Accountemps Monthly Newsletter – July

How to Groom Generation Z Into Future Leaders

Generation Z, the newest to join the workforce, are eager to step into management positions as soon as possible. That’s one takeaway from a recent Robert Half study on Generation Z in which 32 percent of college students interviewed see themselves supervising others in five years. Another 24 percent expect to be moving up the ladder but not yet in the leadership ranks.

These future payroll professionals need the help of senior leaders to prepare them for the leadership pipeline. Here are some preferences many Gen Zers mentioned in the survey, along with ways managers can not only retain them but also develop their talents and incorporate them into a succession plan:

Generation Z values personal growth. This generation has been shaped by trends and transformative events like reality TV, 9/11, mass shootings and social media. They desire connections and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives, so give these future leaders plenty of opportunities for learning and networking.

Generation Z wants to personalize their careers. Rather than following in other payroll professionals’ footsteps, these future leaders want to forge their own way. You can help them design their own career path. This includes having quarterly or semiannual conversations with them about goals and milestones, and finding out what motivates and interests them. If you don’t, they’re not opposed to job-hopping to find fulfillment.

Generation Z prefers social cohesion. Does your payroll department tend to pick top performers and focus most of the resources on those select few? Millennials care about fairness and feel more comfortable when members are equally valued. So, if management elevates some but not others, Generation Z may gravitate to another workplace environment, one where there’s a stronger sense of social connectedness.

Generation Z craves feedback. They received a constant stream of reactions and affirmation while growing up from parents and teachers. As employees, they expect it from management. This is in stark contrast to Gen Xers and baby boomers, who tend to be more independent and may even want to be left alone to do their work. When developing millennials to be future leaders, you likely need to bump up the amount of feedback, instruction, correction and praise.

The future payroll professionals in your department may have radically different outlooks and work styles than you. As you prepare your Generation Z workers for leadership roles, the most important step is to get to know them — as a cohort and as individuals.


Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 325 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at