What do you know about Gen Z? Is your company prepared for the generational shift? Some companies will be left in the stone ages and culture conscious businesses flourish…will you recognize the significance?

Employee Retention and Generations – Gen Z | Episode 78

Welcome to the epic company culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney will give you the business leaders, HR professionals and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

JOSH 0:16

Hello, my name is Josh Sweeney, and welcome to the epic company culture podcast. This is season three, which is all about retention. And I am joined here with my co host, Crystal Sweeney.


Thank you for having me.

JOSH 0:27

Thank you for joining me where we get started. I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcasting space.

In this first four episodes of season three, we’re talking all about the differences in each generation from boomers all the way up to Gen Z so that we can give you a base, a little bit of understanding about each generation before we follow into a lot more information and sharing and educating around how that impacts company culture and employee retention.

Today’s topic is all about Gen Z. Can you tell us a little bit about Gen Z?


Generation Z

Yeah. There is still a lot of research being done about  generation Z because they are just now entering the workforce.  These are 20 year olds and under.

My kids are Gen Z and I’m watching what they’re doing. And I’m like, “Okay, how is this going to impact the world when they actually reached workforce age”

The biggest thing to remember about this generation is that they’ve lived there.  They have grown up in a house that has lived through two recessions.We’ve had the big house market crash that happened. And then there was another recession after that, I’m not sorry up to date on that.


Anyway, they are also very hyper connected. So this generation, have actually grown up even with young kids having computer in their pocket. There’s no longer just to come Peter sitting in the household, but they have access to the whole world of information  just at their fingertips. They are very highly connected to what’s going on in the world, and everything that is going on.

JOSH 2:14

Yeah, and my understanding is the majority of that generation based on research so far, pretty much grew up with a computer.  They didn’t know a time without the internet, right? They didn’t know a time without a computer.


Social Media

Most of them don’t know how to use a rotary phone, or know what to do if a phone is attached to a wall, right? So very conceptually different, I think it’s probably close to them not knowing a world without social media. I don’t know exactly when all of those were invented and where the Gen Z cuts off, because they’re still there doing analysis on it. But there’s a lot of things that they grew up with that there were not the majority rule before. And that’s a fundamental difference.


Yeah, absolutely. With that, social media, they’re utilizing it to communicate with their friends.  Snapchats and the Instagrams and watching YouTube videos, these are some really big things that are happening right now. That actually is setting them up for success in the workforce.

Instant Feedback

We are talking about the fact that they’re on Facebook, they’re putting out posts, and they’re looking for constant feedback. They’re looking for people to be interacting with them at all times. What that’s going to do in the workforce is going to create an expectation that they have on how well they’re doing in their job. They’re going to look for feedback. They’re going to want to build relationship with their co workers and their bosses to make sure that they’re doing what they need to be doing. And they’re hitting all the right notes in their job. So, I think that’s definitely something that’s going to work to their favor.

JOSH 4:03

Yeah. We’re seeing that they’re highly creative, highly efficient, right? Because they’re used to that connectivity. They’re used to the instant feedback.  


My oldest son who’s 12, I think he was probably eight when he had an iPod Touch because we said that we weren’t getting a cell phone until he’s 10. Which I think was still a little too early. But he was eight years old when he had his iPod Touch and he can’t really call anybody. He doesn’t have cell but he has Wi Fi. He’s chatting with his friend. And we’re like, “Oh, how are you chatting with your friend”, “I found this application called Skype. And we downloaded Skype. And now we’re talking

They can call via Skype, right? He was eight years old, and figures out that he doesn’t even need a cell signal to have phone communication basically and video communication with one of his friends from school. That really sets up a whole different mentality of connection and creativity in an instant communication that the previous generations really just started to experience throughout the millennial generation.


