Generation Z are often perceived and managed wrongly by CIOs, and led as if they were Millennials. However, the behavioural traits and beliefs of Gen Zers are closer to those of Baby Boomers and Generation X than Millennials. If heard and understood properly, Gen Zers will help accelerate digital business transformation, even more than Millennials, according to Gartner.
“Although they are called the ‘post-millennial generation’, Gen Zers have little in common with Millennials. CIOs cannot lead them in the same way they lead Millennials,” said Daniel Sanchez Reina, senior research director at Gartner.
Gen Zers don’t need to be trained to “think digital,” and are the best positioned generation to anticipate the needs of constituents and consumers in a digital society. “They are positioned well to judge the potential value of forthcoming digital products and services,” added Sanchez Reina.
Gartner predicts that, through 2025, Gen Zers will be best able to anticipate digital capabilities that will be valued by our digital society. “In their quest for digital talent, CIOs need to master leadership of Gen Z’s culture and people,” said Sanchez Reina. “CIOs need to get to know them and understand their values and relationship patterns in the workplace. They also need to recognize that they need to lead them differently than previous generations to foster a cohesive workplace.”
Some C-level executives have already noticed a difference when working with Gen Zers. For example, a CIO of a European bank said that they ask questions openly — they may inquire, for example, what they will learn from their superiors — and are more direct than previous generations. A chief human resources officer (CHRO) of a telecom company said that Gen Zers are a 100 percent technological generation with infinite confidence in their capacity, and that they are autonomous, willing to work hard, assertive and much more demanding.