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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Managing Gen Z Talent: Future-Proofing Procurement Teams

Key take-aways
  • It’s important to grasp Gen Z’s digital savvy, quest for authenticity, and commitment to social impact as they shape procurement teams.
  • Integrating Gen Z into procurement is crucial for adapting to consumer trends, fostering innovation, and keeping pace with technology.
  • Maximize Gen Z’s potential in procurement teams by fostering skill growth, inclusive collaboration, tech-driven communication, and flexible work arrangements.

    Though they have only recently entered the workforce, Gen Z members are already making waves in the workplace as more and more of them join it each year.

    This generation of employees brings new norms and expectations to the office. Furthermore, managers should take some time now to learn more about how to collaborate effectively with Gen Z, as they are expected to account for one-third of the workforce by 2030.

    Let’s begin by discussing some of the core beliefs and traits of Generation Z in the workplace and look at 10 strategies for managing this workforce effectively.

    Understanding Generation Z: Who They Are

    When we mention Generation Z, we’re referring to a group of young individuals defined by certain characteristics. They’re known for being tech-savvy, open-minded, and ambitious.

    Yet, they also grapple with uncertainties about the future, are cautious when it comes to taking risks, and are often portrayed as overly focused on financial success. These labels carry significant implications for educators, employers, and marketers. However, it’s important to recognize that these descriptions are not definitive truths.

    Generation Z is still in the process of shaping their identities, aspirations, and perspectives. In this book, we delve into how this process unfolds and what it means for the world around them. Allow us to introduce you to Generation Self.

    What Can We Really Say About This Developing Generation?

    Each generation encompasses a group of individuals born within a particular timeframe. For Generation Z, this timeframe is typically considered to span from 1996 to 2012, although interpretations may vary slightly. This means that the youngest members are currently around 12 years old, while the oldest are in their late twenties. It’s crucial to understand that there’s a wide spectrum within this group. The older segment may already be juggling part-time jobs or embarking on higher education, whereas the younger segment is still navigating childhood.

    In this article, we focus on the segment of Generation Z aged 12 and above, born before 2008. We’ve chosen this age range because this cohort is gradually emerging from the influence of their parents and forming their own identities and worldviews. It’s this evolving perspective that piques our interest.

    Generation Z – a group of young people

    When discussing today’s youth, it’s easy to perceive everything they do and think as groundbreaking. However, much of their behavior is simply a reflection of universal developmental processes inherent to adolescence. This holds true for Generation Z as well; many of their actions and thoughts can be likened to age-old phenomena repackaged in modern contexts.

    Generation Z – a generation

    Furthermore, Generation Z constitutes a distinct generational cohort shaped by the social dynamics of their upbringing. The formative years, typically spanning from ages 10 to 25, play a pivotal role in shaping individuals’ values and beliefs. Everyone is influenced by the era in which they come of age, and approximately every 15 years, a new generation emerges, sharing common social experiences that influence their attitudes and behaviors. It’s essential to recognize that while generational thinking provides insights, Generation Z is not monolithic, and each individual reacts uniquely to the world around them. Nonetheless, shared experiences shape their collective identity, setting them apart from previous generations.

    What makes Generation Z particularly intriguing is that they’re currently navigating their formative years. Thus, by examining the world they inhabit, we can glean valuable insights into their development.

    Moreover, Gen Z, born roughly between 1996 and 2012, represents a new generation of workers determined to enact change despite enduring challenges such as war, climate crises, and pandemics. As the most diverse cohort in US history, Gen Z encompasses various racial, ethnic, and sexual orientations, often leaning towards progressivism and activism, dissatisfied with current norms. By 2025, they are projected to constitute 27% of the workforce.

    Despite their relatively young entry into the job market, with the oldest members around 27, Gen Z has already asserted its influence. However, they face stereotypes depicting them as entitled, demanding, and lacking job loyalty, shaping perceptions among some millennial managers.

