Generation z: A study of its workplace communication behaviors and future preferences

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Bredbenner, Jamie
Parcell, Lisa

Research shows that Generation Z is the largest generation in the U.S. and will soon represent the majority of America’s economy and its workplace. Generation Z is joining the staffs of more and more companies each year and combining with much different, older generations. If managers are not meeting the needs of each generation that they employ, employees will not work together successfully, which threatens the future of American businesses. Generation gaps are predicted to affect and interrupt the quality of the communication within organizations; therefore, current research on communication effectiveness is of utmost importance. The aim of this study was to explore what communication preferences and behaviors Generation Z has embodied in their short time as employees and if those preferences are lining up with the expectations and predictions in existing literature. The study showed that Gen Zs prefer face-to-face communication with their manager. When considering only digital communication, the study showed that current managers are using Generation Zs most preferred digital mode of communication (text messaging), and they are not using their least preferred digital mode of communication (social media).

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Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Elliot School of Communication