Corporate Culture Coach Argues ‘Hard Conversations’ At Work Are Essential, But Boomers & Gen Z Disagree

The landscape of Corporate America is shifting whether older generations like it or not.

Gen Z employee smiling in an office space. Victorzastolskiy, Pavel Danilyuk / CanvaPro

Gen Z gets a bad rap when it comes to work, but as a whole, their generation is challenging workplace culture in a way that can benefit everyone. Unfortunately, change can be scary. Especially if that change means re-examining everything you've believed for your entire career.

However, as Gen Z continues to question the status quo, they're butting heads with higher-ups, mainly boomers. Instead of finding common ground, however, these differing views only create a larger chasm between the generations. Corporate culture coach Grace argues that the only way to bridge the divide, however, is to have difficult conversations at work.


Grace took to TikTok to explain that ‘hard conversations’ are essential in today's changing workplace, but boomers and Gen Z disagree.

Gen Zers and boomers have very different views on work. So, when it comes to discussing workplace culture, benefits, compensation, and roles in general, it’s no wonder these two wildly different generations are on different pages.

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“I’m constantly talking to people at most levels of jobs about what’s happening behind the scenes,” Grace said. “Something big and quiet right now is that the younger and older workforces are really having a hard time communicating about what it means to do your job well.”

Most boomers built their careers focused on the mindset that the harder you work, the more successful you'll be. That's not the way of the world any longer, however. Still, they’re struggling with the notion of prioritizing mental health, time off, and equitable/livable pay for entry-level positions.

But it’s what Gen Z expects — and honestly, it’s what they should be entitled to. 

While many Gen Z employees value difficult conversations about work, boomer leadership steers clear.

In addition to admitting they’re ready to have “hard conversations” about work at work, many Gen Z employees have actually radicalized language in other ways. As they vow to embrace both “individuality, authenticity, and professionalism,” they, in turn, rework the once cemented norms of workplace culture — from language to attire to overall demeanor. 


Gen Z worker working on her laptop. Daniel Balakov / CanvaPro

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The Gen Z workplace trends that embrace comfort, mental health, and overall fulfillment are benefiting productivity, but for some reason, many more mature workers are not willing to embrace the change.


It’s this disconnect that’s at the center of Gen Z’s distaste for older generations’ often ignorant political and social mindset.

“This is also one of those topics that people will talk about one-on-one but never write about on LinkedIn,” Grace added. “Especially in recent years where we’re experiencing layoffs and [economic] fears, it’s like, yes, let’s start having real conversations.”

Many employment professionals suggest a ‘disconnect’ between older generations of employees and Gen Z.

Ultimately, as Inc’s article about “hard conversations” explained, the workplace needs to make space for connection, authenticity, and productivity at the same time — regardless of the unspoken “rules” older generations have cemented.

"It's not just about age or generational gaps," Newsweek HR consultant Bryan Driscoll stated. "It's about changing attitudes toward work, evolving technologies, and differing communication styles. Ultimately, the old ways of work simply don't work for younger generations."


As Gen Z begins to experience more professional growth, it’s only a matter of time before workplaces evolve — hopefully for the better. 

RELATED: Why It Seems Gen Z Doesn't Want To Work When Really, They Do

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.