8 Key Differences between Gen Z and Millennials

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A question I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “What is the difference between Millennials and Generation Z?” I am going to list 8 key differences between Gen Z and Millennials in this post, hopefully shedding some light here.
Generation Z, as they have been coined, consist of those born in 1995 or later. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage, and contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.

Just so we’re clear:
A “Millennial” is a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation) is the demographic cohort following the Millennials.

The difference between the two is important to know in order to prepare your business, shift marketing, adjust leadership, and adapt recruiting efforts to stay relevant for the future.

How Generation Z Differs from Millennials

1. Less Focused

Today relevant is constantly being refined and Gen Z lives in a world of continuous updates. Gen Z processes information faster than other generations thanks to apps like Snapchat and Vine. Thus their attention spans might be significantly lower than Millennials.

2. Better Multi-Taskers

Though Gen Z can be less focused than their Millennial counterparts, in school, they will create a document on their school computer, do research on their phone or tablet, while taking notes on a notepad, then finish in front of the TV with a laptop, while face-timing a friend. You get the picture.

Gen Z can quickly and efficiently shift between work and play, with multiple distractions going on in the background…working on multiple tasks at once. Talk about multi-multi-tasking. Just think about how this kind of flow might reshape the office.

3. Bargains

Millennials care more about prices than Gen Z. This is arguably because they came of age during the recession.

Sixty-seven percent of millennials surveyed said that they would go to the website to get a coupon, whereas only 46% of Gen Z polled said they would do the same.

Millennials also tend to click on more ads; 71% of Millennials in a recent poll said they followed an advertisement online before making a purchase, however only 59% of Gen Z’ers said the same.

4. Gen Z is Full of Early Starters

Many employers are predicting that more teens, between the ages of 16 and 18 will go straight into the workforce, opting out of the traditional route of higher education, and instead finishing school online, if at all. Would you make a major investment, possibly leading to years of debt to come—knowing there are new, more affordable (not to mention more convenient) online alternatives coming up every day?

As we’ll discuss later in this post, Gen Z knows the true value of independence, and knowledge is no exception here. If a Gen Z’er knows they are capable of learning something themselves, or through a more efficient, non-traditional route, you can bet they’ll take the opportunity.

5. Gen Z Is More Entrepreneurial

According to Gen Z marketing strategist Deep Patel, “the newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially.” Generation Z desires more independent work environments. As a matter of fact, 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday.

One apparent recurring factor you might notice throughout this post, is that many Gen Z identifying factors can be traced back to the recession in 2008, from their frugality, to their value of experiences, and increased likelihood to become entrepreneurs. This is an interesting note to take down.

6. Gen Z Has Higher Expectations Than Millennials

Millennials remember playing solitaire, coming home to dial-up internet and using AOL. Generation Z was born into a world overrun with technology. What was taken as amazing and inspiring inventions, are now taken as a given for teens.

“When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something’s wrong,” said Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy at Ernst & Young. “They expect businesses, brands and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.”

7. Gen Z Is Big On Individuality

Gen Z’ers were born social. In fact, nearly 92% of Gen Z has a digital footprint. Arguably as a result of the celebrities and media they follow, Gen Z seeks uniqueness in all walks of life primarily through the brands they do business with, future employers, etc.

8. Gen Z Is More Global

Millennials were considered the first “global” generation with the development of the internet, but as more of the world comes online — Generation Z will become more global in their thinking, interactions, and relatability. 58% of adults worldwide ages 35+ agree that “kids today have more in common with their global peers than they do with adults in their own country.” Diversity will be an expectation of Generation Z.

After asking people “Would you call yourself addicted to your digital devices? (computer, smartphone, etc.),” we found Gen Z’ers are 25% more likely than Millennials to say they are addicted to their digital devices. A full 40% of Gen Z are self-identified digital device addicts.

This generation grew up with technology, and for them, it’s probably hard to go without their devices. If this younger generation is constantly on their phones or devices and not watching as much live TV, we may experience a massive shift in advertising methods and marketing messages.

