on Gen Y is shifting as Gen Z are now entering the workplace (generational age norms are provided below).
Barna Research has released data which helps us understand Gen Z (as well as their predecessors). While Gen Z may share some common ground with Millennials, we would be mistaken to treat them the same. Some of Barna’s more notable Gen Z conclusions are as follows:
And twice as many teens, compared to Boomers, say they are not good at being a kid (13% in Gen Z vs. 6% in Boomers).
About half of Americans ages 26-21 cannot name even one adult role model.
80 percent of teens say the rise of social media has impacted their generation in a negative way; only 26 percent say it is mostly positive (fewer than one-in-ten says it is very positive).
In the workplace, Gen Z is a generation of hard workers. They are ambitious and motivated to accomplish goals. However, they lack experience and wisdom which offsets their drive. In many ways, it is this inexperience that gives them an edge in today’s workplace because they have better technology skills than previous generations.
Comparatively, Gen Y is a generation that values confidence and assertiveness. They want to be great leaders but they often lack the work ethic needed to accomplish such goals. In the workplace, they prefer collaboration over individual work and are comfortable with technology.
The charts below provide many other helpful insights. However, I encourage you to remember the principle behind this data. We are all created uniquely and for different purposes. The rise of generational awareness is simply a reflection of our desire to be treated as the unique people we are. In fact, you and I personify a microcosm of this same principle. This truth requires you to do more than just manage people. Identifying and maximizing the potential of each employee is the work of a gifted leader!
GEN Z were born 1999 to 2015 (only teens 13 to 18 are in this study) | MILLENNIALS were born 1984 to 1998 GEN X were born 1965 to 1983 | BOOMERS were born 1946 to 1964 | ELDERS were born before 1946
Dr. Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Contact him today to find out how he can help enhance your personal and organizational effectiveness – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Barna Research
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