Practical Insights to Manage Generation Z

By Thomas MacIntosh  |  

4 min read

Practical Insights to Manage Generation Z


Who are they?

Born after 1996, Generation Z is slowly becoming a part of the workforce, purchasing consumers, and global leaders. With over 2.52 billion young adults, Generation Z is already bigger than their parent’s generation. Still young during the last recession, Generation Z has been a part of 94 consecutive months of job creation. Their eyes are wide to the possibilities of the workforce, watching companies like Uber, Facebook, and Snapchat rise from nothing to billion-dollar-plus valuations.

Like their older counterparts, the Millennials, Generation Z cares more about what they do then how much they make, meaning employers can’t rely on pay increases alone to retain top talent. Here are seven ways Managers can effectively harness the power of Generation Z.

Support Social Causes

This is a big aspect of keeping Generation Z on your team. Growing up with social media, bad business has been in front of these young adults their whole lives. On the flip side, they have also seen the growth of companies like TOMS, whose marketing campaigns relied on their social work. Generation Z wants to work with companies who align with their social conscience. 10-20% of Generation Z are willing to take a pay cut in order to work for something they care about.

Flexibility if possible

Generation Z has been the driver between the explosion of digital nomads. With low barriers to entry, the internet made it possible to gain side-sources of income from online businesses that cost nothing to start. 4.8 million Americans already call themselves digital nomads. Generation Z sees the internet as a way to create better work, from anywhere. They don’t see the office as the place they have to be. If your business can swing it, let them work from anywhere they want.

Grow them as a person

Generation Z wants to see their career path and know they can grow in their field. They know that they are competing every second of the day and want any advantage they can get. The best way to foster this. Mentor them. Set aside 30 minutes a week to meet with an employee over coffee, field their questions, offer your take. As social creatures, this time for them is much more valuable than it may seem.

Create a company culture

Company culture matters. A side-effect of social media was an increase in Generation Z’s social drive. They want to be friends with their co-workers, they want to collaborate. Rainmaker Thinking found that the top “need,” in a company for Generation Z was the culture. Last place? Pay. Pay less, spend the savings on coffee machines, company trips, and upgrading the office. It will pay off.

Culture should be priority-one for the modern manager.


Curiosity drives them

Generation Z chooses their field because it interests them. 83% said they chose a career path because they were very interested in the field. In comparison, only 39% said that potential compensation made them choose. Let Generation Z be curious, explore interests and new technologies. If you can afford it, give employees time and money to work on personal projects that relate to the company, (that’s how Gmail was created.)

They will be entrepreneurial

Another side-effect of social media? Generation Z knows they are small in comparison to the greater world. A big driver of what they do is based on a want to have an impact. The path they see to this is through entrepreneurship. 76% of Gen Z respondents indicated they wanted to own a business. Why? They believed this was the path to having an impact. Great managers will allow Gen Z workers to follow this entrepreneurial drive, and its underlying impact goals, to build their company. Let them start offshoots, extra projects, and derive new business they can own.

The best way you can manage them

The single best way you can hire and retain Generation Z? Use the Predictive Index™ to hire and inspire. With manager charts and individual insights, the Predictive Index allows you to use research-backed data to see where individuals will need support, where they will flourish, and where they will have blind spots. The insights allow you to build company culture, and give them freedom in the areas where it will mean most to them.

To learn how your organization can leverage the Predictive Index Behavioural Assesment™ in your hiring, click here, or contact Hannah Harrison at


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