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Gen Z is Transactional and There is Nothing Wrong with It

I love Gen Z, and I always tend to be alone defending them:-) I somehow understand what to expect from them, and that's key in managing them.

People say Gen Z is misunderstood. That's not true! We understand them very well because we describe them all day long. They are not loyal, have short attention spans, are impatient, aren't interested, spend all their time online or are disconnected. More on this here.

Gen Z is efficient. Gen Z is transactional. And they are communicating this, but we are not listening.

We want to engage them at work as we engage other generations through all the emotional and relationship-building stuff organisations have created in the past decades. But why? Haven't you said millions of times that Gen Z is disconnected, not social, and they communicate by using technology? Yes, you said it yet, you want them to play happy families. They will not.

They see work pragmatically as a means to an end, something they can do to make cash to enjoy their life outside of work. This pragmatic approach excludes almost everything that has nothing to do with the job, which is called efficiency.

They want to come to work, clearly knowing what is expected of them, deliver it as fast as possible, and go home. They are emotionally and socially distanced they don't need the regular face-to-face relationship-building stuff organisations deploy to engage employees like birthday celebrations, long meetings just to chat around etc...

If you pay attention, you will notice that even their desire to start their own company or job hopping is related to efficiency, not impatience. They learn the job and are ready to move on to the next. It is completion for them within the shortest time possible, achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. The definition of efficiency.


If you want to engage Gen Z, here is what they need:

  • Clear performance expectations. If they are not clear about it, it means inefficiency. They will go as they will not wait around for you to figure out what they need to do.

  • The right amount of workload and relevant information. If they feel they are wasting time at work with useless meetings or due to a lack of tasks, they will disengage.

  • Clear timelines this includes promotion. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is what it is.

  • Mentor and/or coach. They love coming to you for advice and guidance, but you must adapt your approach. Efficiency is the keyword. And here is a little secret, if they like you, they will start asking for advice about private life too:-))) allowing you to start building relationships with them that go beyond transactional.

In summary, keep them busy they are good at that because they hate hanging around. BUT! Don't give them tasks for the sake of keeping them busy. They will hate that. Give them tasks that contribute to their overall performance expectation. Pay them according to their contribution and leave them alone. They don't need your emotional support. They grew up on the internet!

But coach and mentor with purpose, they like and need that.

Here is Gen Z in action:-) (Ethan) Millennials (Cruz) are not to keen on small talk either. https://vm.tiktok.com/ZGJC9KgsJ/



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