The Misconceptions of Generation Z Workers in the Workplace

Today’s blog continues our four-part series that looks into cultural changes in the new workforce. Today, we tackle Generation Z. Enjoy! 

Stop me if you’ve been in a similar situation: 

You’re at an event, and the conversation quickly dovetails into a discussion on employees in the workplace. Someone brings up the topic of younger workers, and the conversation quickly turns negative: 

Entitled. Lazy. Disconnected with the job. 

Everyone throws their hands up in the air, blaming society, parents, or schools for the reason younger workers can’t get their faces out of their phones. Can’t someone just make these youth show up to work on time? 

Generation Z, the nickname given to the group of individuals born after 1995, represents the newest generation to the workforce*. It’s oldest member is 23, and this generation has a reputation similar to the millennial age group, as seen above. But what forces really drive Generation Z in the workforce? 

Technology: Welcome to the world of digital natives. Generation Z has grown up with technology and is comfortable using devices and multiple social media platforms. Technology drives their decision-making, as this generation is thoughtful and pragmatic when spending money. Despite claims that this technology makes this generation tend to dislike human interaction, research suggests the opposite. Generation Z’s see technology as as asset, and enjoy interpersonal communications. 

Work-life balance: Like its slightly older sibling, the Millennials, Generation Z seeks work-life balance. They’ve grown up watching their parents struggle through the Great Recession, so they understand the need to work and save, but they also want to go home at the end of the day leaving work behind. They also need to feel like they are part of the team, understand why decisions are being made, and look to companies to provide professional development and retraining opportunities. 

Authenticity: Generation Z has grown up in an onslaught of visual targeted marketing. Because of this, Gen Z react to leadership within companies that are truthful and genuinely honest. Connecting with Gen Z means becoming familiar with the causes and activities that drive them, and providing them access and availability to be involved (see above, work-life balance). Strong working partnerships are the key to this generation. 

Are you interested in learning how to engage with Generation Z for your workforce? We’d love to connect with you on this important topic. Contact me at for more information. 

The VALL Group specializes in assisting workforce development boards, WIOA programs and operators, economic development, community based organizations, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, and private industry in strategic and comprehensive 

workforce development plans. For more information or to connect with the team, please visit or email 

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