‘Yelling’: Millennial boss on ‘soft’ Gen Z employees

Millennial boss Rachel Lynch is fed up with Gen Z staff not being treated well by older managers.

Ms Lynch, 34, runs an online coffee company with a team of six people and is tired of seeing young workers misunderstood by their Millennial and Boomer bosses.

The sympathetic boss took to TikTok to share that she recently saw two Gen Z employees reduced to tears by their older managers.

Both times the incidents occurred in the hospitality industry.

Ms Lynch said she was disappointed when she heard an older boss “yell” at a Generation Z employee over his forgotten order at a cafe

Mrs Lynch had ordered a sandwich but the member of staff serving her was exhausted and had forgotten the order and when the waitress confessed the mistake to her boss he was less than understanding.

“She came in and had obviously told her boss that she had forgotten the order. The door closes and that will help, it’s an old Queensland building, we can hear everything and he starts shouting at her,” she said.

“He panics and starts crying.”

Lynch called it a “crazy demonstration” of older people not working well with Gen Z, and while “no one is technically wrong,” she believes the situation could have been handled better.

The Queensland man witnessed a similar situation again a couple of weeks ago, when a young waitress was left crying and panicking over a “messed up” order.

He said the Gen Zer manager was quite “vocal in his indignation,” not to the point that anyone needed to intervene, but enough to make the employee hyperventilate.

“It was loud enough that everyone in the restaurant could hear,” he said.

Lynch said older leaders need to understand that Gen Zers are “soft,” more “fragile” and want to work collaboratively.

Millennial boss exposes how you shouldn't treat Gen Z staff

Online, people were divided and quick to criticize Generation Z for needing to toughen up at work.

“This is why we need to teach children how to fail. Resilience is almost absent in Gen Z,” one said.

Similar comments followed.

“This has nothing to do with Boomers, Gen X and Z. It’s just an employee who can’t cope.”

“No. Those tears are a tactic. They are a way of trying to take the focus of the situation away from themselves.

“Millennials and Gen Z get coddled too much and can’t handle the pressure,” another wrote, and someone else chimed in to say Gen Z has to do what they’re “told.”

Ms Lynch told news.com.au that when she sees scenarios where Gen Z staff are left in tears, she sees it as poor management.

“I think it has a lot to do with generational differences,” he told news.com.au, saying there are many Gen X and Boomer bosses who don’t take the time to understand how to manage different generations.

Lynch, who personally manages Gen Z staff, said the younger generation is simply more “in tune with their feelings” and wants different things from work than previous generations.

“They like to make a difference at work, feel heard and want more work-life balance,” she said.

Instead of fighting their needs or ignoring them, Lynch embraces them and believes more leaders should do the same.

“We offer our staff additional paid adventure leave on top of standard leave and also do not enforce start and finish times,” he said.

As long as the work gets done, she isn’t fazed by it, and thinks that bosses who try to treat Generation Z as if they were treated at the same age are banging their heads against a brick wall.

“I see a lot of Gen X bosses expect their Gen Z employees to work hard, not care, and get on with it. Which just doesn’t slide,” she said.

Ms Lynch believes it is important to adapt her management style to get the most out of her young team.

“We get to know them very personally and contact them regularly to see how they are feeling, how home life is going, if there is anything they want to improve or change,” he explained.

Take a holistic approach to management. It’s not just about ordering them, but about knowing them.

“We talk openly about mental health and have created a safe space for the team to be honest and raw. We encourage them to speak out and stand up for what they want in life. We are an extremely lifestyle-focused company,” she said.

It also goes beyond ensuring they are happy at work. He wants them to enjoy life outside of work too.

“We encourage side hustles or the pursuit of hobbies. We organize paid camping trips every few months to get out. We allow them to text when they are sick instead of calling. Flexible working hours. We don’t track hours, we work on an honesty system. We avoid a hierarchy and focus more on collaboration,” she said.

The result? A lot less tears and no screaming.

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