Do Gen Z workers deserve to be called entitled?
A social media firestorm erupted after a manager of Dollar Tree store in Indiana last week posted a sign disparaging Gen-Z’s work ethic and proclaiming a “Baby Boomers ONLY” hiring plea.
The handwritten sign on the store’s door read:
“I apologize for us closing AGAIN. My 2 new cashiers quit because I said their boyfriends couldn’t stand here for their entire shift. Don’t hire Gen Z’s. They don’t know what work actually means. NOW HIRING! *Baby Boomers ONLY, thanks!”
The sign has been removed. Dollar Tree said the manager had no permission to post the sign and no longer works at the store.
Social posts on the incident elicited thousands of comments leading to widespread media coverage. While age discrimination and cautions around stereotyping generations were widely noted, enough commentators agreed with the sentiment that Gen Z is entitled and unmotivated to make the incident trend viral.
One commentator in response to a Newsweek article stated, “Dear Gen Z and those who love to pander to them: If you spent as much time doing your job as you do complaining, you’d be top paid pros by now. The world owes you nothing.”
With many Gen-Zers just reaching employment age, research into their working habits generally align closely with those of Millennials.
Randstad’s latest Workmonitor study found 40 percent of Gen Z respondents (18-24) and 38 percent of Millennials (25-34) would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job, compared to a quarter of Boomers (55-67). Younger generations were found much more likely than Boomers to not accept a job that didn’t align with their values on social and environmental issues.
LinkedIn’s most recent “Workplace Confidence Survey” found 36 percent of Gen-Z employees (24 or younger) and 42 percent of Millennials (25 to 40) willing to take a pay cut of up to five percent of their current salary for better work/life balance versus 25 percent for Boomers (57 and above). The younger generations also prioritized more enjoyable work and flexibility to work onsite or remotely.
- Proud of Gen Z – Reddit
- Boss leaves a FURIOUS note in his shop window hiring ‘baby boomer’ staff after his two ‘Gen Z’ cashiers quit: ‘They don’t know what work means’ – Daily Mail
- Shop owner roasted after brutal sign slamming Gen Z workers – News.com.au
- ‘Know What Work Means’: Employer Dragged for Pitting Gen Z Against Boomers – Newsweek
- Boss posts furious job ad asking for ‘baby boomers’ after Gen Z staff quit – Central Recorder
- Businesses Need To Step Up, As Millennials And Gen Z Fundamentally Change The Employee-Employer Power Dynamic – A Global Survey Of 35,000 Workers. – Randstad
- More important than money: 8 goals that tempt us to take pay cuts – Linkedin
- People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View – ADP Research Institute
- Global study by LHH reveals worker readiness and key concerns for the future of work – LHH
- How should retail employers prepare for Gen Z workers? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What’s your take on the work habits of Gen-Z versus previous generations when they were at the same stage in their lives? What’s your advice to the frustrated store manager veteran clashing with Gen-Z staffers?