As Generation Z enters the workforce, new and perplexing questions for leaders emerge. Members of Generation Z, the generational cohort following the Millennials, were born in 1995 and later and come with unique characteristics, including an ability to use technology and consume online data in accelerated ways. Much has been written about the Millennials but little can be found in the current literature about Generation Z and workplace behaviors.
The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine if there is a correlation between Generation Z’s levels of employee engagement (trust, control mutuality, commitment and job satisfaction) and leadership’s willingness to communicate transparently. Seventy-eight alumni from the 2017 and 2018 graduating classes of a small, Midwestern four-year university participated in the study. A standard multiple regression analysis was utilized to test the hypotheses and to evaluate if a relationship existed between the independent variables (trust, control mutuality, commitment and job satisfaction) and the dependent variable, transparent leadership communication.
The findings indicated that Generation Z’s trust, feelings of control mutuality, commitment to the organization, and job satisfaction are strongly correlated with transparent leadership communication. The cultivation of an employee-centered, transparent leadership communication system that disseminates detailed, substantial, fair and accurate information is pertinent as a new generation takes hold in the workplace. Inviting Generation Z into face-to-face participation and applying best practices in transparent leadership communication can yield dividends as leaders seek to motivate and win the hearts and minds of Generation Z.
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