The widening gap between the expectations and realities of working with employees who were born between the late 90s and early 2000s has stimulated studies into the dynamics of working with these young and talented employees who now constitute a third of the world’s population. I call them the bearer of a new order. Studies have shown that these digital natives prefer influencers to actors, skits to full-length movies, emojis to written words and video calls to audio ones (Zebra IQ, 2020). Moreso, this group of employees are inquisitive, nonconforming, and creative – qualities that employers always look for in employees. Although for some employers, nonconformity will not make the list.

As much as Gen Zs are a great asset to any organisation, their nature is not fit for the rigour of the physical and mental demands of an average working environment, today. What then is the way out? How do we harness the wealth of human resources that Gen Zs represent without burning them out. Here are three ideas that can help to get the best out of Gen Zs.

Prioritise Mental Health

Gen Zs are not as stoic as other generations before them; they walk on the precinct of mental breakdown. According to a 2020 consumer survey in the United State by McKinsey, “one in four Gen Z respondents reported feeling more emotionally distressed (25%), almost double the levels reported by millennial and Gen X respondents (13% each), and more than triple the levels reported by baby boomer respondents (8%).” It may be difficult to pin this result on a single factor. However, to get the best out of these digital natives, it is fundamental to pay attention to policies and practices that impact their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. For instance, a corporate culture of mental health would require that employees’ pay commiserate with their levels and the socio-economic realities of the moment (e.g., inflation).

Also, employees should be mandated to take their paid leave as and when due; comprehensive health care support should be provided for all employees; work from home should be encouraged when appropriate. The ambience within the organisation should be friendly so that employees are free to express themselves and give feedback on company policies. All these will reassure employees that their organisation has their best interest at heart, and as such, they will always go the extra mile to deliver their quota.

Emphasise Emotional Intelligence

Employees with high EQ are easy to work with and they help create a healthy working environment. They can identify stress-related emotions both in themselves and in others. Employees who have an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses seldom burn out –their limitations and strength inform their goals and action. As a manager, helping your Gen zs understand their emotions will impact your organisation’s productivity to a very great extent.

Encourage Peer Coaching

Creating an environment where employees can learn from one another in a more relaxed and informal setting will help your Gen zs perform maximally. In such an atmosphere, employees can freely seek guidance and exchange performance feedback without feeling awkward. Moreover, by working together to improve their skills and performance, employees feel more connected to one another and more invested in the success of the team.

It cannot be overemphasised that Gen z is a special and valuable generation of employees who bring new perspectives and fresh ideas to the workplace. However, to get the best out of them, managers should endeavour to understand their makeup – their strengths, preferences, and motivations. Also, managers should provide opportunities for growth and creativity to improve their skills and confidence.


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