Why Leaders Should Be Learners

By Steve Graham

View original publication on www.cornerstone.edu

What comes to mind when you think of a leader? You may think of certain characteristics or personalities that good leaders tend to have.

 

A key characteristic for leaders to have is the willingness to learn and grow in their own professional development. This readiness to learn may not always come easy. You may think you know the right answer and unwilling to hear of other perspectives. Here, we share four steps in the value of having the willingness to learn as a leader and how it has an influence in your company culture.

 

The Commitment

Leaders set the tone for an organization. As a leader, you must be agile in your responses to the ever-changing marketplace and business climate. You’re charged with growing organizations. Learning is a huge part of this growth process.

This growth-focused learning can take various shapes within an organization. It can be organic, formalized, personalized or on-demand. Whatever the shape, learning needs to be part of a leader’s commitment to improving both personally and professionally.

One big lesson of learning is how to use failure. Sorry, but the old saying, “failure is not an option” is not realistic. Even though failure is not something we desire, it is always a reality.

Part of the commitment for leaders to be learners is being comfortable with vulnerability. As a leader, you don’t have to have all the answers. Being able to admit that you don’t know, with confidence, makes you more of an authentic leader.

Leaders must lead the way in this commitment to vulnerability. You’ve got to go first. According to Patrick Lencioni, in his book, “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business”: “The only way for a leader of a team to create a safe environment for his team members to be vulnerable is by stepping up and doing something that feels unsafe and uncomfortable first.”

Take the first step and be comfortable with vulnerability.

 

The Example
n addition to showing a commitment to learning, it’s important to remember that as a leader, you act as an example in your organization.

Leaders who value the impact of learning on growth and talent retention drive an organization where learning is part of the organizational DNA. When you set the example in your commitment to learning, you create organizations that are serious about learning. How you are able to use failure to learn can set a good example for others to use these important lessons for improvement. It’s about how you view failure is what can either encourage progress or hinder future success.

In the field of academic medicine, M&M conferences (morbidity and mortality conferences) are used to examine failures and medical errors. These are powerful sessions in being able to learn what went wrong in a particular situation and find practical answers to correct problems and improve medical care. The key objective of a well-run M&M conference is to identify adverse outcomes associated with medical error, to modify behavior and judgment based on previous experiences and to prevent the repetition of errors leading to complications.

If the medical field can find immense value in learning from failures, shouldn’t more organizations do the same? Yes! Leaders who are learners set an example and establish the value of learning within an organization.

 

The Investment
There’s a reason we call it “lifelong learning.” Learning should never end. It is an investment in time and money.

Many leaders give excuses of why they cannot take time to learn. Learning should be a priority, not an option. Professional development is an investment that successful leaders embrace.

According to Dr. Brad Staats, associate professor of operations at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business says, “Today’s fast-paced, ever-changing, global economy requires us to never stop learning or we risk becoming irrelevant. Savvy leaders recognize this means investing in their own learning journey, so they can develop the processes and behaviors required for ongoing success.”

 

Learn to Listen as a Leader
Like showing commitment and being an example, coaching is also an important part of the learning process learning. It enhances your ability to be a better active listener as you lead others.

Listening is a fundamental part of success as a leader. In his bestselling book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” well-known executive coach Marshall Goldsmith states: “80 percent of our success in learning from other people is based on how well we listen.”

But there’s a difference between hearing the words that come out of someone’s mouth and actually listening and understanding what he or she says. Are you hearing more than listening? Listening takes practice. Listening is a skill to learn and focus on to become a better, more successful leader.

When looking for ways to become a better listener, executive coaching can be a great practice to begin. Executive coaching is part of sound leadership development and can help you become a better leader. Coaching can be incorporated to help you become more self-aware and learn to be more approachable and authentic in your influence in your professional and personal life.

 

Learn to Lead
When coaching is used with other learning initiatives, it helps to develop a deeper purpose for you as a leader. Developing the complete leader involves being committed, setting an example and making an investment in self and others. Focus on learning as a strategic resource in personal and professional development.

