Posted on August 22, 2022
By Kimberlee Josephson.
Nathan Haidt’s latest essay, titled Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupiddraws attention to concerns about how Gen Z was raised.
According to Haidt (and previously expounded in his insightful text The Coddling of the American Mind), Generation Z received the most attention throughout their upbringing, compared to previous generations, and play dates, constant extra-curricular activities, and soft criticism inhibited their ability to develop self-esteem. character and savvy.
Haidt is not alone in raising these questions. Self-play and independent study are largely foreign concepts to Gen Z, so skills related to critical thinking and social interaction deserve special attention.
CGS notes that, with reference to an investigation conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), missing skills for Gen Z include: problem solving and creativity, ability to manage complexity and ambiguity, and effective communication. And, according to another SHRM survey, Gen Z is aware of being ill-prepared.
Haidt’s essay blames older generations for not equipping Gen Z and draws attention to the implications for the future of democracy (an important point since this generation is an important voting bloc ). Also noteworthy is the economic impact this can have as these young people enter the workforce and baby boomers retire.
The size of the Gen Z cohort will soon exceed that of millennials (Millennials) who currently make up the bulk of the U.S. workforce.
Companies must therefore be attentive to the expectations and necessary adaptations for their new recruits. The millennials and Generation Z were raised in a child-centric society and were programmed for times of change and miniature milestones, with support along the way. To put this into perspective, as little as five years ago, parents were found to be involved in their children’s job interviews and companies even created “bring your parents to work” days.
Generation Z’s childhood has most certainly influenced their career paths and workplace preferences. But cognitive dissonance is now setting in, as forms of recognition and connection are lacking in post-pandemic work environments. Therefore, job satisfaction is more important than ever and businesses must be people-oriented because no matter how important or inspiring the task or the goal of the organization, it will have no importance if employees do not feel involved or prepared.
It should also be noted that young workers have not only been handicapped by parents and the pandemics in their preparation for work, they are also showing signs of increased anxiety and stress due to the use of social media – and this also carries over to the workplace.
As “digital children”, Gen Zers have not only been exposed to more of the world’s problems, but also to the successes, accomplishments and accolades of others, creating new pressures to keep pace. This is especially evident on LinkedIn, which is her favorite professional platform.
LinkedIn membership rates are soaring among younger workers, and online activity has seen a surge with entry-level employees eager to report their success or share their job market news. And there’s a lot of sharing right now, since 40% of LinkedIn users change their professional status every four years.
Notifications highlighting job changes trivialize this trend, but stories of turnover are inconvenient for companies, not only because of recruitment costs or difficulties in managing vacancies, but also because the disruption of the workforce can negatively impact the culture of the company and encourage others to follow the movement.
As a new study published in Fast Company shows, “Millennials and Gen Z are currently the driving force behind the great quit. » These generations aren’t shy about chasing after new opportunities, and that’s especially true for Gen Z, notes US News.
The study by software and data analytics firm Adobe found that more than half of Gen Z respondents plan to look for a new job in the coming year. This generation also reported being the least satisfied with their job (59%) and work-life balance (56%). Nearly two-thirds, or 62%, said they felt a lot of pressure to work during “office hours,” even though they say they do their best work outside normal office hours.
While Haidt’s essay outlines the dangers of too much online activity and calls for raising the age requirement for internet access, it’s too late for Gen Z, who have been encouraged to create LinkedIn profiles as part of the job search and which is supposed to have a virtual presence with the brands and organizations with which it is affiliated.
So, with that in mind (and wary of any further government interference in the digital realm), companies need to be on the lookout for workers who not only need to develop their skills, but also to be more connected to the real world than to the virtual world.
Managers need to be candid and ask about employees’ needs and future ambitions to curb temptations to explore external perspectives, and organizations need to spend more time nurturing company culture and cultivating human connections to ensure both engagement and empowerment.
As Thomas Sowell puts it, in Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, “ Transferring the fruits of human capital is not as fundamental as diffusing the human capital itself. »
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