The Secrets of Successful Gen Z Management
Publié le 17 May 2023

The Secrets of Successful Gen Z Management

In transition management , you may be required to manage employees from Generation Z – also called the Refresh generation or Digital Natives. Born between 1995 and 2015, this generation is shaking up the business world. In 2025, according to the World Economic Forum , Generation Z will represent 27% of the workforce in OECD member countries. It is therefore up to you, as a manager, to adapt to their expectations and create an environment that motivates and stimulates them. With the right approach, you can help this generation reach their full potential and contribute to the success of your organization. Find in this article the characteristics of Digital Natives and some key strategies to make the most of this generation through management .

Who is Generation Z?

Who is Generation Z? | Reactive Executive

Generation Z stands out for its diversity, social engagement and skillful use of technology. These young people, shaped by world events and technological advances, bring a unique perspective to society, redefining expectations and social norms as they enter adulthood.

  • Demographics and psychographics

Demographically, Generation Z represents greater cultural and ethnic diversity than their predecessors, and their easy access to information has contributed to increased open-mindedness and tolerance.

Psychographically, Gen Z is characterized by its pragmatism , entrepreneurial spirit and social commitment. These young people are often described as content creators, educated, curious and concerned about social and environmental equity.

Characteristics of Generation Z

Several common traits can be associated with Generation Z, although this varies depending on cultural and economic contexts. Generation Z considers themselves to be:

  • Autumn
  • Curious
  • Ultra connected
  • Rebel
  • Bold

These traits can influence their behavior as employees and consumers. Indeed, the Refresh generation is the generation that follows the millennials (generation Y) and who therefore grew up in a digital and connected world. This feature allows them to be more comfortable with digital tools and social networks – which they know how to use as a real strategic platform.

What is the difference between Generation Z and Generation Y (or Millennials)?

What is the difference between Generation Z and Generation Y (or Millennials) | Reactive Executive

Although Gen Z shares some characteristics with Generation Y , also known as Millennials (1980-1995), there are differences:

  • Millennials experienced the pre- and post-Internet world, while Gen Z grew up in a world where technology was already fully integrated into daily life.
  • In terms of values, Generation Z often shows a higher level of realism and pragmatism than millennials. They witnessed their parents’ economic struggles, which made them more focused on financial stability and more concerned with learning practical skills for success.
  • Traditional media is no longer enough for Digital Natives . They know how to effectively gather and analyze information to make informed decisions. In the workplace, their contributions can spur innovation and spark new strategies.

The expectations of Generation Z in the professional environment

The expectations of Generation Z in the professional environment | Reactive Executive

Gen Z has distinct expectations in the world of work. This is a generation in search of meaning, balance and recognition in their emerging careers. And understanding their expectations is essential to establishing good working relationships.

Search for meaning

Generation Z is more involved in today’s world. In perpetual search for meaning, they question the world before and protest against inequalities and economic, social and ecological crises.

This quest also extends to their professional life. For Gen Z, company notoriety is no longer enough . She aspires to feel engaged directly and/or indirectly through their business. Working for a company committed to causes that go beyond profits is essential to them.

Gen Z also aspires to “cool” work, which resonates with their passions and which promotes their development . According to JobTeaser , 76% of Gen Z consider work to be very important in their lives. Thus, it becomes imperative for them to feel good there.

Work-life balance

Concerned about their personal occupations and their physical and mental health, the Digital Native is more likely to leave a job if it does not offer a good balance between personal and professional life.

This is why it is important to take into account their needs in terms of flexibility, and teleworking is emerging as an essential solution. In fact, 82% of young people want to work in a company that offers teleworking . Another innovative approach: the 4-day week , offering more free time.

Need to feel free

Gen Z is very autonomous, loves independence and wants to feel useful. Usefulness also represents 42% of their main motivations, just after salary and just before the quest for independence.

In this quest for independence, Gen Z particularly appreciates environments that encourage creativity and innovation. Young people want at all costs to explore the different facets of their profession for their professional development.

Gen Z is also a free electron. A distinctive trait of this generation. They are not afraid to leave a permanent contract to pursue better opportunities. According to the book “ Generation Z: from Z consumers to Z collaborators ” by Élodie Gentina and Marie-Ève ​​Delécluse, 44% of young people in this generation are not sure they want to work in the same profession all their lives. They like to explore different professional avenues, dabble in various fields, and view these changes as learning opportunities.

Need for feedback and recognition

Generation Z appreciates working relationships where feedback is given regularly to guide them in their progress. Recognition of their achievements, even the smallest, is crucial to fuel their motivation and strengthen their commitment to their work.

How to effectively manage Generation Z: suitable strategies?

How to effectively manage Generation Z - appropriate strategies? Reactive Executive

Managing Generation Z requires a thoughtful and adaptable approach. Understanding the keys to communicating, inspiring and solving the challenges of this dynamic generation is essential to building successful teams

Communicate with Gen Z

Be transparent: Generation Z seeks transparency in every business . This is the key to establishing a relationship of trust and creating an environment of understanding and mutual respect. In addition, Digital Natives appreciate honesty more than anything and do not hesitate, in case of doubt, to use their power of “ fact-checking ” to ensure the veracity of your comments, which risk calling into question your much-praised values ​​into question.

Foster open communication and create an environment where ideas and opinions are respected and valued.

1) Leadership and example

For Gen Z, you are more than just a manager. You are a mentor, a coach. Treat the Digital Native as a true collaborator and not just a subordinate. He favors a horizontal relationship based on listening, trust and mutual respect rather than orders.

Combine business with pleasure and encourage members of Generation Z to take ownership of their tasks so that they find pleasure in them. Cultivate inspiring leadership by showing commitment to company values, transparency and a proactive attitude. Generation Z is more likely to follow leaders who embody the qualities they seek to develop.

2) Challenges and solutions for managing Gen Z

Leverage digital communication tools and implement telecommuting, if possible. Email, social media, or mobile apps are second nature to Gen Z. By embracing these technologies, you can create an environment more conducive to effective collaboration.

3) Implementation of career development and mentoring programs

Career development programs and mentoring can be set up to best manage Generation Z, in particular through internal training, significant projects in a field that fascinates them, regular interviews to take stock of the progress of their missions or a skills assessment.

The impact of corporate culture on Generation Z

To attract and retain Generation Z talent, companies must adapt their values ​​and corporate culture . Here are some examples of values ​​that are important to Generation Z:

  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Social and environmental responsibility
  • Innovation and learning
  • Work/life balance

Companies that highlight these values ​​are more likely to attract the interest of young Generation Z and retain them.

Here are some examples of company cultures that are attractive to Generation Z:

  • Innovative companies: digital professions, media or health sectors.
  • Social enterprises: education, environment, social (associations, foundations, etc.)
  • Companies that promote remote working: digital professions, consulting professions, creative professions
  • Companies that offer competitive compensation and benefits: large companies, start-ups, social enterprises.

Conclusion on managing Generation Z

It is important to understand Generation Z and their values ​​and expectations. The best way to manage Generation Z is to listen to their ideas , give them a chance, and encourage them to actively engage in their work through flexibility and transparency. Modern tools and technologies must be put in place to improve their comfort and allow them to perform at their best. It is also important to offer them career development opportunities and provide them with constructive feedback to help them grow and achieve their goals.

As an interim manager , adapting to future generations not only helps foster engagement and attract new talent, but also promotes diversity and follows emerging trends in your field. This management makes it possible to create a more inclusive environment and maintain a competitive advantage over the long term.

Turn to Reactive Executive to shape generationally relevant leadership and ensure the lasting success of your business.

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