 

Can having fun make you a better leader?

by Dave Crenshaw

view original publication on randomactsofleadership.com

 

Employees, whether they know it or not, tend to play “follow the leader. They may admire your ingenuity or just want a little more spending money. Whatever it is, they mimic your behavior because they think it will make them successful. The problem is that leaders often exhibit unhealthy behaviors that cause them to work late nights without taking crucial breaks that recharge their batteries and improve their performance.

 

According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, seventy-four percent of employees feel less loyal to their employer after the first year. What’s more, according to the University of Phoenix, nearly 60 percent of all American workers wish they were in a different career.

 

There are also studies that show that workaholism isn’t just unhealthy, it’s detrimental to the productivity of both yourself and others. In my upcoming book The Power of Having Fun, I discuss ways to improve this by finding a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly “Oasis.”
An Oasis?

 

Imagine you’re in the Mojave desert. You are hundreds of miles from civilization. You’re rationing food and water and you need to make it to civilization before you starve. Your lips are beginning to chap and you’re sunburned beyond belief.

 

Then, inexplicably, in this barren wasteland, you are greeted by a pool of the bluest drinking water you’ve ever seen. There’s papaya juice, fresh seafood, and a chase lounge comfortable enough to rest any weary traveler.

 

This oasis is exactly what you need to continue the journey and to get where you’re trying to go. As a manager, your Work Oasis is exactly what you need to get through your day. Only it’s not a mirage. It’s very real.
You Come First

 

Establishing an Oasis is incredibly simple. The first step is to schedule this time with yourself every day. Literally, put it on your calendar. Your Oasis can be whatever you’d like it to be. Maybe you enjoy taking a bike ride through the parking lot or a quick trip down a YouTube wormhole.

 

One of my regular clients scheduled an appointment each day to visit Bessie the Cow. She’d leave her office, walk up the hill to a local pasture, pet the cow on the nose and then head back to work. Whether your moment of relaxation is of the bovine, canine, or alone time variety, any type of Oasis can work―as long as it’s meaningful to you!

 

Your employees should notice a change in your behavior and a change in the culture and mimic you accordingly.
The Institutional Oasis

 

If the free market of workplace behaviors doesn’t move the needle for your team, it’s your responsibility as a leader to institute and encourage taking breaks.

 

However, instead of setting the parameters for what constitutes a break, ask them what kind of break would be meaningful to them. Ask them what they like to do for fun. You shouldn’t encourage them to read when what they really want to do is play video games. You shouldn’t send them TED talks when what they really want to do is take long walks.
Taking Things Up a Notch

 

Eventually, you may find an opportunity in your budget for a more expensive Work Oasis, such as a company picnic. In my coaching experience, I’ve found leaders get the best results when they make these breaks less about the activity and more about self-directed fun. For example, company off-sites to the local bowling alley don’t appeal to everyone. Between the bowling shoes and the loud noises, you stand to turn some people off. The same can be said for a golf day, a video game day, or any other fun daytime activity. In the land of fun, flexibility is key.

 

Consider instituting a day like LinkedIn’s monthly InDay. Each InDay, employees engage in personal projects meant to reflect their own personal goals and to create a positive impact.
Winning Your Employees

 

By becoming an advocate of employee fun, you are more likely to turn the tide of the negative workplace stats I listed earlier. As a leader, your goals are often focused on performance result―as they should be. Always remember that getting stuff done and having more fun go hand-in-hand. By taking more time for yourself, setting a fun-positive example, and granting that privilege to others, you become a more productive leader.

 

Millennials, Professional Feedback and the New Performance Review Model

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by Warren Wright

If Millennials had their way in the workplace, the “annual performance review” would go the way of the fax machine and punch clock.

Millennials grew up with “Google” as a verb, as in “to google” virtually any answer to any question. More recently, services like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and other digital concierges make finding information even more effortless.

But technology is not the only catalyst that has conditioned Millennials to receive instant and frequent feedback: Ever since they were young, Millennials were tested and graded at an alarming frequency, all to track their short and long term goal attainment.

Millennials are uniquely conditioned, more than any other generation, to expect speed and frequency– especially as it relates the their performance goals. The dreaded Annual Performance Review, which was never very popular, is fast becoming an antiquated relic, especially for Millennials who crave real time feedback.