    Gen Z tends to move swiftly between jobs, spending an average of two years and three months in a role, according to CareerBuilder. This tendency, often labeled as job-hopping, is perceived differently by Gen Z, who view it as a means to seek fulfilling opportunities rather than a lack of commitment. While this mobility benefits Gen Z by securing better pay raises, it poses challenges for employers.

    From a Gen Z perspective, loyalty to a single employer for years, as seen in previous generations, is outdated. They prioritize personal fulfillment and flexibility over long-term commitments, driven by fewer responsibilities and ties.

    Managers are advised not to overly concern themselves with Gen Z’s tenure but rather focus on engaging them effectively. Emphasizing teamwork and purposeful work can cultivate a sense of belonging and meaning, addressing Gen Z’s desire for impactful contributions and collaborative environments.

    Growing Up in a Digital World

    Gen Z, the first generation to grow up in the digital age, seamlessly blends their online and offline lives. Unlike earlier generations, who saw these as separate worlds, Gen Z sees it all as one big adventure. From chatting with friends to browsing for the latest trends, they’re always plugged in.

    Gen Z expects things to happen fast – like, “two taps on the screen” fast. Whether it’s snagging those cool sneakers or sharing their latest find on Instagram, they’re all about instant gratification.

    However, life in the fast lane isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes, they’re left waiting for those festival sunglasses or relying on apps like ‘MakeupPlus’ for a quick fix. It’s a balancing act of convenience and frustration.

    In this section, we’ll explore the ins and outs of instant gratification for Gen Z. How do they handle it all? And what can we grown-ups learn from their digital dexterity? 

    Expectations in the Digital Age

    In today’s digital era, efficiency and speed reign supreme. The internet has transformed society, offering 24/7 access to a vast array of information, services, products, and transportation. For Gen Z, this integration of online resources has made instant gratification the new normal. Whether it’s a last-minute purchase or immediate access to essential services, Gen Z expects instant fulfillment of their needs.

    From fast and free shipping to always available customer service, Gen Z is accustomed to convenience in all aspects of life. Whether it’s navigating a new city on a shared bike or relying on digital assistants like Siri and Google Maps, they’re adept at utilizing the latest technologies to streamline their experiences. This convenience-centric mindset has fueled high expectations among Gen Z, who are willing to prioritize superior service over other considerations, even if it means paying extra.

    But, with great convenience comes great expectations. Gen Z is quick to critique companies with slow or outdated websites and apps, preferring to engage with progressive organizations prioritizing user-friendly interfaces and a strong social media presence. When reality falls short of their lofty expectations, frustration and disappointment can ensue. Whether it’s a delayed package or a glitchy navigation app, these instances of “failure” clash with the fast-paced lifestyle to which Gen Z is accustomed.

    Despite the temptation to label them as “spoiled,” it’s essential to recognize that their environment shapes Gen Z’s high expectations. From a young age, they’ve been exposed to a culture of instant gratification, where convenience and speed are the norm. Moreover, the online world offers Gen Z a platform for constant visibility and self-expression. While this presents exciting opportunities for self-profiling, it also adds a layer of complexity to their ongoing process of identity development.

    Identity Formation

    The emergence of the internet has revolutionized the way individuals shape their identities, particularly among the younger generation. Social media platforms have emerged as dynamic arenas where people explore, compare, and express themselves with unprecedented ease.

    Take Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Tumblr, or Pinterest, for instance. These platforms serve as virtual melting pots, where users immerse themselves in a plethora of narratives from friends, family, brands, and influencers worldwide. From Kylie Jenner’s daily anecdotes to Rupi Kaur’s empowering feminist art, these digital storytellers offer a diverse spectrum of content that influences how young people perceive themselves and the world around them.

    Moreover, social media isn’t just a stage for consumption; it’s a canvas for self-expression. Here, individuals showcase their style, behavior, and ideas, navigating a journey of self-discovery and self-presentation. For many, it’s a playground where they experiment with different facets of their identity, guided by the feedback and validation of their online communities.

