Gen Z just became the largest generation in the world and is also set to be the most diverse generation, both in racial makeup as well as how they define themselves as complex individuals who aren’t into labels.
And, as with past generations, the workforce will have to figure out how to welcome and integrate this generation, which will comprise 40% of talent as well as consumers, by 2030.
Co-founder of Door of Clubs and Gen Z expert, Pranam Lipinski, was recently featured as a speaker for CADIA Connects to share what this new generation is all about and how to both appeal to and connect with them in the work setting. This young generation, like each before, has a few key facets based on their lived experience growing up that contribute to how they orient to the world and what they expect as they come of age to join the working world.
These young folks, who currently range in age from 9-26 have had unprecedented access to information about - well – pretty much everything from a young age. They are high on empathy, while also suffering rampantly from anxiety.
To prepare for this generation as they join the working ranks, following are the three most important things to Gen Z’ers and three management tips to help bring them into the fold and to help them thrive.
MOST IMPORTANT TO GEN Z
MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR GEN Z
Listen to the full CADIA Connects session here and comment below with your experiences with Gen Z’ers!
Author: Alene Gabriel
Guest Contributor and All Around Good Person. Founder of Blue Sky Coaching.
Reprinted with permission from the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
As most of us were taught, President Lincoln declared an end to slavery in the southern states effective January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation became official. However, most Americans are unaware that the enslaved population of Texas did not learn of this life-altering legislation until nearly two and a half years after the fact, on June 19, 1865, two months after Lincoln’s assassination.
The plain-spoken words of General Order Number 3, issued by Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army, would alter the course of American history and continue to reverberate even today:
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”
The news was met with a mixture of shock, disbelief, relief, and anxiousness by enslaved Americans throughout the state, but most of all, a celebration of their newfound freedom.
Today, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally commemorative event celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. Its celebration can range from a day to a month, depending on the region of the country. However, it is more than a moment for celebration for African Americans. It is a time of deep reflection for our entire nation and the need for all of us to talk more completely and honestly about our history.
So, it is a time for reflection and rejoicing for all of us as Americans. This includes the business community as well.
Juneteenth is an observed holiday in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum, and others have begun sponsoring Juneteenth-centered activities, and thousands of businesses across America honor the event in the workplace. They range from giant multinationals such as General Motors Co., Ford Motor Company, Google, Adobe, Twitter, JP Morgan, and Mastercard, to small conscientious business owners who may not have the human resources, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives or bandwidth to close for the day or offer employees a paid day off. However, they want their employees to feel valued and support a diverse and inclusive workplace.
So, how can employers observe the holiday? Ogletree Deakins, a Greenville, South Carolina-based labor and employment law firm, suggests numerous ways ... for ... businesses to honor the holiday. Among them are:
The fact is, honoring historical moments such as Juneteenth in the workplace can not only strengthen a company’s morale but its sense of value by illuminating its commitment to social and racial justice and equity in the workplace and community.
Author: Trevor W. Coleman
It’s Pride Month, which means brands and companies of all sizes are sharing rainbows on their social media along with messages of support and allyship. Thanks to growing acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, workplaces, stores, restaurants and other places of business have indeed become more welcoming in recent years.
However, despite the rainbows and pride merchandise, 2021 has been the worst year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent history, with 17 bills being passed so far this year. This juxtaposition can create a complex mix of emotions for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community: while it’s great to see things improving in some areas, we’re still seeing a significant amount of bias and discrimination in both our personal and professional lives.
This juxtaposition has been at the front of my mind recently as I’ve worked with clients to plan and create social media content for Pride.
As a gay woman, it does make me feel good to see my friends and colleagues adding rainbows to their social media and sharing their own individualized messages of support. I also am more likely to support a brand with my business if they’re showing support for the LGBTQ+ community.
However, it can be very frustrating at times. In the past month, I’ve researched and reviewed Pride content from the last few years. And despite my best efforts to be positive, it is extremely hard to see many of the posts as anything other than performative.
But why are these shows of support only taking place once a year?
The LGBTQ+ community navigates challenging situations throughout the year, probably more likely than you realize. These situations often require us to make split-second decisions about whether we should disclose our sexuality or gender identity, and the wrong decision can sometimes have negative consequences.
I am out in all areas of my life and have been since 2014. I have been married to a wonderful woman for seven years, and I wear a wedding ring. I am not shy about my sexuality, but I am cautious.
Each and every time I meet a new person - whether it be a client, a prospect, a new colleague or fellow dinner party guest – I need to consider when (and if) I should “out” myself.
Even though it’s 2021, outing myself as a gay woman is still a risk, even while my LinkedIn is covered with rainbows. I don't know how the other person feels about gay people, and I don't know if I'm the only gay person they've ever met. I don't know their religious beliefs their political leanings or anything else that might make them anti-LGBTQ+. I'm well aware that revealing I'm gay and married to a woman could change their opinion of me, and, in a professional capacity, could cost me business.
Generally, I tend to self-disclose early on in conversations. If I'm asked where I live, I'll generally reply that my wife and I live in Livonia. However, the act of self-disclosure is a personal choice, and one that may not be right for everyone. There is great fear and anxiety that comes with revealing such a personal part of yourself, particularly in a professional capacity, and many members of the LGBTQ+ simply do not feel it’s the right (or even safe) thing for them to do.
While Pride Month activations are a positive step, it is not enough. Companies and organizations need to do more to create an inclusive environment where LGBTQ+ employees and customers feel safe and supported. I encourage companies and organizations seeking to be true allies of the LGBTQ+ community to remember that support must take place year-round, and that even simple actions can make a difference. The increased use of pronouns in email signatures is a great step, as is offering additional gender options on forms.
Allyship will require many companies to make real and significant organizational changes such as adding insurance coverage for LGBTQ+ partners, vetting partners and suppliers, sharing a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community in diversity statements on websites and speaking publicly about the harmful impact of anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies.
These actions will demonstrate that companies value and support the LGBTQ+ community year-round because it is the right thing to do, not simply because rainbows look great on social media.
Author: Lisa Lark (She/Her/Hers)
Freelance Writer and Sr. Communications Consultant, Equalsign