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Of course not! But that’s the kind of ‘snowflake’ stereotype that has now shifted from Millennials onto Gen Z that you’ll come across in all manner of articles and posts on social media.
As ever individuals vary but sweeping stereotypes are rarely helpful. Yes, there may be some naïve expectations of workplace experiences, but to diminish or dismiss a fresh perspective comes with a health warning – attracting and retaining talent, evolving your organisational culture to adapt to new generations and wider societal norms, as well as seizing opportunities and dare I say it, ‘new’ ways of doing things, could be missed.
The latest episode of the Hear It Podcast explores Gen Z in the workplace and speaks with former head of Twitter, Bruce Daisley on why resilience has become an often-used tool to victim blame.
“If we’ve witnessed Millennials being criticised as snowflake generation then Gen Z are being blamed for being even more feeble” explains Bruce.
“Firstly, that’s a generational trap, that every generation falls into thinking that those who come after them are less hardy and less resilient.”
“I think that’s an unnecessarily simplistic argument that probably is more than a little unfair on younger audiences. I became fixated with the way we use the word ‘resilient’ and how there’s generational blame that goes at the heart of it.”
Bruce recently blogged about these catch-all labels about Gen Z in the workplace, arguing that it takes grit to challenge a destructive status quo at work. In fact, he goes as far to say that while all generations are facing the same kind of challenges at work, it’s just that younger generations are perhaps being more open about it. You can read his blog here
But often used as a term for something people are lacking, resilience in and of itself is not something you can quickly get, nor an individual pursuit.
“You can’t be resilient on your own” says Bruce.
“We ascribe resilience as this individual trait… and what you find, is that any time we actually discover resilience, it’s because someone is uplifted by the people around them.”
“They talk about this democratising sense of being knocked down.”
We explore how organisations must look at creating a sense of togetherness and collective purpose to really engage staff of all generations, rather than attribute labels that do nothing but divide audiences.
With his new book Fortitude out now, Bruce shares a wealth of stories and examples that are invaluable for those working within internal communications or those looking to improve workplace cultures.
You can listen to the podcast in full here or on Apple or Spotify and most other places you can get your podcasts from.