Gen Zers at Work

Gen Zers at Work

“A  typical Gen Zer is a self-driver who deeply cares about others, strives for a diverse community, is highly collaborative and social, values flexibility, relevance, authenticity and non-hierarchical leadership…” 

Roberta Katz, Ph.D. 

Even though they represent the newest members of today’s workforce, Generation Z has already received some negative press. For instance, a July 2023 Fortune post claims, “ Gen Z is Embracing ‘Lazy Girl Jobs’ in a Rebuke of Millennials ‘Girlboss’ and ‘Lean In’ Mania.” In August the New York Post wrote a piece entitled “Employers Reveal why Gen Z is the Hardest Generation to Work With.”  Some of the latter reasons could include reports about this generation being “demanding” and “short on attention” (see Forbes’ August 2021 post “Why Gen Z Doesn’t Want to Work for You”) —well, it’s no wonder many employers have been worried about recruiting, training, and retaining this group of individuals born just after the Millennials.  

 Yet according to Dr. Roberta Katz,  a senior research scholar at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), such Gen Z stereotyping is far from factual.  Katz and a team of researchers looked at a large group of 18-25 year-olds across three collegiate campuses and discovered numerous positive attributes about “the most diverse generation yet,” including those listed in Dr. Katz’s quote above.  This is great news for leaders everywhere, especially since by 2025 approximately 27% of the workforce will be comprised of individuals from Gen Z (for more statistics on this generation, see “How Gen-Z is Bringing a Fresh Perspective to the World of Work” at 

Most notably, members of Generation Z love to communicate—and they excel at doing so via a variety of mediums.  Yet when queried about their preferred method of connecting with others, Dr. Katz and her team were astonished to discover thatnearly every single person said their favorite form of communication was ‘in person’” (you can read more of this Gen Z study at 

Who would have thought it possible?  Members of Gen Z once simply labeled “Digital Natives,” want to connect person to person, face to face!  Sure, they’re multitaskers and multifaceted, but first and foremost they crave connections—at home, in their community, and within their Corporate Family® settings. 

This desire for interpersonal connectivity can be of tremendous benefit to you and your organization, but it also pinpoints specific requirements you must meet in order to develop the Gen Z members on your team.   For instance, communication of your company’s vision, mission, and business goals will best be inculcated in this generation via interpersonal interactions, highlighting the need for mentoring Gen Zers in your workplace in a collaborative, cooperative manner. 

The consequences for ignoring Gen Z’s innate needs, including interpersonal connectivity, could be devastating for companies hoping to recruit and retain these digitally savvy employees, as Hillary Hoffower reveals in her May, 2022 Insider post:  “If their job doesn’t fulfill those requirements, they have no qualms about quitting for a better one.” Hoffower also provides insight about how this generation’s pandemic experience has led to their particular perspective about the workforce: “They had so much taken away from them in terms of access, you can go on and on with what has been lost…that reframes your thinking … you start to think about what’s important to you and how to express [that]”  (you can delve more deeply into Hoffower’s article at 

For many years, LEADon® has been addressing generational differences in the workplace and providing solutions so leaders can meet the needs of each generation in their Corporate Family. As we detail in The Leading Edge: 9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership (2019), one of best ways to accomplish this critical task is for leaders to become “Cultural Translators.” In other words, you and your leadership team must strive to understand how your employees “differ in background, experiences, values, current philosophies, and future plans” (see Chapter 8 of The Leading Edge for more information on how to connect with all the generations around you).  

In order to discover specific tactics to work with the Gen Zers in your organization, we recommend you take the following LEADon online courses: 

These courses not only provide research-based content for improving connections among team members, but they also offer practical suggestions to implement in your personal and professional life—expanding your ability to become a Cultural Translator in all our spheres of influence. 

We like the way Dr. Katz urges today’s leaders to actively engage Gen Z team members in the workplace environment since these new colleagues are used to working collaboratively and flexibly, with an eye to being efficient in getting the job done.” If the LEADon team can help you as you interact with the generational groups that comprise your Corporate Family, please contact us at 858.592.0700 or