Hack No. 4: GenZ. The Need for Speed. Getting it right with Gen-Z is about cleaning up your workplace, getting information to people’s fingertips, making decisions rapidly, and checking in, not up. The Z gen is short on patience when it comes to old style management and businesses. They're sharp, smart and sassy! Learn to lead them and you'll be leading the new world of work!
What’s really interesting about Gen Z is that they are no different in their need for work to work than we were (the generations before) – it’s just that they have no problem to tell you about it. And, they voice their expectations! Why? Because they can.
They’ve grown up in a personal world where they have access to technology, they can get everything they want on-line, including instant information and feedback, they don’t need to wait to make decisions, and people checked in on them regularly to say ‘wats up’ rather than to ‘check up’ on them.
Then they arrive at work. Woah. What a shocker that can be. Tech that gets in the way rather than gets stuff done. Data that’s kept in management’s hands, or worse still, just isn’t the right KPI. Policies and processes that slow things down. Decisions that take ‘foooooorrrrrr evvvvvverrrr!’, and someone leaning over their shoulder (or calling them remotely all the time) wanting to know what they are doing!
Well, that may not be the absolute truth about what’s happening, but there is probably a good amount of it in there. Old style management is still rife in business. New leadership much less prevalent. And, when you talk to these Z’ers, that’s how they feel.
So what should you, a new or frontline leader, do?
Find out what’s getting in the way of getting work done – clean up the processes and take the noise out of the workplace
Get the right KPIs and information to people, so they can self-determine how they are doing. A great MOS does this.
Look for ways to stream line decision making – and where you can, make the decisions fast. Or, at least tell people where the decision process is at.
Get a routine rhythm in place where you check in and say hi to help them overcome the things that are getting in the way of them doing great work, not to see how much work they’ve done.
The bonus on getting these four things right? Not only will you better engage the Zeders but you’ll also get them involved in continuous improvement and even innovation, as you learn from them - like better ways of working or getting things done!
There’s a great piece in Forbes on this very subject: How And Why Managing Gen Z Employees Can Be Challenging For Companies
My hack - Look, listen and learn from your Gen-Z. They grew up in a different world and therefore could bring a different, better world to your work.
From the book Manage to Engage. How Great Managers Create Remarkable Results. The post-pandemic how-to guide for engaging in the new world of work.
This is another #HackingitwithHackett - the Q4 Challenge. Post-sized Hacks to help leaders better engage, enable and energize their teams, and improve their operational results - before year end.