Studies have shown that Millennials appreciate hands-on guidance and direction from their supervisors on a more frequent basis, unlike employees from older generations. In a recent LifeCourse Associates’ survey, “69 percent of Millennials say they like their supervisor to provide them with ‘hands-on guidance and direction.’ Only about 40 percent of Boomers and older Gen Xers said the same.”

Providing frequent and tight cycles of honest and open feedback will more-than pay off in productivity and employee engagement. Engaged employees feel valued and have more professional satisfaction, tend to be more motivated, more likely to meet their goals, and more likely to stay with a company in the future.

Some of the top-rated companies and best places to work for have all but ditched the traditional, top-down annual performance evaluation in favor of more frequent, 360-degree reviews. These includes GE, Adobe and Deloitte.

Three Strategies to Strengthen the Bench of Next Generation Leaders

By Ryan Jenkins

View Original Publication on chelseakrost.com

You measure the value of one’s life by how much time they give away. The title, status, or accolades one achieves is not celebrated at the end of life; rather it’s the selflessness we admire. Selflessness makes life much bigger than an individual. If you practice a self-centered leadership style, your teachings will die with you. If you understand the mark of a true leader and focus on others, your life’s work will live far beyond your time on earth.

It’s no secret that seasoned leaders tend to look back on their work and then look forward to the leaders emerging today, fearful that these new leaders may have more talent, education, and innovative ideas. It can be terrifying to be faced with these new generation leaders who are asking questions of you that you should be asking them.

There’s a great reference in an episode of The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. In this particular podcast that aired on August 1, 2014, Stanley talks about being a “beyond you leader.” He explained that someone who’s a beyond you leader thinks about others and generations outside of his/her own. They aim to empower others selflessly, with no fear.

They aim to empower others selflessly, with no fear.

Beyond you leaders do not see emerging leaders as a threat. Beyond you leaders see the selfless opportunity in working with emerging leaders. They are able to leverage their influence which, in turn, enhances the organization and leaders around them. We all know, after all, that the merit of an honest leader is in how many others grow into leadership because of them.

Because we all tend to be busy, fear something, or just have too much pride, investing doesn’t come easy. We have to invest on purpose. Andy gives us 3 practical ways to become a beyond you leader, increasing the strength of your next generation leaders.

Make as few decisions as possible.

Give the next generation leaders some power by letting them make decisions. Use as little of your authority as possible. When leaders start climbing the organizational ladder, they take on responsibilities that may, initially, know nothing about. This is the exact reason the seasoned leaders should make less decisions. Leaders who don’t know their strengths and weaknesses, delegating when necessary, will be too involved – taking up time that could be better used in other areas.

Don’t be afraid to unleash the Millennials. They’ll be thrilled to contribute, create, and have a true place to make a difference.
Work for your team.

It may take a little practice, but you’ll see great things when you being to serve your team instead of waiting for them to serve you. The next generation needs what you have. Ask them how you can help, and mean it. Be sincere in your asking, and follow through with their requests.
Empty your cup.

As a leader, your main objective should be to share knowledge. Pour out your expertise. It’s true that: we don’t know how much we know until we’re talking to someone who doesn’t know what we know. (That’s a mouthful, but it makes sense. I promise.) Look for opportunities to share what you know with next generation leaders. You’re not responsible for what they retain, but you can offer the knowledge anyway. (For more on this very topic, check out the related article: Reverse Your Stagnation with Reverse Mentoring.)

A word of caution: You don’t have to wait to become a beyond you leader, no matter whether you’re a seasoned leader or a Millennial leader. If you wait to begin, chances are that you won’t start – ever. The land of later is where well-meant intentions die. Later has a reputation of building bad habits, making you think that you got to where you are because you can find information, versus the truth of the matter – your servitude elevated you. Hoarding information will stall influence. Sharing will always increase your influence.

“True success comes only when every generation continues to develop the next generation.”

– John C. Maxwell

Give the next generation a good model of a beyond you leader and each generation will emulate the like for generations to come.

Ponder this: How will you intentionally and selflessly help to develop the next generation of leaders?