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Ready for Gen Z
The graduates we are recruiting
now for next year were most likely
born between 1995 and 2009. What
makes Gen Z tick? What tips can
you suggest to get the best out of
this next wave of our workforce?
Andrew Needham CA,
HJB Mann Judd
As Gen Z have yet to enter the
workforce in great numbers there
has been little research conducted
into their preferred working styles
and the best management approach.
However, here are some tips based on
• Training and mentorships will
be very important in the early
years of Gen Z's careers to give
them the business tools for
success. While there is a lot of
conjecture about this generation,
the common predictions appear
to be that Gen Z has had lifelong
exposure to the internet, and is
very adept at multitasking, but
finds more traditional forms of
communication, such as face-to-
face conversations or speaking
to clients on the telephone, more
challenging. Baby Boomers, Gen X
or Y can work as mentors to impart
the necessary interpersonal skills.
• Digitise communications material.
Training will need to be presented
digitally as this generation is likely
to want to use their smart phone
to watch bite-sized videos of the
learning they need.
• Emphasise written
communication skills. Given that
Gen Z is used to communicating in
140 characters and in acronyms,
written business communication
BUSINESS OFFICE LIFE
skills may need development if
they are to work effectively with
colleagues and clients from other
• Train older generations in
Generation Z's language shift. If
they haven't already, employers
will have to embrace social
networking, work out how to
communicate with a generation
that knows how to do it with 140
characters or less, get rid of long-
winded memos and change training
programmes, perhaps replacing
them with e-learning and online
• Understand what constitutes
work/life balance for each
generation. For Gen Z it may
be time at work to access their
personal social media.
• Involve younger generations in
market research. Ask Gens Y and
Z to work with technology and
identify emerging trends.
Susan Drew, Director
Hays Accountancy & Finance
Words for leaders
Technical specialists have great
knowledge, but when they reach
leadership positions they can
find communication a challenge.
What tips can you offer first-time
Kerry Lloyd CA,
Director -- Mason Lloyd
This is the most important question
all professionals face as their
career progresses. Early career
development is all technically
focussed. As careers progress
technical skills need to be
complemented by people skills and,
ultimately, strategic skills. None of
us can escape the need for people
skills and there is no more important
people skill than communication.
The first mistake many people
make with communication is they
forget that it is two way. With that in
mind, my communication tips are:
• Ask -- find out the facts, feelings,
priorities and objectives of others.
• Check your own understanding of
others -- it is amazing how often
things can be misinterpreted.
• Consciously take the time to
consider the position of others.
• Be succinct and structured
-- this applies to all types of
communication, verbal or written.
• Have no more than four key
points, to help your audience to
compartmentalise your message.
• Use the appropriate medium
-- email is not always the best
way; often it's better to pick up
the phone or walk over and see
• Be con dent in your message -- if you
are not con dent in what you say,
how can you expect others to be?
Good communication is no accident,
it happens because you think about
it in relation to the above points and
tailor your approach accordingly.
If you do this you can enjoy better
relationships and all the success
Director, Leading Change Consulting
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