    However, this digital realm isn’t without its challenges. The quest for authenticity amidst the virtual noise often leads to uncertainty and anxiety. Studies reveal that platforms such as Instagram, while fostering connection, can also breed feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. The constant pressure to curate the perfect online persona fuels a cycle of trial and error, where individuals meticulously craft and refine their digital identities.

    Brands play a significant role in this area, serving as pillars of identity construction. By associating themselves with certain brands, individuals communicate their values and aspirations to the world. From following fashion labels on Instagram to tagging favorite products in posts, digital engagement with brands becomes a means of self-expression and differentiation.

    The allure of instant sharing further intensifies the pressure to perform online. Whether it’s celebrating achievements or documenting everyday moments, the digital realm encourages a constant stream of updates. The fear of missing out and the desire for visibility drive many to conform to the unwritten rules of social media, blurring the line between choice and obligation.

    This phenomenon, suitably termed “The Instagram Effect,” extends beyond the digital world as it can massively influence offline behavior as well. Real-world experiences are often filtered through the lens of social media, with individuals seeking out shareable moments and aesthetics to enhance their online presence.

    Social Linking

    For Generation Z, the online platform is also a vibrant hub for fostering connections, more than an outlet for expressing themselves. Social media offer abundant opportunities for fulfilling the innate human need for belonging to a group. This sense of belonging not only boosts pride and self-confidence but also provides crucial guidance, especially for young individuals navigating the complexities of self-discovery.

    In the past, finding a sense of community often relied on physical gatherings like schoolyards or sports fields. However, Gen Z enjoys the luxury of a broader search space thanks to the internet. With an average of 143 minutes spent on social media per day, these digital natives immerse themselves in a world of likes, comments, and shared experiences. Despite the fleeting nature of digital interactions, these exchanges continually reinforce a sense of connection.

    Deeper connections often blossom through private messages, with platforms like Instagram’s Direct Message function serving as modern-day avenues for flirting and seeking advice from role models. Online communication lowers barriers to making new connections, whether with peers, potential romantic interests, or inspiring figures, providing a less intimidating space for interaction compared to face-to-face encounters.

    However, while online interactions enrich social lives, research suggests that purely digital friendships rarely transition into offline bonds. Despite this, maintaining connections with existing friends through social media remains an integral part of Gen Z’s daily routine. Thus, while the internet theoretically offers a global community, young people primarily use it to reinforce ties with their offline social circles.

    Engagement with online role models plays a significant role in shaping Gen Z’s identity development. Social media grants access to a diverse array of influencers, from musicians to niche micro-influencers. These figures offer glimpses into their lives, engaging directly with followers and fostering a sense of intimacy and authenticity. This personalized connection distinguishes micro-influencers from mainstream figures, resonating deeply with Gen Z’s desire for genuine connections.

    Despite the convenience of digital communication, face-to-face interaction remains the preferred method for Gen Z, with 84% expressing a preference for in-person communication. Digital interactions, while accessible and convenient, lack the depth and intensity of offline connections. Thus, while digital communication supplements relationships, it does not replace the value of face-to-face interactions.

    Driven by an instant culture, Gen Z has high expectations for accessibility, not only from friends but also from organizations. This demand for constant connection has led to the rise of 24/7 webcare teams, ensuring organizations meet Gen Z’s expectations for instant support across all channels. In this interconnected world, instant connection has become the norm, with Gen Z expecting everyone to keep pace with their on-demand communication preferences.

    Being Woke

    Youthful idealism is a timeless force, driving adolescents aged 10 to 22 to scrutinize the world with fresh eyes and yearn for change. As they navigate the journey of social maturation, young people are entrusted with increasing responsibilities and cultivate a deep sense of social engagement and personal convictions. This phase often ignites great ideals and a burning ambition to reshape the world, fueled by the awareness that they have a lifetime ahead to make their mark on society.

