What Gen Z want us to know about them

  1. Al, as a senior executive at a bank, I see these guys all the time. We find that it is much harder to work with them because of their abhorrence for structure. But listening to them, I am starting to have a clue as to why. At our institution, we have to build a system for listening.

  2. Honestly what a call to earth this is: this model of listening without defending or arguing is powerful. I have never been on Tiktok – it never occured to me that that is where I might reach these young people directly.

  3. At one of my jobs I was among the youngest employee in Kenya and Africa as the rest were between the age of 38-67. I know this as I was managing the African Database.
    So we had an office rule that for every hour you are sat and working you have to take a 15 min break to do whatever.
    I’d use my 15 mins walking as I really had nothing in common with most people because of age difference and hated being asked personal questions.
    So when I was promoted a few people questioned what I did and they were presented with all the work I handle and noted I was ahead of schedule for most of my task and others I’d already completed months in advance. If left most infuriated

    When it came to my JD since I was in charge of HR in Africa and country HR reported some tasks to me we would do virtual calls and many had not met me. So we did a security training and I had about 300 staff including the HR around for the training. On day one before we got staff tags guys would be asking me who “Karimi HR” is cz they’d never met her. Others sort of dismissed me when we arrived at the venue as they thought I was either an intern or some assistant and because I had a tongue piercing but mostly because I was young. I wasn’t 30 then.

    It was even hilarious when the head of Africa who we shared a name introduced me and you should have seen the reaction of most staff that had dismissed me so I hear those posts.

    We shouldn’t be judged by hair, tattoos and piercings. Also sitting on a desk the whole day doesn’t mean that work is done. One mostly has to do a lot of planning and organizing themselves and their work because during appraisals it’s just you being measured against your objectives and goals

  4. Thank you for your blogpost, which my colleagues and I have found very illuminating. As one of the largest Telcos in Africa, we have resolved to establish a work process to better integrate our Gen Z employees by seeking to innovate how we work and rest to accomodate their learning. We are also starting a Gen Z team in our product development department to better be responsive to them.

  5. Dear Al, how interesting. That we have failed these young people is not something that could be disputed. They are right. We have become serious predators of them both at work ( hark our unpaid internship programs) and socially as we seek to make sexual playthings of both boys and girls. I would love to explore ways that we could support them that are not trite and not exploitative. We mainly offer them only menial work because we dont think theycan contribute seriously to society. Maybe you could ask them for us?

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