Out-of-Date Phrases Small Business Owners Should Stop Using Around Gen Z Employees

Out-of-Date Phrases Small Business Owners Should Stop Using Around Gen Z Employees

Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media. They’re also the most diverse generation in American history. As a result, they have a unique perspective on the world and a different way of communicating than previous generations who came into adulthood in a completely different landscape with some technology that’s now either gone or changed dramatically over the years.

Some Phrases Harm Company Culture

In the ever-evolving environment of the modern workplace, effective communication is paramount. However, small business owners often unknowingly cling to outdated phrases and terminologies that can create a disconnect, especially with Gen Z employees who are now a significant part of the workforce. As the first truly digital generation, Gen Zers bring fresh perspectives and expectations to the workplace, and using out-of-date phrases can undermine a business’s company culture in several ways.

Phrases Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Use Around Gen Z Employees

Small business owners who want to attract and retain Gen Z employees need to be aware of this and avoid using outdated phrases. Using old language can undermine your company culture and make you seem out of touch. Here are a few out-of-date phrases that small business owners should stop using around Gen Z employees:
  • “Think outside the box.” This phrase has been around for decades and has been used to death. It’s also vague and doesn’t really mean anything to most Gen Z people. Instead of telling your employees to “think outside the box,” give them specific instructions on what you want, along with constructive advice about how to deliver.
  • “Synergy.” This word is often used in business jargon, but it’s actually meaningless. Yes, it’s a real word, but it’s also just a way to sound sophisticated and Gen Z employees have probably heard it too much. Avoid using the word “synergy” and instead be clear and concise in your communication.
  • “Work hard, play hard.” This phrase is often used to justify long hours and overwork. However, Gen Z employees greatly value work-life balance and don’t want to sacrifice their personal lives for their jobs. Instead, focus on creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported.
  • “Face time.” Traditionally meaning spending time with someone in person, this phrase can create confusion with Gen Z employees. In the digital context, “Face time” now refers to FaceTime, the video-calling application. Using outdated meanings of terms can lead to miscommunication and make the business owner appear out of sync with contemporary tech culture.
  • ”Out of pocket.” To Boomers and Gen X, this phrase means “unavailable” or, is used to convey when someone is out of the office. However, to Gen Z, it means something entirely different – “wild and unhinged” or “out of character.”
In addition to avoiding outdated phrases, small business owners should also be mindful of their body language and tone of voice when communicating with Gen Z employees. Gen Z employees are more likely to trust and respect leaders who are authentic and approachable.

So, what other phrases and language would you suggest avoiding using around Gen Z employees? Please take a moment to share your experiences and suggestions so others can benefit from your input! Go ahead, take a few moments, and contribute to the conversation!

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