    The current generation of young people, often referred to as Gen Z, epitomizes this spirit of social consciousness. Dubbed the generation of ‘Being Woke,’ they are characterized by an acute awareness of racial and social injustices. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, being woke entails being vigilant against discrimination and injustice, embodying an activist mindset geared towards building a better, more equitable world. Surveys reveal that 60% of Gen Z aspire to effect positive change, a stark contrast to their predecessors, the Millennials, who register significantly lower in this regard at 40%.

    Their aspirations extend beyond personal success to encompass a desire for careers that contribute to the common good. Research by Randstad indicates that 55% of Gen Z envision a future role where they can make a meaningful impact on society. They scrutinize potential employers, evaluating how companies align with their values and the extent to which they can effect change as individuals.

    The genesis of this commitment can be traced to the turbulent times in which Gen Z has come of age. From the aftermath of 9/11 to the reverberations of the 2008 economic crisis, coupled with heightened awareness of systemic discrimination and the stark realities of climate change, this generation has witnessed profound social upheavals. These crises are not abstract concepts but tangible realities shaping their daily lives. They have classmates from war-torn regions like Syria or Eritrea and have observed the struggles of their parent’s generation through financial turmoil.

    Moreover, social media acts as a catalyst for shaping their worldview. Influential figures like Ariana Grande and movements like #BlackLivesMatter permeate their online spheres, amplifying discussions on veganism, ethical consumption, and social justice. The digital landscape serves as a mirror reflecting their values and ideals, prompting introspection and action.

    Importance of Managing Gen Z Talent in Procurement Teams

    The importance of effectively managing Gen Z talent within procurement teams cannot be overstated in today’s dynamic and competitive business world.

    As the newest cohort entering the workforce, Gen Z brings unique perspectives, expectations, and skills that can significantly impact procurement operations and organizational success.

    1. Fresh Perspectives

    Gen Z individuals, born between 1996 and 2012, have grown up in a digital age characterized by rapid technological advancements and societal changes.

    Their digital fluency, creativity, and innovative thinking can inject fresh perspectives into procurement processes, leading to enhanced efficiency, agility, and competitiveness.

    2. Tech-Savvy Skills

    Raised in an era of smartphones, social media, and instant communication, Gen Z employees possess advanced technological skills that can be leveraged to streamline procurement workflows, optimize supply chain management, and drive digital transformation initiatives.

    Their familiarity with digital tools and platforms can accelerate the adoption of automation, data analytics, and artificial intelligence within procurement teams.

    3. Diverse Insights

    Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history, encompassing individuals from various cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.

    This diversity brings a richness of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to procurement teams, enabling them to better understand and cater to the needs of diverse stakeholders, suppliers, and customers.

    Embracing diversity within procurement fosters innovation, creativity, and inclusivity, leading to more robust decision-making and problem-solving processes.

    4. Adaptability and Flexibility

    Gen Z employees are known for their adaptability, flexibility, and willingness to embrace change.

    In today’s fast-paced business environment, characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), these attributes are invaluable.

    Procurement teams must navigate evolving market dynamics, geopolitical risks, supply chain disruptions, and regulatory changes, requiring agile and resilient talent capable of responding swiftly to emerging challenges and opportunities.

    5. Future-Proofing Procurement

    By effectively managing Gen Z talent, procurement teams can future-proof their operations and ensure long-term sustainability and growth.

    As Gen Z individuals progress in their careers, they will assume leadership roles, driving innovation, driving innovation, shaping organizational culture, and influencing strategic decision-making.

    Investing in their development, engagement, and retention today will lay the foundation for a resilient and forward-thinking procurement function that can adapt and thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

    10 Ways to Manage Gen Z Talent

    Now that we’ve underscored the importance of effectively managing Generation Z talent within procurement teams, let’s go into actionable strategies and best practices for harnessing the unique skills, perspectives, and potential of this dynamic cohort.

