When it comes to Generation Z – persons between the ages of 12 and 22 years – extra care, time and effort must be taken in how we communicate with them. Research has shown that hands-on teaching techniques tend to make lessons more relatable, memorable and interesting.
For sustainable economic growth, it is important that each generation – especially Generation Z – becomes more productive as individuals who, inevitably, will reflect in a national and, hopefully, a cultural shift towards a more productive society. The reality is that productivity concepts and practices are not as pervasive as they should be. In order to introduce these concepts, a multi-faceted approach must be undertaken, especially when dealing with Generation Z.
Heads down, gadgets in hand, earphones plugged in, and heads bobbing to music are quite commonplace for the average person in Generation Z. Now, let’s not judge them. They will tell you that this is their way of staying abreast of what’s important for their now and for their future.
So how do we get their attention amid all the noise coming from the various elements of entertainment? How do we effectively communicate in a way that it will resonate and stimulate change?
How do we truly capitalise on using the language and tools that they use as part of their day-to-day interactions to get into their psyche? We want to help them to understand that YOLO (you only live once) merely speaks to an opportunity to do the correct things within the specified time and using the correct amount of resources in order to achieve the intended results.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are three simple things that could make a difference:
1) What’s in it for me? Generation Zers are usually very concerned about self-interest. When we begin to relay the message of ‘how this makes me successful’, Generation Zers – or anyone for that matter – are generally ready to listen.
2) Show, not tell. Don’t preach to them from a pulpit. Get up close and personal. Walk through the steps and help them make productivity a habit, not just a goal to be achieved. Get them involved in the process.
3) Motivation matters. Don’t point out all the faults and the wrongs of what they do. Instead, offer them alternatives and show them the possible results of adaptation. Humans are naturally resistant to forced change. Offer a reason to change and then it becomes inevitable.
Effective education and awareness-building of the impact that productivity has on the quality of life are key to transforming our society into one that is conducive to economic growth and stability. Let’s get it right with building the productivity skills into our education and work systems. Those of us who are ahead, let’s help those who are behind.