Tag Archives: generation z

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Generational dignity

Generational Dignity, Is That What’s Missing?

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The psychology of work has never been more important. Generational dignity suggests that workers on either end of the generational framework are feeling a lack of respect. Is this part of the missing link for generational harmony?

In a strong economy with low unemployment numbers are there still workers? Some suggest that there are plenty of workers in the traditional or baby boomer categories and some suggest that there are plenty of generation Z workers.

Is it true? Do workers exist on each end of the continuum that just aren’t working?

Generational Dignity

Recently, I was in a discussion with a good friend and colleague. We were discussing aspects the workforce and the availability of workers. He has some belief, which I share, that there are workers, often just not those that organizations find attractive.

One example is the people in the older generations. They often have tons of knowledge and expertise, and informal surveys suggest that they would work longer or reenter the workforce for the right opportunity.

Surprisingly, or not, that opportunity doesn’t always focus on pay. It often is the opportunity to be respected and to have dignity in their job. A department store greeter isn’t necessarily dignified, nor is the shopping cart collector. Should a person with more than 40 years of experience be doing those jobs?

Somewhat in contrast, there are often job opportunities that are more physical in nature. The manual labor jobs. The jobs that require lifting, moving, or greater physical effort. Should some of these jobs be more dignified to encourage the most recent workforce generations to perform?

Our generational challenges are often focused on differences. One of the most fundamental aspects of our workplace culture is that we all want respect (a commonality), yet we often define it differently.

Could workplace dignity make a difference?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Hiring Millennials and Gen Z: Will They Stay?

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Many organizations are searching for employees who represent the millennial or generation Z population, but if they hire them, will they stay?

business woman with her staff in background at office

Questions like this are good. They help us to focus and be better prepared to make good decisions. Many organizations desire to on-board employees representing both generations but often they report difficulties in finding suitable candidates or challenges in having them stay once they are hired. Generalizing on this subject is tricky because each industrial sector, geographic location, and organization size has an impact on the data.

Let’s consider just two points:

  • Millennials are staying longer with their early career employer (Whitehouse Report 2014).
  • Enrollment in 2 and 4 year colleges has been volatile (up and down) since 2010.

These points are important because many informal reports suggest that many who get hired stick around only from a few minutes to a few months and then take off for a different job; and that many are college educated and as such only accept the highest paying, no manual labor white collar job opportunities. This data set might support a different hypothesis.

Research data behind the millennial and generation Z population is complex. Millennial behavior has been studied and trends exist, but much of the trending has numerous other factors involved which only add to the confusion. Some of these factors include rural vs. urban living, home ownership, and marriage and family, and this is just naming a few.

It is worth mentioning that there appears to be a trend with the most recent generations preferring to relocate to more urban settings leaving businesses in smaller rural communities feeling like they have a lack of choices. The emerging generations might choose to start their own families and become homeowners later in life, and as such they might not share the same style of community commitment as those generations who have come before them. This is not about right or wrong, it is an indication of differences.

Will They Stay?

Complex issues sometimes have to be broken down into simple terms. Organizations need to make the best choices possible for their workforce. There will always be trade-offs with skills, compensation, and other employee value based factors. So how can organizations improve their millennial and generation Z turnover ratio?

  • Hire Smart. Use interviewing skills and techniques to make the best choices for your organizational needs and location. Having a strategy that includes competency models and employee demographic data that illustrates the characteristics of the ideal candidate are best.
  • Cultural Values. Value the most recent generations, emphasize this with actions and a well-illustrated culture. Many are eager to earn an honest living, but they’ll seek to be respected and not feel as though they are being inappropriately used.
  • Mentor. Build and encourage mentor opportunities with role model employees of a similar generation. Often organizations will attempt to form connections for mentor opportunities by pairing mentees with role models of a different generation, while this might be somewhat situational, this is often not as effective as someone within the same generation.

My experiences working with many different organizations in both rural and urban settings indicate that organizations that lack a specific strategy for on-boarding the most recent generations are the same organizations that struggle the most to have them stay. In contrast, organizations that have a strategy and follow it are most likely the same organizations with a culture that is acceptable across the entire generational framework.

Hiring decisions are certainly complex and not every person (employee or employer) will actually deliver exactly as they present throughout the interview process. You’ll never get a guarantee that every employee is going to stay, and perhaps not every employee you’ll want to keep.

Generational Denial

One last thing worth mentioning, occasionally I encounter organization leaders who believe that generational differences are not real and that the generational problem has been going on since the industrial revolution. If the leadership team cannot agree on the problem, it is unlikely that a solution will be found.