    By embracing these strategies, organizations can optimize their procurement operations, drive innovation, and cultivate a supportive and inclusive work environment conducive to the success of both Gen Z employees and the broader team.

    Let’s explore ten key strategies for managing Gen Z talent in procurement teams.

    1. Give them the liberty over their career path

    Gen Z, known for their entrepreneurial spirit, prioritizes career paths that offer room for advancement.

    Growing up amidst the economic downturn of the Great Recession and entering the job market amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gen Z values pragmatism and job security. They aspire to accumulate diverse experiences and skills, enhancing their marketability in a swiftly evolving professional sphere.

    Provide avenues for upskilling and reskilling to your team members whenever possible. This demonstrates your organization’s commitment to their professional development and stability, fostering greater employee retention as a result.

    2. Prioritize alignment with values

    Gen Z is widely recognized as a socially conscious generation, often seeking employment with companies and teams that contribute positively to society.

    For instance, being the most diverse generation in U.S. history, Gen Z has matured during a period where social issues dominate public conversations. Consequently, they prefer workplaces that mirror society’s diversity, promote inclusivity across all identities, and advocate for equality.

    Moreover, many Gen Z members are deeply concerned about environmental sustainability, actively engaging in eco-friendly practices like recycling. They expect their employers to share their commitment to environmental stewardship and take tangible steps to minimize their ecological footprint. In some cases, they may base their job decisions on these factors.

    Take proactive steps to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within your organization by establishing clear objectives and measurable goals. Provide avenues for employees to contribute positively, such as through volunteer opportunities, sustainability initiatives, or participation in DEI programs and workshops.

    3. Embrace cutting-edge technology

    Raised in a digital era, Gen Z exhibits a strong affinity for and expectation of advanced technology. Many seek access to the latest tech tools in their professional environments and may experience frustration with outdated systems hindering their productivity.

    Assess the relevance of adopting state-of-the-art software, devices, and platforms within your organization. While it may not be a primary concern for every industry, for some, staying abreast of technological advancements is crucial for success. Demonstrating responsiveness to technological evolution can resonate with your Gen Z employees, potentially enhancing retention by positioning them at the forefront of innovation in the workplace.

    4. Put mental health first

    Gen Z exhibits higher rates of mental health challenges compared to older generations, with approximately 55% of 18- to 24-year-olds having sought diagnosis and treatment for mental illnesses, according to a survey.

    While this trend could partly stem from increased awareness and destigmatization surrounding mental health issues, it underscores the significance Gen Z places on mental well-being, often expressing their emotions openly.

    Cultivating a workplace culture that prioritizes wellness is crucial across all generations. Consider implementing initiatives promoting healthy habits and offering wellness programs. Encourage employees to prioritize self-care, both physically and mentally, and consider sharing personal experiences with health and wellness to foster open dialogue.

    5. Recognize work-life balance

    Work-life balance ranks high on the professional wishlist for many employees, including Gen Z, who are increasingly focusing on achieving this equilibrium.

    Seeking work-life harmony doesn’t necessarily mean a desire to work less or with less dedication. Rather, it entails finding flexibility to nurture personal and professional aspects of life simultaneously.

    Practical steps toward achieving this balance may include:

    • Clearly outlining expectations and policies from the outset.
    • Supporting personal commitments such as family events or medical appointments.
    • Offering remote or hybrid work options when feasible.
    • Implementing systems to manage emergencies efficiently, reducing stress during unforeseen circumstances.
    • Establishing realistic work standards and fostering a culture that embraces learning from mistakes and personal development.

    Emphasize respect for employees’ time and encourage breaks as needed. Provide flexibility in work arrangements and maintain open communication channels. Communicate expectations during the hiring process and throughout employees’ tenure to foster a harmonious work-life dynamic beneficial for both parties.

