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NextGen Magazine


Gen Zers Tend to Manage Workforces Differently Than Older Generations

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jun 21, 2024

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Gen Z-ers in leadership positions are managing their workforces in different ways than previous generations, and their methods seem to be beneficial, Business Insider reported.

Also known as Zoomers, this generation of bosses tend to prioritize a work-life balance, and to listen to their employees and sometimes make changes in response. They may encourage mental health days and flexible work hours, and engage in open dialogue as a means of creating a better work culture and efficiency.

Gen Z managers want to improve the workplace for those who enter it and end a negative cycle of criticism at work, according to Business Insider.

That contrasts with previous generations of managers, such as Gen X and boomers, according to Business Insider, who can cause friction with younger staff, or millennials, who strive to be the cool boss but do not understand why Gen Zers want to talk about their feelings at work.

Twenty-year-old Oliver Hodgson, who founded a creative communications company, told Business Insider that his biggest priority is his employees' mental health. The company encourages staff to take mental health days when they need them and promotes an "open dialogue" culture so that people feel they can talk about their struggles and well-being.

"I don't want people coming to work and getting excited for 4 p.m. when they leave," he said. "I want to foster an environment where everybody excels, and we don't just excel and deliver for clients, but we upskill and we look after ourselves.”

Sam Winsbury, 24, started building his personal branding agency, Kurogo, in 2020 and now employs 19 people. When it comes to employee benefits and perks, "[a] lot of [them] … are built by the team anyway," Winbury said. "It's just a case of listening to other people and hearing what they want because ultimately it's for them; it's not for me. So they're the best people to guide on what the policies and perks should look like."

He said that he has "high standards" regarding his employees' well-being. He doesn't expect them to respond to clients outside business hours, and the company has a flexible policy, so staff can start earlier and finish earlier if they wish to.

"We're a generation that wants things instantly—food, dopamine, rewards, literally everything," Winbury said. "Which is even more of a reason why we need to make sure we have a pathway for people moving forward so that we don't lose them to an opportunity that they think is going to get them somewhere faster."

Margot Adams, 26, co-owner and head of marketing and sales at clothing brand Luxeire, said that she grew up in a time of rapidly advancing technology, and the way she runs her company reflects that. "As a start-up, we are constantly testing out new ideas, so I give people a lot of creative liberties," she said. "A comfortable and fulfilling workplace not only boosts confidence but also enhances productivity and innovation, which is essential in today's world, particularly for Gen Z."

Michelle Enjoli, a career development speaker and coach, said that fostering a psychologically safe working environment is essential for creating a great culture, and Gen Z's priorities line up well with this.

"When a boss prioritizes mental health and the career growth of their employees, it allows them to repurpose their energy into more productive activities," she said.

"I think there's a pocket of really powerful Gen Zers, and they really want to make the world a better place," said Hodgson. “I'm certainly one of them, and I want to control my own destiny."