“Alexa, which generation is the best?”


I suppose this question might lead to some unproductive conversations, so let me rephrase. A better question is:  “Alexa, what generation should I learn about?” If I could answer for her (you know, like the Super Bowl commercial when Alexa loses her voice), I would say, “Gen Z of course – it is the newest.” Sorry, Gen Y (Millennials), you are yesterday’s news. You’re still important; there are just some new kids on the block.

Quick Facts About Gen Z

  • Born between 1998 – 2017
  • Gen Z is already the largest generation – they make up 26% of the population
  • By 2025, they will be 75% of the workforce
  • Who will be complaining about Gen Z?  Everyone (especially Gen Y)

Early Gen Z Trends

  • Internet is the best authority on information and advice (not teachers/parents)
  • Leverage digital resources better and faster to solve problems
  • Want and appreciate coaching more than previous generations
  • Don’t need constant praise
  • More entrepreneurial (YouTube celebrities, etc.)

Influencing Gen Z

  • Be curious to understand what they have done and what their thoughts are before offering ideas and suggestions
  • Be timely (quick) to respond, coach, ask questions, etc. They will move faster than other generations, so matching their speed is important (otherwise you will be viewed as slowing them down)
    • 67% of Gen Z prefer to have supervisors pop-in (coaching, updates, etc.) micro-events (5 minutes) instead of traditional meetings
    • One focus area at a time
  • They like to work independently – so trying to accommodate that will be important

What does this all mean? The same thing as all the past conversations about different generations. Gen Z is different.  This makes things a little hard, but it also provides a great opportunity for us. If we can engage Gen Y, Gen Z and all generations, Interstates will become stronger and better. Their strengths will make us better if we are curious and open-minded. We need to  talk about the strengths and weakness of each group, and help each other to feel wanted and needed. By doing that, we are practicing psych safety and leading the Interstates Way!

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Scott Peterson, Interstates CEO