Create a strategy that builds a culture that achieves your desired results.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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3 Tips for Minimizing Millennial and Gen Z Turnover

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Probably at least 1 out of every 5 clients that I speak with mention to me that one of their biggest problems is retaining the millennial or generation Z workforce. Employee turnover is costly. What if you could begin to implement low-cost actions that will start making a difference today, would you do it?


While there are perhaps many issues connected with employee turnover at large, when we examine the newest generations in the workforce sometimes things are not always as they appear. Of course we’ve often heard of the need for immediate gratification with the most recent generations and how that might connect to salary or earning potential, and that the newest generations have very little patience when it comes to their career. We’ve also heard that these generations have a great interest in how much time off they receive and the importance of organizational social responsibility in consideration for the climate, environment, or social systems such as welfare and retirement security. All of these things are likely important to most, but sometimes there are more basics needs that can be addressed which don’t directly involve money, paid time off, or costly resources to implement. 

Through many presentations, informal interviews, and even social media interactions, I continue to learn a great deal about these workforce generations and here are a few low-cost, high-return strategic suggestions that can make a difference in your organization:

  1. Connect individuals to the purpose of their work. Most employees regardless of their age are much more motivated when they understand the connection their individual job role has with the organizations mission. Employees who are connected with their job role and see the relevance to organizational success are much more likely to be engaged in their work and feel an on-going sense of responsibility to stay the course.
  2. Establish role models or mentors of the same generation. So often I speak with organizations that mention they have paired the newest employees with the organizations best representatives as mentors. The idea is that the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the exemplary performer will transition to those newest in the organization. While this is not a bad idea, the missing element is that the power for retaining millennial and gen Z employees comes from mentors who are in their same generation. So not only must the organization establish these leaders, they must also connect them by generation.
  3. Where possible connect job roles for a work / life blend. Millennials and generation Z employees often view their approach to work much differently as compared to a traditional or baby boomer. This doesn’t make one group wrong and the other right, but it does mean that there are differences. In simple terms the millennials and generation Z employees often prefer more of a blending of work with life which is part of why a connection to purpose is so important. This is not the same as work / life balance; blending implies integrating work with life. What is sometimes challenging in this area is that required job skills or work to be performed is very on-the-job specific and as a result it is more challenging for work / life blending.

Many of the stereotypes often associated with millennial and generation Z are simply not accurate, and the mindset of some is certainly not representative of all. Organizations must look outside of factors such as pay and promotion, sure they are important, but likely not the most important. Does your organization have a specific strategy to address millennial or generation Z employee turnover? Is it working? 


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Generation Z GenZ

Who is Generation Z?

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Millennials get a lot of media attention, but who are the millennials and who is considered to be in generation Z?

Generational differences have a lot to do with stereotypes and bias. Often people make a quick judgment based on perceived age that anyone who is in their mid 30’s or less is a millennial. We see it, read it, or hear it in news reports, professional presentations (excluding those delivered by generational experts), and sometimes in chatter throughout the workplace.


Content marketing organizations and social media outlets thrive on the popular millennial keyword. The truth is, most generational experts agree that there are not three workforce generations, not four workforce generations, but five generations currently active in our workforce.

Okay, but who are they?

Traditionals: Born 1930 – 1945

Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964

Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976

Millennials: Born 1977 – 1994

Generation Z: Born after 1994

While the ranges supplied here seem straight forward, confusion sometimes occurs because the labels such as traditional, baby boomer, and millennial, are not always the same. For example, millennials are commonly known as millennials or generation Y, and generation Z is also known as generation 9/11, or iGen, and others.

Generation Z

While there is much agreement formulated from various sources on the existing (year ranges) frameworks, there is often disagreement as well.

Personally, I believe the last emerging generation, labeled here as generation Z, has the most confusion or disagreement related to framework. During the writing of my book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce, I extensively considered popular wisdom, web based research, and traditional published works citing various frameworks for each generation.

Generation Z has the most unsettled framework with some people citing the starting year as early as 1990, and others believing it may be as late as 2005. Many current views position it closer to the mid-1990’s and for the purpose of clarity in Forgotten Respect, I used the mid-1990’s as the starting year.

My belief is that three factors are largely responsible for creating a generational shift; they are significant changes in socio-economic conditions, significant technology changes, or unfortunately, times of war. Historically, these factors appear to be consistent across the generally accepted framework, and I offer that my position on this latest generation is still evolving.

Final Word

Generation Z is not another label for the millennials and everyone who is mid to upper 30’s years of age and younger are not all millennials. The millennial generation has an ending year and it is representative of those born around 1990 or slightly later. Those persons currently (circa 2016) filling the space as younger than mid-20’s, born early 1990’s, or later, are Generation Z.


Originally published on September 22, 2016. Last updated on April 1, 2018.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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