For Gen Z, America’s Youngest Generation, Keeping It 100 Means Accountability!

The word that best describes the world of Gen Z is accountability.

There have been several signals lately indicating that Generation Z (Americans born from 2001 to some unknown date in the future) will experience the brave, new world of promotion, demotion, acceptance and rejection based on merit alone. Simply put, can you do what you were asked to do? That’s acountability. It will give rise to an age of meritocracy.

Let’s look at four historic indicators that are occurring during Gen Z’s formative years: the rise of diversity and inclusion, the firing by tweet of Rex Tillerson and other POTUS team members, the increased use of of Artificial Intelligence, and the emergence of a gig economy.

A hallmark of Millennials (born from 1982 to 2000) is diversity and inclusion. Not only must everyone be represented in an arena but made to feel wanted as well. Human Resource departments often keep records of an employee’s bad behavior months in advance of a firing so not to be sued on the grounds of discrimination against someone, somehow, someway, when the employee was simply not right for the job. We see the meritocracy versus diversity groundswell on college campuses in a lawsuit brought against Harvard University by Chinese-American students who were allegedly rejected by racial quota.

Then, there were the rapid changeovers in POTUS’ team and the firing-by-tweet of ¬†Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. In POTUS’ eyes, he was no longer the man for the job. An abrupt ending, to say the least, but a counterbalance to the above-mentioned months of record keeping needed to fire someone in the business world. The President is also calling for making it easier to fire Civil Servants who aren’t performing. Government job security is out; accountability is in.

Finally, there are two dramatic changes in the American economy that will encourage Gen Z ‘s already budding desire to be recognized for what they can do as individuals. Artificial Intelligence is ready, willing, and increasingly able to do more and more jobs without giving employers extraneous problems, except for the possible Zombie-like takeover. ¬†And there’s that gig economy, the new darling of retiring Baby Boomers (1943 to 1960) who can’t retire, they need the money; Gen X (1961 to 1981) who’ve been blocked from the workforce because of the large numbers of Boomers; and Millennials who like to multi-task, want self-fulfillment jobs, and had trouble getting hired in a down economy. Generation Z wants to be recognized for what they bring to the table and they will be rewarded for personal intelligence (PI vs AI). They are worriers. They value a peaceful workplace and job security and they’ll work hard to get it.

When you add these four pieces of the puzzle – diversity hiring, a prominent abrupt firing, AI, and a gig economy – to Generation Z’s generational characteristics of being ambitious, dutiful, and worried, you get a generation that demands to be judged for what they can do. That’s accountability.