Time to read: 10 mins
Gen Z in the Workplace Myths Summary:
- Gen Z is comprised of those born between 1997-2012.
- Lazy, unmotivated, and technology-addicts are common misconceptions of this generation.
- Many of the perceived flaws of this generation are actually unique strengths of Gen Z in the workplace.
Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is among the youngest to be within or entering the workforce. This generation is a vibrant and promising one and is not immune to unfair misconceptions, with lazy, unmotivated and tech addicts being among the most mentioned. However, taking a deeper dive, it is revealed that many of the perceived flaws of Gen Z are actually unique strengths being brought to the workplace.
Gen Z, constituting around 30% of the global population, is expected to comprise roughly 27% of the workforce by 2025. As they continue to enter the professional arena, understanding their mindset and motivations can lead to a more harmonious integration into the workforce.
Myth #1: Short Attention Spans and Instant Gratification
It is true that Gen Z is accustomed to instant access to a wealth of media, content, and information. This is not unique to them and is a shared characteristic among multiple generations. What sets Gen Z apart, though, is the way they excel in implementing a healthy balance between social media and internet distractions more effectively than their older counterparts. Think about this: almost all of Gen Z has navigated or is navigating middle school, high school and/or college with these distractions, finding ways to adapt and achieve success.
The ability to focus and seek out things that truly interest them is inspiring. When Gen Z has their attention captured, they go all in with fascination, passion, and dedication. As for more routine tasks, Gen Z will find more creative ways to align them with their interests to sustain attention.
Myth #2: Lack of Respect for Elders or Superiors
Rather than being disrespectful, Gen Z willingness to confront authority and speak up to elders or superiors is an indicator of their bravery and intelligence. Having witnessed public figures and role models behave inappropriately, this generation is challenging the mindset around age or authority equaling wisdom or superiority.
With that, one might argue Gen Z is one of the more self-aware and emotionally intelligent generations, sparking widespread discussions about mental health. This generation is inspiring each other and those around them to address and advocate for better well-being and peace in themselves and others.
Myth #3: An Entitled Generation
Gen Z is seen as entitled and demanding, expecting too much too soon. What’s really happening here is Gen Z is setting boundaries and advocating for themselves, particularly in the workplace. They prioritize work-life balance for themselves as well as a healthy work environment, willingly vocalizing when those needs are not met.
This generation does not shy away from speaking up for what they deserve. They understand their worth and will not settle for less by challenging the status quo when necessary. Gen Z’s willingness to stand up and speak up highlights their commitment to creating a better and happier workplace for everyone.
Myth #4: Unmotivated and Lazy
The “unmotivated, lazy, phone-addicted” perception of Gen Z is often oversimplifying a more complex reality. Their attachment to technology often serves as a tool for self-education and awareness; researching, reading articles, interacting with their peers, and learning from online sources. They are often realists, acutely aware of the challenges and uncertainties in the world around them.
Living in an age overloaded with ideas and opinions, their pursuit for meaning and purpose through multiple avenues is understandable.
Myth #5: They Do Not Want to Work
Gen Z’s approach to work is rooted in the value they bring and their contribution to a bigger purpose or goal and challenge the notion of working “for the sake of work.” Many members of this generation have experienced disappointments and uncertainties, missing out on milestones and facing a daunting world.
However, this generation is actually more motivated to work while seeking genuine enjoyment, using the success of peers as another driving force. Gen Z
Myth #6: Naive and Immature
Gen Z has adopted a very casual way of doing things. Their casual approach to communications and appearance, for example, reflects a more practical and streamlined approach to work. This generation place emphasis on efficiency and value clear concise communications to enhance productivity.
Myth #7: Mental Fragility
It is no secret this generation has its defining societal challenges and tragedies, much like generations prior. The over-access to media does not help in escaping the realities of the work. However, just as generations before, Gen Z has and continues to thrive, despite the media overload. Their openness, mainly about mental health and societal issues, is a positive attribute, offering a more welcoming environment for those around them and an advocacy trait that is unmatched and needed in the workplace.
Key Takeaways for Hiring Gen Z in the Workplace
Having Gen Z in the workplace brings a fresh perspective and valuable qualities that prioritize authenticity, further propel work-life balance, and produce purpose-driven work. Embracing these attributes can lead to a more productive and inclusive work environment for all. As Gen Z continues to shape the workforce, understanding and appreciating their strengths will be essential for organization seeking to thrive in the modern era.
Are you ready to hire the next generation of creative and marketing talent? Profiles can help you find suitable Gen Z professionals for a wide range of roles.