Give feedback to Gen Z?

Nov 24, 2022
Image by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This week, the 2 Minute Tip is discussing generational communication differences, including Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Let’s look at the workplace’s newest members, Gen Z.

Gen Z can be assertive and blunt, without considering it disrespectful, but some are sensitive to receiving criticism themselves, having been raised by helicopter and snowplow parents.

Gen Z are sometimes given the derogatory name “snowflakes” because they seem hyper-sensitive, but if you’re an older leader, this just means you need to adapt your approach. If you don’t think it should be on you to deliver messages in ways that are well-received, you can live with the consequences of GenZ’s inclination to leave jobs quickly to find something that suits them better.

They do want feedback, but in very different ways than most workplace cultures deliver it. Sixty-six percent of Gen Z say they need feedback from their supervisor at least every few weeks in order to stay at their job. Less than half of Millennials say they require the same level of feedback.

Laura Koepsell of The Washington Center says “65% of Gen Z want to personally create something world-changing due to their innate need of finding their purpose.” Bake this into this three-step approach:

  1. Provide tangible examples
  2. Discuss/give relevant action steps
  3. Tie it to a futuristic vision that involves them

More To Come

Of course, humans are more complex than the generalizations we used this week, but as more of our clients are asking for help communicating across generations, I keep returning to our core training around feelings and needs.

Human nature is still human nature, and the more you understand it, the better your leadership communication.

As the workplace continues to rapidly evolve, navigating generational differences will remain an important workplace skill and issue. The 2-Minute Tip will return to the topic soon. If you have thoughts or resources, please let us know!


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