How to collaborate with zoomers
By zoomers, or generation Z, we mean those born between 1997 and 2010. They have grown up in a world where change has been constant and permeated by technology. It has given them an intuitive understanding of digital tools. From basic settings, to how to start your own business using the phone and then scale up the business.
Generation Z not only has enormous potential as entrepreneurs, but also as employees. In this article, we’ll take a look at how employers can bring their potential into the light and create powerful, young teams.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Generation Z
Many of those who belong to Generation Z are entrepreneurial by nature. Those who now work as sales managers see themselves as business leaders in five years. Previous generations of course had the same dreams and ambitions. But they didn’t have the same access to technology and tools: smart phones, lightweight laptops, online courses, and tons of digital tools
Despite their high productivity, ability to work and speed, however, Generation Z often suffers from something that employers must take into account, namely emotional exhaustion. Tough schedules, unclearly formulated tasks, lack of supervision during the training period, lack of motivation – all these are examples of things that can create stress among young employees.
The statistics show that the young people in generation Z run a greater risk of suffering from exhaustion than older colleagues. According to a survey conducted by Asana in 2022, 84% of zoomers experienced emotional exhaustion. The same figure for all employees is 63%. Generation Z respondents answered that they could not disconnect from work as quickly as their older colleagues. 40% of respondents stated that burnout is an inevitable price you pay for your success.
There is another problem that zoomers encounter more often than others, namely the imposter syndrome. This means that the employee himself does not believe in his abilities and possibilities and explains all successes with luck and chance. In Asana’s study, 78% of Generation Z respondents reported experiencing imposter syndrome. If you look at all employees, regardless of generation, the figure is 49%.
How Employers Can Increase Engagement Among Zoomers
On the one hand, Generation Z are ambitious, hard-working people with the aim of making a career or creating and developing their own business.
On the other hand, zoomers have a tendency to become emotionally exhausted and lose faith in their abilities.
So, what conditions does the employer need to create? If you do not take into account the characteristics of the zoomer generation, you run the risk of them resigning and contributing to increased staff turnover. But if you meet their needs, you get highly efficient employees who make the business stronger.
Freedom and Control
Employers gain a lot from giving Generation Z employees creative freedom. They cannot stand when supervisors or managers stand looking over their shoulder and control every part of the process. Independence and space to make their own decisions regarding the work process, brings out the best in them and makes them achieve better results.
But of course you need to have some control over their work. Here, the OKR method (Objectives and Key Results), which defines goals and key results to be achieved within a certain time frame, is of good help. OKR links the employee’s goals and results to the company’s overall goals. An individual employee can see a clear connection between their duties and the company’s success.
To make the OKR method work optimally, it is good to use automated solutions for task management and teamwork. An example is the platform Asana, which helps you control projects in stages, regardless of size and degree of difficulty. You can also follow the connection between daily processes and the company’s overall goals and objectives in one and the same window.
You can read more about how OKR makes teamwork effective and how Asana contributes to it here.
Management of notifications
Studies conducted by sociologists and psychologists show that zoomers are significantly more dependent on internet technologies than older generations. In their everyday life, they have the ability to interact with a number of services and apps in parallel and orient themselves between them with the help of notifications. A downside of this close relationship with the phone is that they have a tendency to ignore what is happening around them.
When young Generation Z employees come to the company, they have access to a digital workspace with a variety of programs, services and chats. During the working day, they have to react to an infinite number of notifications: new messages, new tasks, meetings start and so on. It’s easy to get caught up in this stream of pinging that demands reaction. You lose yourself, mix up priorities and forget urgent tasks.
Here, the manager must take on the responsibility of introducing a notification culture. For example, by turning off notifications for things that are not very urgent or adjusting the settings for how often notifications can be sent. It is especially important for new employees during their first time at the company.
Clearly Formulated Tasks
Generation Z prefers information presented clearly and concisely without unnecessary embellishments. Information structured in this way is easy to understand and doesn’t require much effort or concentration. Unnecessary verbosity, linguistic creativity, and complicated explanations take too much time away from work and lead to misunderstandings.
To formulate clear tasks, you can use the SMART method. The task should be:
- Specific – with a clearly specified result
- Measurable – with criteria for quantity and quality
- Achievable – within the limits of what’s realistic
- Relevant – the task should contribute to the company’s overall strategic goals
- Time-bound – the task should have clear time frames
Looking back over the past 2-3 years, during which Generation Z entered the workforce, we see that it was a period when everything we thought we knew about work conditions was turned upside down. Today, with the pandemic behind us, employers have a golden opportunity to listen to Generation Z, take into account their experiences, knowledge, and skills, and create an ideal work environment that is sustainable, flexible, and modern.