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August 24, 2023

How to Manage Gen Z Employees

Tik-Tok, Influencers, and boundary-setting, oh my! Yup, we’re exploring how to manage Gen Z employees, because they’ve sparked big changes in the traditional office.  

Born between 1997 and 2012, often referred to as Gen Z’ers or Zoomers, are now embarking on the beginnings of their careers. 

This demographic shift is reshaping workplace dynamics, pushing employers to adapt to the unique perspectives and expectations of these young professionals. So we’re delving into the key aspects of how to manage Gen Z employees and the insights shared in a Skybound Leadership podcast episode featuring Allie Danziger, co-founder, and CEO of Ampersand (now acquired by Ascent Funding).


Here are some strategies for managing your Zoomer employees:

Entrepreneurial Aspirations

One of Gen Z’s standout traits is their entrepreneurial spirit. A majority of these individuals aspire to become entrepreneurs themselves someday, especially as the rise of social media means anyone can be a content creator. As a leader, work to harness this ambition by providing opportunities for skill development, autonomy, and innovation

Initiatives like mentorship programs, projects that encourage creative problem-solving, and platforms for sharing ideas can cultivate their entrepreneurial mindset.  

Connecting Impact to Purpose

Gen Z employees are motivated by purpose and impact. They seek to understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture and the organization’s mission. AKA you need to explicitly connect the dots between everyday tasks and the broader goals of the company! 

Try to communicate the significance of their contributions, regardless of size, in achieving overarching objectives. This fosters a sense of ownership and empowers Gen Z’ers to see their work as meaningful and impactful.

Fostering Personal Connections

Despite valuing independence, Gen Z employees prioritize interpersonal connections and a sense of belonging. Creating a work environment that encourages collaboration, communication, and camaraderie is crucial. 

Team-building activities, cross-functional projects, and open feedback sessions can help bridge the gap between independence and a strong sense of community. When Gen Z employees feel connected to their colleagues and the organization, their engagement and productivity thrive.

READ MORE: Leading Millennials at Work

Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

Many Zoomers hit working age during the COVID-19 pandemic, so flexible working options are the norm, not the exception. As a result, the traditional 9-to-5 office routine doesn’t resonate with Gen Z.

They value flexibility in when and where they work. Embracing remote work options, flexible hours, and a results-oriented approach can cater to their preferences while maintaining productivity. By trusting them to manage their time effectively, you empower Gen Z employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance, resulting in increased job satisfaction and overall well-being.

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
— Steven Spielberg

Setting Boundaries and Prioritizing Wellness

Boundaries are non-negotiable for Gen Z employees. While they appreciate their work, they also value time to disconnect and recharge. As a leader, you can set an example by respecting their non-working hours and refraining from sending emails during evenings and weekends.

Prioritizing mental health and overall wellness within the organization demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being. Consider offering wellness programs, mental health resources, and initiatives that promote a healthy work environment.

Diversity and Inclusive Leadership

Did you know Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history? These young people want to see this diversity reflected in leadership positions. Organizations must prioritize diversity and inclusion efforts and create a culture where all voices are heard and valued, especially to be able to attract and retain top talent. 

The rise of Gen Z employees presents a transformative opportunity for workplaces to evolve and thrive. By embracing their entrepreneurial spirit, connecting their work to purpose, fostering personal connections, offering flexibility, prioritizing wellness, and championing diversity, leaders can create an environment where Gen Z’ers can excel and contribute meaningfully. 

The future belongs to those who understand and adapt to the changing landscape of work, and leading Gen Z employees is a pivotal step in that direction.

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