How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?
The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. And the transition is not always smooth. Baby boomers in their time were seen as ushering in a cultural shift. In today’s workplace, the clash of culture between boomers and millennials has been much discussed.
But this time around, some predict that there will be far less of a clash between millennials and the group just starting to enter the workplace: Generation Z. Various definitions exist, but most identify those that belong to this demographic as being born after 1995.
A blog for Deloitte titled “Generation Z will be welcomed” cites data suggesting that, “Millennials tend to have a broadly positive opinion of GenZ (those currently aged 18 or younger).” Deloitte research indicates that about 61 percent of millennials believe GenZ will have a positive impact in the workplace—67 percent of millennials in senior positions believe this will be the case; 70 percent of those in emerging markets agree. Deloitte posits that this is, “Maybe because of perceptions that they have strong information technology skills and the ability to think creatively.
This doesn’t mean that GenZ will be able to smoothly transition into an increasingly millennial-dominated business world. The post points out that millennials believe that GenZ will need to work on developing their “softer skills.” Millennials in senior positions, particularly—those most likely to be supervising their GenZ colleagues, “consider GenZ to be underprepared as regards professionalism and personal traits such as patient, maturity, and integrity.”
Nevertheless, while millennials see room to grow for GenZ, millennials appear ready and willing to welcome them with open arms and to begin showing their tech-savvy younger siblings the ropes.
Conflict can be healthy for companies, and there is certainly benefit to having different cultural points of view represented in an organization. For that reason, the conflicts — real or perceived — between boomers and millennials may not necessarily be a negative. Time will tell whether the anticipated collegiality between millennials and GenZ will be beneficial.
How are you poised to begin welcoming GenZ to your workplace? Be inclusive!
I Have A Brand And It Haunts Me
I was talking to my pal “Jonas” who recently decided to freelance (vs building a multi-consultant business) when he left a bigger firm to do his own thing.
Jonas is a global talent guy who works across the planet for some of the world’s most well known companies. He decided his best play—the one that would allow him to focus on what he loves most and live the life he’s planned—is to freelance for other firms.
His plan got off to a bit of a rocky start because—get this—none of the firms he approached believed he’d actually want to “just” freelance. He’d earned his rep by steadily building deep, brand name client relationships, practices and business, not by going off by himself as a solo.
Or as he put it “I have a brand and it haunts me.”
We both had a good belly laugh because he was already rolling in new projects, thrilled with his choice to freelance.
And yet, isn’t that the truth?
Good, bad, indifferent—our brands DO haunt us.
They whisper messages to those in our circle “trust him, he’s the bomb”, “hire her for anything creative as long as your deadline isn’t critical”, “steer clear—he talks a good game but doesn’t deliver”.
And thanks to social media, those messages—good and bad—can accelerate faster than you can imagine. One client, one reader, one buyer can be the pivot point that takes your consulting business to new territory.
So how do you deal with it?
Yep—you go for more of what comes naturally. In Jonas’ case, he stuck with what he’s known for—his work, his relationships, his track record for integrity—and won over any lingering skepticism about his move.
We weather the bumps in the road by staying true to who we are at our core.
So when a potential client says “Sorry, you’re just too expensive for me”, you don’t run out and change your prices. Instead, you listen carefully and realize they aren’t the right fit for your particular brand of expertise and service.
When a social media troll chooses you to lash out at, you ignore them and stay with your true audience—your sweet-spot clients and buyers.
And when your most challenging client tells you it’s time to change your business model to serve them better, you listen closely (there may be some learning here) and—if it doesn’t suit your strengths—you kiss them good-bye.
If your brand isn’t haunting you, is it really much of a brand?
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