WX trends: Does your office culture need a Gen Z makeover?

WX trends: Does your office culture need a Gen Z makeover?

Our workplace experience (WX) trends series looks at recent news articles, videos, social media posts and thought leadership pieces on workplace experience. You’ll also hear from our experts on what’s trending.

This week in WX trends, we’re looking at bad office etiquette and how it might be holding some Gen Z workers back. Next, we’ll explore how tension between generations is translating into lower productivity. Finally, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

How’s your office etiquette?

After years of studying online, some Gen Z workers lack basic office etiquette, an etiquette expert tells Business Insider.

It might stand in the way of progressing at work, she warns.

“I didn’t grow up with etiquette, and I took it upon myself to educate myself when I realized that there was an issue when I didn’t know certain protocols and people were reacting badly to me,” says Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette.

From the clothing you wear and making eye contact to respecting colleagues and not eating a smelly lunch, the story suggests Gen Z workers model their older coworkers when it comes to the soft skills they may be lacking.

How to fix tensions between generations at work

Businesses must find a way to promote intergenerationally inclusive work practices because productivity is at stake, according to research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

“These include making it easier for each generation to ‘fit in’, developing and advancing people based on merit rather than age, and committing to a generationally diverse workforce,” according to the story.

The LSE conducted a survey of 1,450 employees in various industries in the UK and U.S.

Gen Z reported the lowest level of productivity at 37%, followed by 30% of Millennials, 22% of Gen X and 14% of Baby Boomers.

All is not lost, however. Once businesses integrate intergenerationally inclusive work practices, the reporting of low productivity drops significantly.

It’s how you say it that counts

Gen Z workers want feedback on the job but they want to hear it a certain way.

Managers shouldn’t wait too long to give constructive feedback or fix something without using it as a teaching moment.

Feedback “should be timely, collaborative, empathetic and balanced,” according to a story in the Washington Post.

More and more Gen Zs, who are born between 1997 and 2012, are joining the workforce each year, and it’s important that they’re heard.

Like the generations before them, Gen Z workers come with their own needs.

“…They want to be themselves at work, feel that their voice matters, and that their managers are empathetic and will invest in relationships with them,” according to the story.

Whatever you do, don’t mistake Gen Z workers as lazy. “They just want to bring humanity back to the workplace,” the story says.

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