This Is What Generation Z Wants Most From Managers

Here’s one way managers can support Gen Z workers in order to boost employee wellbeing and organizational performance.

This Is What Generation Z Wants Most From Managers

Work should enrich, not deplete the human spirit. Yet two in three U.S. workers are disengaged at work.  

Slower revenue growth and lower profitability are the bleak results of disengaged and dissatisfied employees.

In order for organizations to turn the tide on this engagement epidemic, a deliberate course correct is a must. This is especially critical for organizations interested in engaging Gen Z who has new and elevated expectations of what work could and should be.

The power to revitalize and reengage the workforce rests in the hands of managers.

In fact, the most important factor Gen Z considers in a job is “supportive leadership,” 23 percent won’t take a job without it. Additionally, nearly a third of Gen Z is motivated to work harder and stay longer at a company if they have a supportive manager, and 37 percent would never tolerate an unsupportive manager.

How can managers engage Gen Z? Be supportive.

Managers that are supportive can lift the wellbeing of employees while improving the level of organizational performance. 

One way to support Gen Z employees is to…

Make them feel known.

“Care" is one of the three top leadership traits Gen Z looks for in a leader behind trust (47 percent) and support (40 percent).

Complete and simultaneous commitment to both human dignity and high-performance is what makes an organization “healthy,” according to best-selling author and leadership expert, Patrick Lencioni.

Managers must take an active interest in getting to know their Gen Z employees. Understanding one's story, needs, wants, and desires extends the human dignity that Gen Z deserves, craves, and longs for at work.

Why don’t more managers care deeply and lean into the lives of those they lead? 

  • "It’s messy.” Yes, but rich relationships are a cornerstone of living well. 

  • "It’s time consuming.” Yes, but so is constantly hiring and training new talent to replace disengaged employees. 

  • "It’s not for the workplace." As work and life continue to blend more and more, managing the whole-self of employees will be the new norm. 

Caring for others isn’t beneath any leader at any level. 

Make employees feel known.


As a Millennial and Generation Z keynote speaker and trainer, I help companies lead, engage, and sell to the emerging generations. If you'd like help solving tough generational challenges inside your organization, click here.


Ryan Jenkins



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