Leaving Everyone Behind

Yeah, absolutely, I that is definitely trait that Gen Z has. And I think a lot of us as parents are feeling that these kids are learning technology faster than we are. They’re knowing apps and, and things that they have access to help them do things a lot faster than we are. So, you know, that’s definitely going to have an impact on advancements in the future, and how fast things are moving. They’re going to be able to keep up and potentially leave others behind.

JOSH 5:46

Yeah, move faster than ever before. Absolutely. What are some other factors about Gen Z?



Yeah, so I just wanted to go back to the creativity. I mean, you got to think about Instagram, Snapchat the current that they’re constantly putting out. You think of creative ways of communicating  of getting a message across. Means are huge right now so, the whole email thing is so long winded now. I mean, everything is very fast.  What can you say in five words, and 10 words in a picture? So, with that constant creativity, they’re going to bring a lot of that into the workplace.

JOSH 6:25

Any other items you want to share?


Think Global

With them being so globally connected with everything going on in the media today, and all of the the different organizations and rights groups and these things that we are exposed to now, that’s happening around the world.  I think this generation is going to be the most diverse group.  They’re going to be the most open group and with that, most of them are going to have a purpose or an organization. Or they want to be an advocate of something that really speaks near and dear to them. And that’s going to be something that they’re going to want to see in the workplace.  They’re going to want to make sure that what they’re doing has purpose and has meaning. How is their work going to impact the world that they are highly connected to.

Looking for Values

So, they’re looking for those work values. And then going back to that they have had parents that live through two recessions, I think, typically, they’re going to be less likely to job hop like the millennials before them. Because they’re going to try to do look for a more secure job. So they want to make a great impact. But I think that they’re less likely going to be jumping ship from company to company, once they find that company that really speaks to them.  Then, they’re going to want to stay there and they’re going to want impact and make the world better.

JOSH 7:46

Yeah, so we’re seeing like at least the research is showing that Millennials may end up showing us the highest level of job hopping for a couple reasons we’re talking about in future podcasts.  But then it’s going maybe level off a little bit there.


So,  with the Gen Z also, you said purpose, right? What is the purpose and passion we’ve seen that come on strong over the years, but it continues to heighten that people don’t want to show up and get a check?

If you go back to traditionalist and boomers, you had a lot of the need to work the requirement to work long hard days to really pay for everything.  And the spouse wasn’t working. Then, you started progress into two income households.

Then, you start to get to Gen Z where not only is it to household incomes, but it’s not a lot of more for the sake of more.  We’re seeing that there’s some thresholds in which ones people cross them from a financial perspective. They start to want to experience a life a lot more and not show up for more hours or more pay or anything else. So we’re seeing a progression all the way from boomers up to Gen Z, that’s indicating a lot of those things.


Yeah, absolutely. Because they value what their purposes and what they’re doing.  Then, they’re, not necessarily going to go for the highest paid job. They’re actually looking for what their day to day experience is going to be.They’re going to value that company culture that they’re looking for. They’re going to just love to be at work, driving towards the same goals. That’s going to be very important to them not necessarily how much they’re getting paid but what are they experiencing.

Job Stability

And there has been evidence to show that because this generation is wanting to actually stay in one job for a longer period of time.  So, this generation is actually going to be saving a little bit more. They’re looking for stability that just kind of goes back to the recession’s that their parents have lived through. So, each generation is learning. Watching the generation before with their good traits of bad traits.  What’s going on the economy and they’re making those adjustments and actually shows the changes in businesses.

JOSH 10:11

Yeah, definitely. That reminds me of a little bit of what we talked about in season two, we are talking about Salesforce providing eight paid days off a year.  In addition to the normal days off in order to do give back. We’re seeing that trend really resonating and a lot of companies leading the charge on passion projects and giving back in and we continue to see that trend as a more important factor with millennials and then even greater factor with Gen Z.

Well, we hope this has been an educational session all about Gen Z. We look forward in to getting employee retention and how all of this information we’re providing you comes together to create your company culture. Thank you.



Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the epic company culture podcast with Josh Sweeney.

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