Is Generation Z Too Interdependent – or Is That the Future of Work?

Is Generation Z Too Interdependent – or Is That the Future of Work?
From Recruiter - November 21, 2016

The post-millennial generation, known as Generation Z, is the first of its kind. In the same way that millennials were the first to grow up with the internet, Gen. Z-ers were the first to grow up in the age of smartphones and interconnected devices.

Despite itsuniqueness, however, Gen. Z does share somethingwith the millennials: This youngest generation also faces a set of challenges specific to its upbringing, and were just now beginning to see those challenges manifest in the labor w.

For one, Generation Z is less independent than previous generations, according research fromMulti-Health Systems(MHS), a firm that specializes in psychological assessments. When the company usedthe Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 (EQ-i 2.0)to assess the emotional intelligence of 259,000 working people between the the ages of 15 and 75, it found that Gen. Z-ers tend to score lower on the independence factor than their predecessors do.

Low independence can manifest in a number of different ways, explainsDr. Steven Stein, founder and CEO of MHS. For one, [Gen. Z-ers] tend to check more often with others before acting or carrying out tasks. Theyre less sure of themselves and want to confirm that they are making the right moves. They will want to check with peers, social media, and websites before taking action more than other generations have previously.

The Interdependent Generation

Being the first generation to grow up constantly connected to peers and family members through social media and mobile devices has had its consequences for Generation Z.

They have a greater need for approval, Stein says. So whether its moving out on their own, purchasing health insurance, getting a car, or switching jobs, they are more likely to depend on significant others, family, or friends before making that final move.

Generation Z struggles when it comes to making decisions, and businesses thatfeel their Gen. Z employees arent quite up to snuff may need to change the way they approach their younger workers.

Being less efficient in decision-making means that, when making decisions, [Gen. Z] can be distracted by their emotions or other factors, Stein says. Its important to be clear about tasks you want accomplished. You dont need to tell them how to do it, but indicate the kinds of solutions you are looking for.

Stein notes that employers will have to make sure Gen. Z workers see the problem as it is and dontmove too quickly or too slowly in coming up with solutions. But as long as they are clear about what needs to be done, employers should have little problem with getting Gen. Z to be and stay productive.

Being direct and having clear expectations will help keep this group on task, Stein says. They are fast learners and can be very creative. Additionally, its important to reinforce the importance of the work they are doing. This group values meaningful work.

Emotional Problem-Solving

One of the reasons that Generation Z may struggle to make decisions is that they lack emotional problem-solving skills, according to the study. Too much or too little emotion when trying to work through a problem may send Gen. Z-ersoff course and ultimately lead to indecisiveness.


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