Mainak Roy
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Mainak Roy

On working with Gen Z teammates

If you have someone who is younger than 25 years old on your team and you are not sure of how to work with them then this might be of some help. I have had the privilege of working with a bunch of young persons from Generation Z and I must say it's a whole different playing field.

What is characteristically different about Gen Z?

They are what we millennials wish we were when we were 23. They are individuals who are aware of things happening around them, especially things which are about individuality and expression. They see being unapologetically themselves as the most important thing in life and are not willing to compromise on purpose for money, most of the time. They are constantly looking for meaning in their work and purpose in their being. A lot of you might not agree and in that case, I would urge you to go talk to someone from the generation, heart to heart and really try to understand them.

Photo by Giacomo Lucarini on Unsplash

Here are 3 things I learned while working with my Gen Z team and I think if you follow this you will find it easy to manage them as well.

Be a coach (not a manager)

Give them problem statements to work on and not tasks to complete. Listen to them and guide them. Coach them into understanding challenges deeply and wholly, rather than just what is important for their role and task at that moment. Create a safe space where they can access you and talk to you easily.

Ask them questions, let them come up with answers and most importantly trust them that they will do the work that you have entrusted upon them.

Open up more than one way of communication and let them choose, do not stick to old ways and norms, the world is changing and they are the change. The goal is to listen without judgement and create space for coaching and problem-solving.

Encourage authenticity

Let them bring in their ideas and style authentically. The future is theirs and there is no point designing it on the basis of what we like — let them take a stab at it and back them up when they stumble, support them in rebuilding or making major edits. Give them space to be themselves, and that can be simple things like listening to the kind of music they like, or genuinely showing interest in the music they listen to, books they read, etc — do not diss their choices because you do not understand.

Side Note: I do diss the choices of my Gen Z friends and team members often, but I secretly listen to stuff they like.

Show them you trust and care (also genuinely do that)

Like every individual in the world, trust and care work wonders. However, with the Gen Z crowd, these become way more important because they actually value human relationships more than they are given credit for. Unlike previous generations, they are not moved by money much and hence they need workspaces that value them and where they can create value / be valuable. By trusting them and authentically caring for them you make sure this happens.

That is all. In conclusion, just be a nice human being and show up with love and trust for your Gen Z team mates, and for everyone else.

#maketheworldabetterplace

Thank you. Shukriya!

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My personal blog on everything under the sun.

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Mainak Roy

Mainak Roy

Co-Founder and CEO at Simple Education Foundation | Committed to ensuring that where we are born does not determine where we go | For ALL children

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