Generation Z or GenZ refers to the generation of people born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, making them the generation after the Millennials. It’s millennials versus GenZ at so many levels, and that has now spread to the workplace as well. 

Managers Walk On Eggshells Around GenZ:

Yes, you read that correctly. Senior managers are walking on eggshells around GenZ at their workplace. This is so because GenZers are perceived to have a sense of entitlement when it comes to adhering to policies, processes and standards. 

Middle and senior-age managers are finding it difficult to cope with new-age attitudes towards work. This new generation is entering the labour market in droves. In 2023, 17.1 million GenZers entered the market, and this number is expected to only move upwards in time to come. 

The fact that there will be more people from this generation than the boomers, in the workforce, is kind of a headache for the hiring teams, who hail from the previous generations. Managers are having a tough time with younger colleagues and many employers are finding it difficult to hire and retain GenZers. 

Managers from around the globe, across sectors and the board are really struggling with the challenge. The challenge of dealing with these new young workers. It’s not that generational differences have not existed before.

For example, in the West, people born from 1928 to 1945, were known as the Silent Generation, who were the traditionalists or conformists, and grew up in the Second World War. They were followed by complete opposites, the Baby Boomers, who turned the West upside down with their counterculture, from drug use to hippie communes. 

In fact, not only in the West, a generational gap has existed in India forever. We can feel it when our parents tell us stories about how they used to go to school, by crossing a mountain, a river, and a desert, that too on foot. Not only that, all of us have heard the phrase, “Oh, kids these days” at least once in our lifetime. 

However, even the rebellious Boomers have been left confounded by the attitudes and expectations of their successors, the GenZ.

Also Read: Indian Youngsters Are Giving Up The Hustle Culture And Adopting This Instead

What Has Changed?

Kavil Ramachandran, senior advisor at the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise in the ISB (Indian School of Business), said that there has been a shift from “collectivism to individualism as society is going through major changes.” 

As an economy develops, business is no longer about survival and children have been insulated from their parents’ struggles. Wealth is considered to be inherited and one may not have to actively contribute to creating it,” he added, 

The pandemic has also played a key role in widening this gap. Many youngsters joined their jobs just as the lockdown started, which mitigated any bonding in offices with seniors or peers owing to the work-from-home imperative. Therefore, the ones at the beginning of their careers have a different set of mentality, experience and perception of the workplace as compared to the earlier generations. 

The IT sector, for example, and other corporate sectors that hire youngsters in lakhs from campuses, have had to resort to making attendance an appraisal parameter in order to get executives back to the office. In 2020 and 2021, it was this particular sector that had to deal with its mostly young workers taking to moonlighting to earn some extra rupees. 

Consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, released a study called ‘How does GenZ see its place in the working world? With trepidation,’ in October 2022, it said, “Young people report physical-health issues as an impediment to effectively performing work at higher rates than the general population, which included people decades older than them.

In fact, on every metric that interferes with effectively performing work, Gen Z reports more struggles than the general population.” 

As firms evolve in their understanding of new-age attitudes towards work, attire is another issue. Dress code may be a simple matter but it has become a big bone of contention. For instance, in banks, formal attire is mandatory and fresh graduates are trained in grooming as customers expect to see bank executives dressed very formally. 

While senior bankers feel that appearances inspire confidence in customers and that their money is parked safely, the younger ones, on the other hand, prefer not to be casual about their attire. It is common today, for them to tell managers that the organization’s sartorial rules are old school. 

As the struggle to understand GenZ continues, the world will soon have to deal with Gen Alpha, that is, the ones born after 2010. HR managers will have to listen to them, understand them, and above all cooperate with them much more than they have to with the GenZers.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Mint, Forbes, The Times 

Find the blogger: Unusha Ahmad

This post is tagged under: GenZ, millenials, alpha, work, life, boomers, HR, manager, boss, office

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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