Are Gen Zs "snowflakes"?

Are Gen Zs "snowflakes"?


A snowflake is fragile, but perfectly formed. A bit like millenials, they have been educated to a high standard, brought up by well-meaning but over-protective parents to believe they can achieve anything, but somehow this generation are reportedly struggling to cope with challenges of working life.

Simon Senek, best-selling author and leadership coach, controversially pointed out that this generation seem disappointed that working life doesn’t deliver instant job satisfaction and the sense of purpose and autonomy they crave. Add to this the explosion of dependence on social media, with its undercurrent of judgement and comparison, and it’s no wonder that Gen Zs struggle with mental health and wellbeing more than any other.

As coaches working in businesses, we frequently hear employers complaining that their junior staff members:

• Are impatient to be promoted without putting in the hard work
• Are overly perfectionist and risk-averse
• Struggle to communicate appropriately with senior management
• Don't want to come into the office or network
• Lack the resilience to deal with work knock-backs

One radical idea? Simon Senek has recommended banning mobile phones from meetings and work stations to encourage employees to converse.

Another solution could be helping young people develop better personal resilience and ensure they contribute to making any business they work in thrive. Carol Dweck has introduced the concept of a “growth mindset”, having spent 20 years studying the most successful people in the world. This is a mindset where we can let go of perfectionistic tendencies and instead believe there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. We know that if we keep trying, eventually we will succeed. Being successful in the workplace requires resilience and persistence. Seeing a project through even when things go wrong, working in teams and interacting effectively with colleagues and clients requires the kind of emotional intelligence and growth mindset attributes that many of our young (or older!) employees may not have developed growing up. Get growth mindset training with Fearless.

A growth mindset and strong communication skills are the essentials for the 21st century workplace and the good news is that they can be taught – and learnt. In fact, it is up to businesses to make the most of the fantastic hidden potential of our beloved “snowflakes”. If we can change the way they think, we can help them become more resilient, more productive and more confident in communicating with clients and senior managers.

Our recently launched training programme Professional Communication Skills for Junior Team Members has been designed to help your younger team develop these crucial life skills and build the next generation of leaders in your organisation. This couse arms them with:

• Coping strategies for dealing with work stress
• Presentation skills to communicate with clients and senior managers
• Productivity hacks to improve focus
• The confidence and resilience to thrive in a challenging work environment

For further information, schedule an exploratory call with a Fearless consultant.

This article was written by Jackie Beere OBE from Fearless.