    6. Empower engagement through sustainability

    Procurement managers must recognize Gen Z’s emphasis on environmental and social responsibility in their workplace preferences. Understanding and integrating these values into organizational operations can profoundly impact team dynamics. Gen Z seeks alignment with company values, particularly regarding sustainability, which fosters a sense of purpose and commitment to their roles.

    Offering Gen Z employees tasks that contribute to broader environmental and social goals drives engagement and motivation. Providing opportunities for them to engage in sustainability initiatives within procurement, such as sourcing eco-friendly suppliers, connects their work to meaningful objectives. Additionally, investing in their learning and growth in sustainability enhances their skills and aligns them further with the company’s objectives.

    Creating a collaborative culture where Gen Z feels empowered to contribute their ideas and perspectives is essential. Encouraging open communication and providing platforms for participation in cross-functional teams dedicated to sustainability fosters innovation. Recognizing and celebrating their contributions reinforces their commitment and sense of purpose. By integrating these principles into management approaches, procurement teams can effectively engage and empower Gen Z employees, driving success and fostering a culture of purpose-driven excellence.

    7. Promote diversity and inclusion

    Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also a business necessity, especially if you want to draw in and keep Gen Z workers. Studies indicate that inadequate diversity and inclusivity may present notable obstacles to efforts aimed at attracting and retaining members of this particular demographic. So, to effectively engage and retain Gen Z talent, organizations must give priority to diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    Making neurodiversity a fourth pillar of your organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs, alongside gender, race, and sexual orientation, is an effective means to show your commitment to diversity and inclusion. People with neurological differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism, are included in the category of neurodiversity. Incorporating neurodiversity into DEI initiatives communicates to your company’s Gen Z workforce that you understand them and are committed to their needs.

    Organizations can foster an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued and supported, despite their neurological differences, by embracing neurodiversity. This not only raises engagement and morale among staff members, but it also encourages creativity and innovation. Promoting neurodiversity can also draw in a varied talent pool and strengthen the company’s standing as an inclusive workplace, which will help it draw in and keep Gen Z workers.

    8. Prioritize equal pay

    In today’s workforce, equal pay has emerged as a critical factor influencing employee retention, particularly among younger generations like Gen Z. According to data from the Handshake Network Trends, a significant majority – 62% – of college students and recent graduates express a preference for applying to firms committed to equal pay practices. This statistic underscores the importance of pay equity in attracting and retaining talent, especially among those entering the job market.

    Companies that prioritize equal pay not only align with societal expectations for fairness and equality but also demonstrate a commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment. By ensuring that employees receive equitable compensation for their work regardless of gender, race, or other factors, organizations can foster a sense of trust and loyalty among their workforce.

    Moreover, offering equal pay contributes to a positive employer brand, enhancing the company’s reputation and attractiveness to prospective employees. Organizations that are transparent about their pay practices and actively address any disparities are more likely to be perceived as fair and trustworthy by both current and potential employees.

    9. Provide feedback and recognition

    Providing feedback and recognition is an essential aspect of effective communication and management. It helps to improve team morale, engagement, and productivity. Giving constructive feedback to employees helps them understand where they are excelling and where they need to improve. This can be done through regular one-on-one meetings, performance evaluations, or simply by acknowledging a job well done. 

    Recognition is also essential in building positive relationships with employees. Recognizing their hard work, accomplishments, and contributions to the team can boost their confidence and motivate them to continue performing well. It’s important to give recognition in a timely and meaningful way, whether it’s through a simple thank you note, public acknowledgment during a meeting, or a small token of appreciation. 

    Overall, providing feedback and recognition can help to create a positive and productive work environment, where employees feel valued and motivated to perform their best.

    10. Listen to your Gen Z employees

    It’s important for procurement managers to actively seek the input of Gen Z workers in the modern workplace. This generation brings valuable perspectives and expectations, making their participation crucial. To facilitate open communication and gain insight into work culture and procedures, procurement managers can set up forums such as surveys and one-on-one meetings.

    Procurement managers must also understand how Gen Z prefers to communicate, particularly through digital channels. Adapting communication tactics accordingly can enhance teamwork and participation. By implementing concrete actions based on Gen Z’s input, procurement managers demonstrate respect and build confidence. This inclusive approach fosters a supportive environment that promotes team success and retention.

    Ok Boomer!

    If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an elder seeking ways to effectively manage Gen Z talent. Amidst this quest, the phrase “OK Boomer!” has likely caught your attention, serving as a marker of the growing generational gap in the workplace.

    “OK Boomer!” – it’s suddenly everywhere. A refrain from younger employees in response to perceived outdated perspectives. Whether it’s skepticism towards climate change, insistence on retaining traditional practices like Black Pete, or trivializing mental health concerns as mere sensitivity, the retort “OK Boomer…Whatever” has become emblematic of Gen Z’s frustration.

    This renewed tension between different generations is important to note. It’s interesting to see that it was the baby boomer generation who once rebelled against their parents’ ideas from before the war. While it seemed like the gap between generations was getting smaller in recent years, “OK Boomer” shows that it’s making a comeback, especially in workplaces.

    Essentially, when Gen Z employs “OK Boomer,” they’re not dismissing older generations outright. Instead, they’re asserting, “Recognize the complexities of our reality before jumping to conclusions about our attitudes and work ethic.”

    Older generations often reminisce about youth as a time of freedom and endless possibilities. However, for many young professionals today, reality paints a different picture. They grapple with the challenges of affordable housing, job instability, and profound concerns about the planet’s future. “OK Boomer” serves as a gentle reminder that the struggles faced by today’s youth are significant and deserve acknowledgment and understanding in professional environments.


    Managing Gen Z talent is crucial for future-proofing procurement teams. As this generation continues to enter the workforce, their unique perspectives, expectations, and values shape the dynamics of the modern workplace. By understanding who Gen Z is and what they value, organizations can effectively engage and empower this cohort to drive innovation and success.

    From embracing technology and prioritizing mental health to promoting diversity and inclusion and providing equal pay, there are numerous strategies procurement managers can employ to effectively manage Gen Z talent. By prioritizing open communication, feedback, and recognition, and listening to the needs and preferences of Gen Z employees, organizations can create an inclusive and supportive work environment where all employees feel valued and motivated to perform their best.

    Despite, the growing generational gap symbolized by phrases like “OK Boomer,” it’s essential for elder generations in the workplace to recognize and understand the complexities of Gen Z’s reality. Rather than dismissing their perspectives, acknowledging their concerns and aspirations fosters mutual respect and collaboration across generations.

    Frequentlyasked questions

    What leadership style does Gen Z prefer?

    Gen Z tends to gravitate towards leaders who demonstrate qualities of approachability, transparency, and collaboration. They value leaders who are accessible, willing to listen to their ideas, and involve them in decision-making processes. Creating an environment of open communication and mutual respect is key to engaging and motivating Gen Z employees.

    What is the mentality of Gen Z?

    The mentality of Gen Z is characterized by a strong emphasis on authenticity, social responsibility, and digital fluency. They are known for their desire to make a positive impact on the world, seek genuine connections, and navigate seamlessly through the digital landscape. This generation values diversity, inclusivity, and innovation, often seeking out opportunities for personal and professional growth while staying true to their values.

    What does Gen Z struggle with the most?

    Gen Z often deals with issues related to mental health as they go through the uncertainties in a rapidly changing world and balance the pressures of academic or career expectations with personal well-being. They may also face challenges in finding stable job opportunities, managing finances, and coping with the overwhelming amount of information and distractions in the digital age. Moreover, they may struggle with feeling misunderstood or disconnected from older generations, leading to potential conflicts in communication and understanding.

    About the author

    My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

    Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics