Recently, Petra Coach hosted a workshop, Bridge the Gap with Dr. Karah Sprouse

You can find the full recording below.

Top Takeaways

Generational Workforce

Silent (Veteran) Generation

  • Formative life experiences include exposure to the Great Depression and WWII
  • Majority of men are war veterans and possess a high sense of patriotism
  • Risk adverse, resilient, resourceful
  • Value respect, recognition and opportunities to provide long-term value to the organization employing them
  • Work is a means for living 

Baby Boomer Generation

  • Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, long period of political unrest and tension with the Cold War
  • Home TV and more access to information = began to question authority and increase life expectancy
  • Large generation = more competition
  • Value company loyalty and financial stability
  • Work is a central focus in their life

 Gen X

  • Increased number of women professionals and evolving women’s rights movements, the emerging energy crisis, heightened emphasis on cultural differences, and the introduction of the personal computer
  • Skeptical, independent, and self-reliant
  • Represent the “middle” between Baby Boomer and Millennials socially, with tech adaptation, and patriotism
  • Best motivated when they feel engaged in the organization’s mission
  • Work is a place of purpose 

Millennial Generation

  • Children of Baby Boomers and the first to be born into a technology-based world
  • First to have almost equitable numbers of males and females in the workplace
  • Exposed to high levels of high school violence, major government scandals, 9/11, technology and social media proliferation
  • Value opportunities for professional development and work life balance
  • Work is a place for opportunity

Gen Z

  • Grew up in world of smart phones and free Wi-Fi, watched parents struggle in the Great Recession, COVID-19 Pandemic, lowest teenage workforce participation
  • Value diversity, work-life integration, adaptability/change, and emotional/physical wellbeing
  • Best motivated when they form connection and find work meaningful
  • Work is a place for connection and helping others

Communication with Gen Z

Older Generations Observe

  • Informal Communication Style – sometimes lacking respect
  • Does not respond well to email
  • Likes quick messages or texts during and sometimes after business hours
  • Sometimes hesitant to talk/contribute in teams meetings

Gen Z Perspective

“We want people to just be themselves.”

  • Communication should be:
    • Authentic
    • Personal
    • Relatable
    • Frequent

Conflict Management with Gen Z

  • “You have to truly understand the conflict before fixing it.”
  • Believe there’s typically something deeper going on than just the exact problem at hand
  • They want to solve conflict directly and swiftly with the person/people involved, whereas people in older generations may never address a challenge they have with another person but might talk about it with other people instead.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems with Gen Z

  • Want opportunities to be efficient and express their individuality
  • Need to understand relevancy in their roles, team and/or the organization
  • “I don’t need to know a lot about the why of a decision if it doesn’t really affect me”

Leadership with Gen Z

  • “Less hard and fast line between employee and boss
  • Accessibility: “problem solve on small and big issues”
  • Personal connection
  • Honest feedback

3 Ways to Empower Gen Z

  • Help them understand how their work MATTERS. Ask yourself, “How can this generation help us not just make incremental changes, but actually leave an impact?”
  • Gen Z is not in the business of leaving their lives and problems at the door. Provide tools and resources that help Gen Z prioritize physical and emotional health.
  • This generation has a greater appreciation for learning about others who are different from them and pushing past surface level relationships. Foster real and authentic relationships in every setting.


Looking for more learning opportunities? Register for our upcoming workshops & webinars today!