The business world is approaching a very interesting stage right now, when up to five generations are trying to share the same work field and find a common language. Of course, such partnership doesn’t happen without poking back and forth a bit from both sides, but it’s important to know how to manage the needs of people who’ve grown up in different times successfully.
Rob Napoli is the host of The Bear Necessities of Entrepreneurship Podcast and is an entrepreneur, speaker, and brand expert. One of his main areas of interest is the transition of work between the Millennials and Generation Z, so in this episode we discuss how people from different generations can be happy being in the same workplace.
Generation Z takes up a higher and higher percentage of active workplaces, yet the leaders mainly still belong to the Millenials, Gen X, or Baby Boomers. The interesting thing about Millenials is that it’s a generation that grew up on the verge between old solutions and technology. Most of the people in this generation didn’t get their smartphones or internet until they were in highschool, and the majority of the Millennials can be described as people who always ask the question “why”.
Generation Z is very well versed in social media, finding relevant information and keeping up to date. Therefore, the jobs they are looking for are not dependent exclusievly on the size of salary, but also on how much impact does the business make. Generation Z wants to work for somebody that’s going to help them.
This puts a lot of pressure on leaders. Oftentimes, leaders promote people from the Millennial generation because they are older and supposedly have a lot of experience. Oftentimes, however, someone from Gen Z might be more effectful and find better way to get across to customers than an “old-timer.” It’s important to realize what would be more beneficial for your company, and how you can fill out positions accordingly.
Something that might be helpful to bridge the gap between generations is to have a direct conversation with your employees, to explain what you are looking to get out of their work and what is your growth plan. People from different generations might come up with completely different solutions, and help resolve situations faster than if only one generation was working on it.
Be honest and ask about the expectations of your employees. It’s important if you and your company can live up to the expectations and satisfy the needs. Tell truthfully how long it will take for a person to get to the position where they want to be, and what kind of work it will take before they will be able to make the impact they expect to make.
A lot of leaders are afraid to train someone who will replace them, they think “what if I will teach them too much and they will step above me, since they have more technical skills?” Don’t be scared to do that, because some of the best leaders are the ones who teach their employees everything they know, so that this strong team can make bigger and better things. Even if your best employees are going to leave your company at some point, you have to remember that you as a leader are working to make this world a better place, and by teaching someone so well, you added one more person who will have a huge impact on the wellbeing of the future years.
If you are interested in learning more about who is taking the biggest share of the workforce in the 21st century and how to turn your business from accessory to necessity, listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast with Rob here.
Stay tuned and be genius!