Turning Zoomers into Doers: How to Manage the New Work Generation

Who are Zoomers, and How Do You Manage Them?

Generation Z (i.e., the “Zoomers”) is currently shaping culture, technology, and businesses. Here’s a closer look at who they are, why they matter, and how to work with them.

Zoomers Working on a Laptop
Photo by Laneecia Ricks on Macro.

The Age Bracket

In 2023, Zoomers fall between the ages of 11 to 26. Born between 1997 and 2012, they have grown up in an era of rapid technological advancements and changing global dynamics.

Zoomer Characteristics: More Than Just Numbers

While it’s important to understand that each individual is unique, research has highlighted some general characteristics of Zoomers:

  • Digital Natives:
    • The senior members of this generation were just 10 when the first iPhone came into being.
    • For the younger ones, the iPhone 5 was already a thing when they arrived.
  • Far More Diverse than Previous Generations:
    • 53% white
    • 23% Latino
    • 14% Black
    • 6% Asian
    • 3% identify with two or more race groups
    • 1% American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Mental Health Advocates:
    • Zoomers are particularly attuned to the importance of mental well-being and are proactive in addressing it.
    • Yes, they’re going to talk about therapy in your workplace.
  • Consumption and Identity:
    • How they consume, and what they choose to associate with, often aligns closely with their personal identity.
    • It’s less “consumption and identity” and more “consumption as identity”.

Why Should You Care?

If you’re in a leadership position, it’s essential to understand the motivations and drives of the Zoomers. These insights can guide how you interact, manage, and grow with them.

Based on research from Deloitte, some key factors that motivate Zoomers include:

  • Seeking growth and development opportunities.
  • A need for purpose and a meaningful job role.
  • A desire for flexibility in their roles.
  • Valuing transparency and open communication.

Managing Zoomers: Some Best Practices

  • Offer Leadership Opportunities: Even small roles can make a big difference. Empower them!
  • Promote Collaboration: Teamwork often resonates with Zoomers.
  • Ensure Autonomy: While they value teamwork, they also appreciate having control over their tasks.
  • Customize Perks: A one-size-fits-all approach may not work. Listen to them.
  • Emphasize Work-life Balance: This is non-negotiable.
  • Invest in Tech: They are tech-savvy. Make sure you are too!
  • Open Communication: Establish communication norms and be patient with them. Remember, they might approach communication differently.

In Closing…

Every generation has its unique strengths, perspectives, and challenges. While Zoomers have specific trends and characteristics, they are also fiercely individualistic. As leaders, mentors, or even peers, it’s crucial to engage with them personally and appreciate the myriad possibilities their tech-savvy perspective can bring. Talk to the Zoomers around you, understand them, and see which of these insights resonate. After all, we were all the ‘new generation’ once. Embrace the change!

Further reading / research cited: