Blog post hero

Episode 3: There’s a new type of employee and here’s what you’re missing

There is a fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence in how the gen­er­a­tions of the work­force see and expe­ri­ence the world because of the role tech­nol­o­gy has played in their lives. These gen­er­a­tions can be split into two groups: native analogs and native digitals.

Native analogs: Silent, Boomers, Gen X, and even some old­er Mil­len­ni­als remem­ber a time before the Inter­net. They view tech­nol­o­gy one of two ways: a help­ful, occa­sion­al resource or as a dis­trac­tion from every­day life. Native dig­i­tals: Mil­len­ni­als and Gen Z, on the oth­er hand, grew up sur­round­ed by new tech­no­log­i­cal advances at a rapid rate. They inte­grat­ed tech­nol­o­gy into every­day life.

This fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence of per­spec­tive is why we often see exec­u­tives and employ­ees talk­ing past each other.

Lis­ten on Spo­ti­fy | Apple | YouTube

Key ideas and highlights

Trans­for­ma­tion of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Work­place Generations:

  • When some­one tells us we have to do some­thing (i.e. going back into the office), it’s human nature to not want to do that thing. To employ­ees, it’s not about their per­son­al pref­er­ence, they just want the flex­i­bil­i­ty to choose.
  • The sus­tained hap­pi­ness from expe­ri­enc­ing some­thing is far more than the instant hit of dopamine we get from some­thing tan­gi­ble. Things get lost; expe­ri­ences cre­ate mem­o­ries that will last a lifetime.
  • Mon­ey can’t buy love…or hap­pi­ness. Receiv­ing some­thing mean­ing­ful, even if it’s small, is bet­ter than receiv­ing some­thing imper­son­al, like cash (or gift cards).
  • How many of us are actu­al­ly putting our under­grad degrees to use? It used to be that you had to go to a uni­ver­si­ty to even have a chance at get­ting a ​“real” job. Native dig­i­tals under­stand the val­ue of on-site train­ing or internships/​apprenticeships in the field they love instead of spend­ing thou­sands in tuition.

“Think­ing about try­ing to lead a com­pa­ny our­selves, I think we just need to be flex­i­ble. We need to be real­ly open-mind­ed. We just need to not think about things like pedi­gree in the same way. We need to not think about where peo­ple work and how they work in the same way. And we need to under­stand that peo­ple need dif­fer­ent things. And the only way to pro­vide such a diverse group of peo­ple and oppor­tu­ni­ty to be suc­cess­ful in the way that they need to be suc­cess­ful is to be incred­i­bly flexible.”

Word of the day



  • 0:00 Intro
  • 4:20 Native analogs vs native dig­i­tals, explained
  • 5:20 Fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence in how gen­er­a­tions see the world
  • 6:50 Could the online world be ​“real life”?
  • 10:20 What was the world like for native analogs?
  • 13:50 Maybe film­ing the moment IS the new liv­ing in the moment
  • 15:30 How much of the world has changed for native digitals?
  • 17:50 62% of employ­ees already report to a Mil­len­ni­al boss
  • 22:02 How has com­mu­ni­ca­tion changed for these two groups?
  • 25:24 Expe­ri­ences are greater than things
  • 28:20 Expe­ri­ences pro­vide more sus­tained hap­pi­ness than things
  • 28:59 Sein­feld and cash gifts
  • 31:05 Some ben­e­fits pro­grams do more harm than good
  • 38:22 How to think about ben­e­fits equi­ty for a remote team
  • 39:25 Why flex­i­bil­i­ty mat­ters now more than ever


Jor­dan Peace (00:00):

All right. Wel­come back to How Peo­ple Work. This is one of your hosts, Jor­dan Peace. Jason Mur­ray is join­ing me as usu­al. And Jason, tell us what we’re talk­ing about today. Excit­ed to record this episode with you.

Jason Mur­ray (00:12):

So we’re on the third episode now, and the first one, we talked a lit­tle bit about our ori­gin sto­ry, and we’ll come back to pieces of that and future episodes, I’m sure. But in the sec­ond episode, we got a lit­tle bit into some of the gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences going on in the work­force. We did a lit­tle bit of a high lev­el overview of some of those things, but today I want to dig in a lit­tle bit more into that top­ic. Cause I think there’s some things that are real­ly inter­est­ing and some ideas that are maybe a lit­tle bit more unique that peo­ple haven’t heard about nec­es­sar­i­ly, and ways to think about fram­ing this prob­lem, if you will, a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent­ly in the work­place here. So I mean, think it’s safe to say that work has changed pret­ty dra­mat­i­cal­ly over the last hun­dred years for sure. But in the last 20 to 30 years, espe­cial­ly. And so today, I want us to talk about some of those shifts that have tak­en place, give some fram­ing and back­ground on that shift, dis­cuss some of the ways that com­pa­nies and lead­ers can be think­ing about how they can adapt to these changes as well. So hope­ful­ly some prac­ti­cal take­aways for the folks listening.

Jor­dan Peace (01:17): Absolutely.

Jason Mur­ray (01:18):

So you all may remem­ber that we talked about the five gen­er­a­tions that are in the work­force today. And one of the things that’s real­ly tak­en place is as we’ve shift­ed to this mar­ket­place econ­o­my that we have today as opposed to an agrar­i­an and then indus­tri­al economies that we’ve lived through over the last kind of thou­sand, and then last a hun­dred years we all kind of got pushed togeth­er work­ing in the same places ver­sus work­ing on farms or work­ing on skilled trades or work­ing in fac­to­ries and so forth when indus­tri­al­iza­tion was tak­ing place. And so then we pro­gressed through the ser­vice econ­o­my in the mid­dle of the last cen­tu­ry. And that’s a lot of what our kind of indus­try is based on today. And now we’re liv­ing through this tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion of real­ly the last 20 years. And I think it’s unlike any­thing that we’ve real­ly seen before. And so one of the con­cepts that I want to put for­ward today we can’t claim full cred­it for this because it’s an idea that Christo­pher Lock­head and the folks at Cat­e­go­ry Pirates first start­ed talk­ing about this idea, but I think it real­ly res­onates and has a lot of prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tions for today. So I’m going to set this up a lit­tle bit and then we can jump in. Cause I think there’ll be some fun things for us to kick around here.

Jor­dan Peace (02:46):

We can claim cred­it for it if no one’s heard it yet. I think that’s okay. I think that’s a pod­cast norm we can have.

Jason Mur­ray (02:52): Fair enough.

Jason Mur­ray (02:55):

So what I want us to do momen­tar­i­ly as maybe sus­pend our think­ing about tra­di­tion­al gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences, and let’s just divide humans up into real­ly just two groups. So dan­ger­ous, yes. But we like things sim­ple. Let’s do it. We like things sim­ple at range. So one is peo­ple who grew up in a world where tech­nol­o­gy was at best a sup­ple­ment and at worst, a dis­trac­tion to their in real life expe­ri­ences, as we might call them. And we’re going to call these peo­ple native analogs. So these are your typ­i­cal­ly Boomers, Gen Xers and your old soul mil­len­ni­als, which you can put us into that category.

Jor­dan Peace (03:41):

I think we firm­ly fit in there.

Jason Mur­ray (03:43):

And the oth­er group is made up of those who grew up in a world where tech­nol­o­gy was real­ly the cen­tral part of their life expe­ri­ence. They don’t remem­ber a world where devices and kind of the dig­i­tal world was­n’t a core part of it. And so these immer­sive dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences are real­ly sup­ple­ment­ed by their in real life expe­ri­ence, if you want to call it that. And so in some ways, you might say real life is the dis­trac­tion for those indi­vid­u­als. And we’re going to call these peo­ple Native dig­i­tals. Native dig­i­tals. And so these are gen­er­al­ly most of your mil­len­ni­als except for the old soul mil­len­ni­als and your Gen Zers espe­cial­ly. And so these two groups of humans real­ly have fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent ways of see­ing and expe­ri­enc­ing the world. So that divid­ing line is about age 35. And if you’re old­er than that, you’re real­ly the last of a dying breed of humans that is soon to be replaced by this new kind of human. And that’s just what it’s going to be. It just is what it is. That is what it is.

Jor­dan Peace (04:44):

That’s not a com­fort­ing thought. Well, I agree with it.

Jason Mur­ray (04:47):

I was actu­al­ly excit­ed to tee this up for you because I think there’s a movie ref­er­ence here that is applic­a­ble and bring­ing some of this into per­spec­tive. And so you’re the one that actu­al­ly told me about this movie first, so maybe you could tell us a lit­tle bit more about it. But Ready Play­er One is actu­al­ly, I think, a use­ful metaphor to some of these top­ics. So if you want to give the audi­ence maybe a quick overview of that.

Jor­dan Peace (05:12):

Well, I remem­ber watch­ing that movie on a plane, actu­al­ly, which is where I watch most of my movies these days because it’s five kids at home. There’s not a lot of time to do that. But when you’re trav­el­ing, you get to watch movies as opposed to doing emails like a respon­si­ble per­son. But this movie set place in the not so dis­tant future, I recall, and ini­tial­ly the movie starts out where every­thing’s very ani­mat­ed, kind of car­toon­ish. And so you’re like, oh, it’s an ani­mat­ed film. And it turns out that after the first 20 min­utes, you real­ize that what you’ve been watch­ing or peo­ple play­ing a video game, it’s vr and there’s just real­ly kind of engrossed in this game. And over the course of time you real­ize that it’s not just a small group of peo­ple play­ing this game, but it’s every per­son on earth plays one sin­gle game and they play it all day long. And that is their life. Their life is the game. They work in the game, they play in the game, they fight in the game, they earn cred­its, and they go dis­cov­er treasures…

Jason Mur­ray (06:13):

To school.

Jor­dan Peace (06:14):

And they go to school and they do all of these things. And then they log off to feed their phys­i­cal bod­ies and sleep and they get back and they play the game. And as a gamer, well used to be, again, before life got so busy and so forth, I, I’ve always loved video games and the con­cept was real­ly intrigu­ing to me. But what was so stark was this idea, you kind of ref­er­enced it ear­li­er that what I would call real life was the kind of sideshow, it was the dis­trac­tion from the game. Well, let me eat real quick. And they, you’d see some char­ac­ters occa­sion­al­ly just shov­el­ing down food to log back in because they’re miss­ing some oppor­tu­ni­ty of some kind tak­ing this break. And it end­ed up being real­ly kind of a fas­ci­nat­ing movie. I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for any­body who had­n’t seen it, but in the end, you sort of see that there’s a lit­tle bit more bal­ance returned to this sce­nario where peo­ple real­ize actu­al­ly maybe play­ing this game all of the time is maybe we’re miss­ing out on some things in life. Maybe we’re miss­ing out on some oth­er kinds of human inter­ac­tion that might be healthy and the world kind of changes and shifts towards the end of the movie. But it’s real­ly good.

Jason Mur­ray (07:27):

Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s just a help­ful metaphor to you, just this par­a­digm of a dig­i­tal world being sort of the pri­ma­ry world that these indi­vid­u­als oper­ate in. And it’s prob­a­bly not over­stat­ing it to say that for dig­i­tal natives and Gen Zs in par­tic­u­lar, that they grew up in a world where those expe­ri­ences were so kind of part and par­cel of their every­day life. And so, I mean, think it would be fun­ny to talk about some exam­ples, maybe some things that we remem­ber from our own life that are par­tic­u­lar to what native analogs might expe­ri­ence. And so I’m curi­ous for you, what are some moments or things that, for you feel very par­tic­u­lar­ly ana­log in your experience?

Jor­dan Peace (08:11):

One of the things that’s real­ly inter­est­ing about rais­ing chil­dren at this peri­od of time is I remem­ber talk­ing to my par­ents or even my grand­par­ents about their expe­ri­ence of life and think­ing, oh wow, that’s pret­ty dif­fer­ent than my expe­ri­ence. But now when I com­pare to my child­hood expe­ri­ence and my kids’ child­hood expe­ri­ence, it’s as if we are 10 gen­er­a­tions apart. They look at me, I’ve got three heads, and they’re just like, so when you want­ed to know some­thing, you had to find it in a book. Just brains all over the bed­room. I mean that is unbe­liev­ably for­eign, for one that you’d have to find it in a book for two that you would­n’t know the answer to some­thing is mind blow­ing when­ev­er I’m like, oh, I can’t remem­ber the name of that movie, or that actor or that what­ev­er. They’re just like, look it up. Yeah. I’m like, oh, act. And some­times I’ll actu­al­ly resist. I’m like, actu­al­ly, no, I want to see if I can remem­ber. I don’t want the answer imme­di­ate­ly because I’m the dig­i­tal ana­log or the what­ev­er it’s called, native ana­log. Sor­ry. And I resist it. It’s too easy. But some of the things we talk about with them, like, not hav­ing cell phones. Well, if you’re in a car on a long dri­ve, how would mama would you call you? Or how would grand­ma call? Yeah. Or how what­ev­er. We would­n’t talk.

Jason Mur­ray (09:38):

Just call when you get there.

Jor­dan Peace (09:39):

Yeah. If we had to, we’d stop some­where. And inside of build­ings, there would be phones, like a gas sta­tion. I mean, if you were des­per­ate, you’d knock on some­one’s door and you’d ask them to use their phone and you’d go into a stranger’s home to use a Yeah, actu­al­ly peo­ple would.

Jason Mur­ray (09:55):

And the phone was attached to the wall.

Jor­dan Peace (09:57):

It was attached to the wall, and it had a cord and all this stuff. And then they’re just mind blown, mind blown by this stuff. Yeah. I did­n’t feel near­ly as, it was­n’t so out­ra­geous when my par­ents described their child­hood to me, there was some dif­fer­ences, cer­tain­ly, but now it’s just insane. In one generation.

Jason Mur­ray (10:18):

There’s fun­ny ways it’s changed even the way rela­tion­ships take place. I remem­ber in high school, for exam­ple, weren’t, cell phones weren’t com­mon­place. And so if you had to crush on some­body, you real­ly had to work to track ​‘em down. You could­n’t text ​‘em or call ​‘em.

Jor­dan Peace (10:35):

Had to stalk ​‘em in the hall­way, had to fig­ure out their class sched­ule to know which hall they I going to walked out and bump into him accidentally.

Jason Mur­ray (10:45):

Mor­gan, who’s my wife, the audi­ence would­n’t know that our first date she ini­ti­at­ed but she had to work real­ly hard to find me because it was over a win­ter break. And there’d been a big snow storm, and I was out shov­el­ing dri­ve­ways. I was out hus­tling, mak­ing that mon­ey, mak­ing that money

Jor­dan Peace (11:02): Start­ed early.

Jason Mur­ray (11:03):

Of course, she’s calls the house to see if I’m there and my mom tells her, I’m out play­ing in the snow.

Right. Play­ing. Thanks mom. Thanks mom. Appre­ci­ate that. Appre­ci­ate it. Yeah.

Jor­dan Peace (11:12): Yeah. Well said. Yeah

Jason Mur­ray (11:15):

No, yeah. Well, and I think what you bring up about the expe­ri­ence with your kids, and I res­onate with that a lot too, hav­ing kids as well, is that these phones, screens, tech­nol­o­gy, they’ve real­ly become the pri­ma­ry mode of inter­act­ing with the world from the very begin­ning. I mean, for our young, they know how to work the screens, like, oh yeah, intuitively.

Jor­dan Peace (11:40):

And my sev­en year old, he has a mes­sen­ger kids account, and he texts me, I mean, I don’t know, con­sid­ered a text, but a direct mes­sage or what­ev­er. And he texts grand­ma and my dad and dif­fer­ent peo­ple, his uncle, and they’re like, oh yeah, I was tex­ting with Uncle Jason, the oth­er dif­fer­ent Jason the oth­er day. And I’m just like, you what? <laugh> Right. It’s wild. But they know so much at such a young age that they teach me things about my phone. And I’m not old. Like I, I’ve been using a smart­phone since smart­phone start­ed to exist.

Jason Mur­ray (12:18):

They just sit around and play with them and fig­ure that stuff out.

Jor­dan Peace (12:21):

They got it down. Yeah, it’s wild.

Jason Mur­ray (12:22):

So Christo­pher Lock­head, when he talks about this con­cept, tells a sto­ry about going to a beach with some friends, and they took their kids with them and they went to this beach to watch the sun­set. And it was real­ly this per­fect micro­cosm of how dif­fer­ent that ana­log and dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence was because he sat on the beach with his friends and they just talked and they watched the sun­set and they remarked on how beau­ti­ful it was. And they just enjoyed the expe­ri­ence being togeth­er phys­i­cal­ly. And when he looked over at their kids, his kids were sit­ting on the beach with their phones up record­ing the sun­set and Insta­gram­ming it and Tik­Tok it to their friends. And the first reac­tion usu­al­ly for native analogs is Put the phone down.

Jor­dan Peace (13:08): What’s wrong with you?

Jason Mur­ray (13:09):

Stop. Stop. Enjoy the expe­ri­ence. But what it miss­es is

Jor­dan Peace (13:13):

Be here, be present. That’s the mes­sage that we just, it wells up in us.

Jason Mur­ray (13:17):

Our, and to them, they actu­al­ly don’t under­stand that, right? Because to them, they’re actually

con­nect­ing with a real expe­ri­ence, shar­ing with friends.

Jor­dan Peace (13:25): With their friends

Jason Mur­ray (13:26):

Dig­i­tal­ly. Right. And actu­al­ly, I think it was real­ly fun­ny, a recent exam­ple is when LeBron James broke the scor­ing record, there’ve been some pic­tures where peo­ple com­ment on the back­drop of all the fans in the crowd with their phones up record­ing it, hun­dreds of phones. And 20 years ago, a sim­i­lar shot of Michael Jor­dan where peo­ple were just watch­ing the game. And I think it’s such a fas­ci­nat­ing dichoto­my of what’s tak­en place there. And it’s not that those fans aren’t engaged in the expe­ri­ence happening.

Jor­dan Peace (13:54): It’s super engaging.

Jason Mur­ray (13:54):

It’s just a dif­fer­ent way in which they’re expe­ri­enc­ing what’s tak­ing place in the real world. So real­ly fun­ny sto­ry to you that I saw recent­ly when I was scrolling through Insta­gram, try­ing to go to sleep one night there was a mom who was run­ning late, get­ting home from work, and she was try­ing to get ahold of her teenage daugh­ter. And she was try­ing to text her. She was try­ing to call her, could­n’t get a hold of her. And she real­ized, I know what she’s doing. She’s play­ing Roblox. So mom logs into Roblox, which for those who don’t know, it’s the whole kind of dig­i­tal world that you can go into. And it’s sort of open-end­ed and what­not. And she finds her daugh­ter imme­di­ate­ly in the game. And you can mes­sage peo­ple in the game and tells her daugh­ter, Hey, I need you to actu­al­ly get din­ner out of the freez­er so when I get home, it can be pre­pared and be ready quick­ly. And so I just thought this was a fun­ny way in which even com­mu­ni­ca­tions take place dif­fer­ent­ly for this new generation.

Jor­dan Peace (14:52):

Yeah, absolute­ly. I feel like in this we kind of in the mid­dle with mil­len­ni­als or our old soul mil­len­ni­als like us, it actu­al­ly goes down to the mode of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. So mm-hmm. Our friend and Chris is even a lit­tle bit old­er of a old soul mil­len­ni­al. That’s true. Even though he’s five days old­er than me, and I can’t get him on text, I can’t get him call­ing. I’ve got to email him. I, I’ll text him 12 times, ​“Hey, what are you doing tonight?” And I don’t get him. So I email him, what are you doing tonight? And I get some­thing in 30 sec­onds. He’s just a lit­tle bit more of that old soul.

Jason Mur­ray (15:28):

Does he have a land­line still?

Jor­dan Peace (15:30):

He prob­a­bly should. And a news­pa­per sub­scrip­tion. But it’s inter­est­ing, the pro­gres­sion, and it’s

hap­pened so fast. Well, incred­i­bly fast.

Jason Mur­ray (15:41):

Incred­i­bly fast. So over the last 20 years, and this was shock­ing to me, the first iPhone came out in, I think it was 2007

Jor­dan Peace (15:51): Sounds right?

Jason Mur­ray (15:52):

So I mean, lit­er­al­ly the iPhone has only exist­ed for what, 16, 16 years now? Bare­ly. Gosh. And so can you believe how much this lit­tle device has trans­formed the way in which we go about our dai­ly lives? Right. It’s incredible.

Jor­dan Peace (16:08):

We’re still call­ing it a phone, iron­i­cal­ly, even though it’s a com­put­er in our pock­et. That’s true. With a phone app on it. That’s good point. It real­ly makes no sense. But the dig­i­tal ana­log, the native analogs are still win­ning the ver­nac­u­lar there. That’s true. I

Jason Mur­ray (16:21):

Thinks it’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty, new cat­e­go­ry. So need­less to say, this trans­for­ma­tion is well under­way. It’s hap­pen­ing rapid­ly. I mean, some of the sta­tis­tics showed that in the next five to sev­en years, gen Z and mil­len­ni­als are going to be two thirds of the workforce.

Jor­dan Peace (16:41):

A third, five to sev­en, five to seven

Jason Mur­ray (16:43): Years. It’s about a third.

Jor­dan Peace (16:44): Now that is soon.

Jason Mur­ray (16:45):

So in the next five to sev­en years, I mean, it’s going to be a real­ly dra­mat­ic trans­for­ma­tion that takes place. And inter­est­ing stat, you already have a 62% chance today of report­ing to mil­len­ni­al boss. So already some of these dynam­ics are at play. But what I want us to do now is take a few top­ics that I think are rel­e­vant to our audi­ence, rel­e­vant to any­one who’s in HR or any­one who just leads peo­ple for that mat­ter to real­ly help think about how this fram­ing can maybe give us a dif­fer­ent lens on these issues. So the first one I want to take is the notion of return to work or maybe flex­i­bil­i­ty and work. And so I guess maybe you could give the audi­ence a lit­tle bit of a quick overview. Just like, Hey, what’s the con­ver­sa­tion around that kind of stuff out there

Jor­dan Peace (17:36):

In the world right now? Sure. I mean before we start­ed how peo­ple work, I was inter­view­ing a whole lot of peo­ple on the pre­vi­ous pod­cast and a lot of CEOs and also a lot of peo­ple lead­ers and just folks that were either mak­ing the deci­sion as to are we going to return to an office? Are we going to be vir­tu­al? Are we going to be hybrid? Are we going to be option­al, what­ev­er? And I mean, it’s pret­ty clear, I could pret­ty much assume based on the age of the per­son that I began to inter­view, what the answer was going to be or the age of their ceo, right? With some excep­tions. But on the whole, it was pret­ty clear that those that were the native ana­log guys were putting it, which I think is, I real­ly like that the native ana­log, native dig­i­tal, because it simplifies.


We’re talk­ing five gen­er­a­tions and you’re like head spin­ning, try­ing to keep up with the nuance of all five of these gen­er­a­tions. But I think it prob­a­bly is close enough to just say, Hey, let’s talk about two groups. Right? So I think that’s use­ful fram­ing. So I found a smat­ter­ing of every­thing real­ly. It was a cacoph­o­ny of answers, if you will, from we’re going to go back to work, and if you don’t like it, deal with it. We’re vir­tu­al for­ev­er. Then there was the tech com­pa­ny said, we’re vir­tu­al for­ev­er. Oh, six months lat­er, nev­er­mind. We’re going back to work <laugh>, right? Because some­body pan­icked and we’re pay­ing too

much for this dag one office. You’re going to use it.

Jason Mur­ray (19:11): Going to make use of it.

Jor­dan Peace (19:12):

You’re going to make use of it, what­ev­er. But the con­ver­sa­tion’s been all over

Jason Mur­ray (19:15):

This. That’s such an ana­log thing to say too, which is fun­ny. Cause I can pic­ture my par­ents even in my

head that are like, I paid for this. You bet­ter make good use of it. Yes,

Jor­dan Peace (19:24):

I can remem­ber that con­ver­sa­tion on many top­ics and now I’m the one say­ing stuff like that,

Jason Mur­ray (19:29): Right? Analog.

Jor­dan Peace (19:30):

But the con­ver­sa­tion’s been all over the place, but it’s so clear where it’s going to fin­ish. And what you just said about the five to sev­en years before mil­len­ni­als and Gen Zs are two thirds of the work­force. Do peo­ple real­ly think peo­ple are going to come into an office in five to sev­en years? I mean, even now you’re los­ing peo­ple by just say­ing, Hey, we’re return­ing to work. If I can find a sim­i­lar job, sim­i­lar pay even, maybe a lit­tle bit less pay, and you’re not demand­ing that of me. Yeah. Bye. Yeah. It’s just not going to work.

Jason Mur­ray (20:03):

So let me ask you some­thing. Yeah. Cause this will tie in. If I were to tell you that I had a face-to-face

meet­ing with some­body, how would you assume that meet­ing took place

Jor­dan Peace (20:13):

At a cof­fee shop or in an office of some kind?

Jason Mur­ray (20:17): Typ­i­cal native analog?

Jor­dan Peace (20:19):

Is that the wrong answer?

Jason Mur­ray (20:21):

No, no, no, no. So it’s actu­al­ly a real­ly inter­est­ing thing that even puts focus on the fact that when we say the same words,

Jor­dan Peace (20:32):

The same phrase

Jason Mur­ray (20:33):

We don’t actu­al­ly mean the same thing. So true in lis­ten­ing to some pod­casts and talk­ing to some Gen Zers, when they talk about hav­ing a face-to-face meet­ing, they just assume mean, I had a zoom meet­ing where I saw, or I had a Face­Time with the per­son where we were face-to-face in saw their face in no way implied that it was an in-per­son phys­i­cal meet­ing. And so even that in and of itself kind of shines a light on this whole return to work paradigm.

Jor­dan Peace (21:04):

I remem­ber there’s this nuance I picked up on right after I should­n’t say after covid, but after the scari­est of the time through­out and so forth, and before any­body was com­ing back togeth­er in per­son at all, I remem­ber when I would final­ly meet peo­ple and I would think of it as meet­ing them, and I would say, it’s nice to final­ly meet you. And I remem­ber get­ting a weird look enough times that I was like, oh, I need to adjust this phrase, great to meet you in per­son. Right? And I start­ed adding that on so that, because I just felt old. Say­ing, say­ing, oh, nice to final­ly meet you. And they’re been on 12 meet­ings, dude. Yes. But yeah, I’ve felt my age or my cat­e­go­ry in that nuanced way.

Jason Mur­ray (21:54):

Yeah. Well, so just to kind of bring it back to the top­ic here, this whole notion of return to work in an office and flex­i­bil­i­ty it, it’s so much less about pref­er­ence because I think that’s the assump­tion that peo­ple lead­ing com­pa­nies make is it’s just a mat­ter of pref­er­ence. And peo­ple can get over pref­er­ences just

Jor­dan Peace (22:14): Suck it up.

Jason Mur­ray (22:14):

It’s real­ly not. It’s actu­al­ly just a mat­ter of they have a fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent way of see­ing and expe­ri­enc­ing the world such that they can’t com­pre­hend why work has to be done in an office when a face-to-face meet­ing just as eas­i­ly takes place over Zoom or Face­Time as it does in the phys­i­cal pres­ence of oth­er peo­ple in a build­ing and so forth.

Jor­dan Peace (22:40):

We’ve talked before about this whole idea of the work­place needs to catch up to the mar­ket­place. In oth­er words, work needs to catch up to life, right? And so sim­i­lar­ly, if you’re a native dig­i­tal, your life looks like hav­ing Zoom calls FaceTimes

Jason Mur­ray (22:58): With fam­i­ly, friends!

Jor­dan Peace (22:59):

Send­ing friends Tik­Toks back and forth, and you’re like, what­ev­er the case may be, what­ev­er app you’re using, but you’re actu­al­ly going to see your peo­ple more on a screen than you are in per­son any­way. Even if they’re not spread all out of the coun­try, even if they’re three hous­es away, that’s how you’re going to inter­act more. Yeah. Any­way, so this idea that, but at work, I can’t do that. I have to go to some arbi­trary place in order to be phys­i­cal­ly togeth­er for sense, for some pur­pos­es. I don’t under­stand how is my work enhanced? How’s my rela­tion­ship enhanced? How are we a bet­ter com­pa­ny for that? I don’t, yeah. No, I mean, I’m not speak­ing for myself. I actu­al­ly do val­ue it to a degree. That’s hard to describe, but I total­ly can empathize with this idea that just I don’t get it.

Jason Mur­ray (23:53):

Well, and the fun­ny thing is, native dig­i­tals do val­ue it. (23:57):

And so they do appre­ci­ate the phys­i­cal pres­ence and prox­im­i­ty of oth­er peo­ple and hav­ing that kind of com­mu­ni­ty. But when it’s put into this con­text of you must be phys­i­cal­ly some­where, it’s forced to do work. It just does­n’t com­pute, it does­n’t make sense. Right? So anoth­er top­ic I think is an inter­est­ing one that this, I feel like prob­a­bly maybe goes beyond just native dig­i­tals, but it’s cer­tain­ly become more appar­ent as a result of this trans­for­ma­tion tak­ing place. And the expe­ri­ences are more impor­tant than stuff. And so I know you have some thoughts on this top­ic, thank in par­tic­u­lar. So would love to hear even just how you think about that concept.

Jor­dan Peace (24:40):

Yeah. I mean, gosh, that’s a big top­ic. How it relates to work and how it relates to life. I mean, I, I’d say if I had to sum­ma­rize it as quick­ly as I pos­si­bly could, I’d say that our gen­er­a­tion and I’d say Gen Zs prob­a­bly as well, typ­i­cal­ly being raised by Gen Xers, who I call baby Baby Boomers, they expe­ri­ence par­ents who, if they were able to accu­mu­late wealth, typ­i­cal­ly this big stereo­type here. But that’s what we’re doing. Typ­i­cal­ly, they use that wealth to accu­mu­late things, whether that was the big­ger house or the big­ger car,

Jason Mur­ray (25:22): They’re pro­vid­ing a bet­ter life.

Jor­dan Peace (25:23): And

Jason Mur­ray (25:23):

That’s which equat­ed to…

Jor­dan Peace (25:24):

They’re pro­vid­ing a bet­ter life. That is the way in which they felt like that pro­vi­sion was tak­ing place, or they were win­ning. They were, were get­ting ahead in life. And I think that our gen­er­a­tion and gen­er­a­tion behind us saw that as kind of emp­ty of just like, yeah, you got a great big house, but you did­n’t see the world. Yeah, you got this great sports car, but you don’t take it any­where or what­ev­er. And again, stereo­typ­ing, but there tends to be a very strong theme amongst mil­len­ni­als and Gen Zs. They’re just like, yeah, I mean, stuff’s cool. I’m not against stuff, but more so I want to make mem­o­ries and I want to record those mem­o­ries and I want to watch ​‘em back lat­er. I want to share ​‘em with my friends, and I want to see as many coun­tries as I can. And it’s just a total­ly dif­fer­ent men­tal­i­ty around the pur­pose of mon­ey and also kind of the pur­pose of time. I think our gen­er­a­tion, we were defined by this idea of the fear of miss­ing out. I think the gen­er­a­tion behind us is more so fear of miss­ing a bet­ter oppor­tu­ni­ty. So there’s always this watch­ful­ness for what is some­thing great that I could be a part of or go do or expe­ri­ence. And I don’t see that watch­ful­ness at all in the gen­er­a­tions that came before.

Jason Mur­ray (26:53):

Well, and I think that’s some­thing that this native dig­i­tals have right here. So I mean, the sta­tis­tics say 74% of Amer­i­cans val­ue expe­ri­ences over phys­i­cal prod­ucts. So that’s as of today, high num­ber broad­ly. But I think it’s also inter­est­ing because psy­chol­o­gists, through research and stud­ies that they’ve done, have actu­al­ly demon­strat­ed sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly that when human beings make pur­chas­ing deci­sions, that pur­chas­ing deci­sions of expe­ri­ences lit­er­al­ly pro­vide more sus­tained hap­pi­ness for peo­ple than things. And so just, I think it’s a very pos­i­tive shift gen­er­a­tional­ly, that is some­thing that is desired in that way. And I, I think that has impli­ca­tions as it comes to com­pa­nies and lead­ers of com­pa­nies. Because one of the phras­es, if I hear it one more time, I think I’m going to fall out of my seat, is how is this bet­ter than cash?

Jor­dan Peace (27:55): Oh,

Jason Mur­ray (27:56): <laugh>, right?

Jor­dan Peace (27:57): Yeah.

Jason Mur­ray (27:57): Yeah. A great. Or

Jor­dan Peace (27:59):

Maybe get out of your seat. Pick up your chair and break it over your legs. That’s

Jason Mur­ray (28:02):

Right. Yeah, I prob­a­bly would. Or break it over some­body else’s back maybe go WWE style. There’s a fun­ny Sein­feld clip, which maybe we’ll post that along with the pod­cast notes that high­lights it, I think real­ly beau­ti­ful­ly. But I mean even more than just expe­ri­ences over stuff. Did you know that vir­tu­al Guc­ci bags were a thing?

Jor­dan Peace (28:27): Virtual?

Jason Mur­ray (28:28): Yes.

Jor­dan Peace (28:29): Purs­es. Yeah, vir­tu­al purses.

Jason Mur­ray (28:31):

More of those are sold than actu­al Guc­ci bags kicked out.

Jor­dan Peace (28:35): For

Jason Mur­ray (28:35): What? That’s crazy.

Jor­dan Peace (28:37): What do you do with it?

Jason Mur­ray (28:37):

It’s just part, it’s kind of like your avatar, right? So that’s why I asked you about Ready Play­er One.

How much should they, cause I have no idea. I, we’d have to look at it

Jor­dan Peace (28:47):

If we con­tin­ue this dis­cus­sion. I must sound ancient because that did­n’t com­pute at

Jason Mur­ray (28:52):

All. Right? But as we’re say­ing, all of this has impli­ca­tions in very direct­ly, I think for the employ­ee expe­ri­ence. Oh, because

Jor­dan Peace (29:00): Goodness.

Jason Mur­ray (29:02):

What does pay look like? I mean, suf­fi­cient pay cer­tain­ly mat­ters, but we’ve heard for years now that employ­ees, espe­cial­ly younger employ­ees, val­ue cer­tain things more than addi­tion­al pay. And so that brings us to what kinds of things mat­ter most to peo­ple? What ben­e­fits mat­ter most to peo­ple? How do you think about rewards and recog­ni­tion? I not just crum­my gift cards to buy stuff, but mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ences I think is much more going to lend itself to what this gen­er­a­tion desires. It’s upcoming.

Jor­dan Peace (29:35):

Yeah. I mean, I’ll nev­er for­get, our friend at Cap­i­tal One is a pret­ty high lev­el employ­ee in her, I don’t know, it was 20, 25 year anniver­sary or some­thing. And her choice was like, you can have this kitchen appli­ance or just knock­off Rolex. And she was so offend­ed by this. I mean, it had such a neg­a­tive impact. It would’ve been ver­ba­tim. I remem­ber her say­ing it would’ve been far bet­ter to give me noth­ing than to give me options of just stuff that isn’t that mean­ing­ful. It is. It’s not per­son­al­ized to me at all. It’s just some­thing why even both­er? So I love that stat around 74% of it pre­fer­ring expe­ri­ences, because that’s not point­ing to nec­es­sar­i­ly one gen­er­a­tion or two gen­er­a­tions. I mean that, that’s pret­ty wide­spread. So I think it has a huge impact. And I think that we mis­take the idea of, well, I have a pro­gram. I rolled some­thing out. And that in and of itself is always good. I think there’s so many times we do more harm than good by just rolling out some­thing to check a box. That is a big mis­take. And I think with five gen­er­a­tions, or even with two sort of native groups, if you want to look at it that way, you got to have a lot of inten­tion to help me put a lot of thought into how you approach com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits, where peo­ple work, when they work, what their sched­ules look like, et cetera. You can’t just sort of throw things at the wall and see what sticks.

Jason Mur­ray (31:12):

So the last top­ic I want to hit on, and then we can maybe wrap up with a few ideas around what can com­pa­nies be doing with this fram­ing here is around work expe­ri­ence. And so this is the notion of how native dig­i­tals think about the neces­si­ty of cer­tain kinds of train­ing in rela­tion to their work expe­ri­ence. So for exam­ple, col­lege degrees. So we were talk­ing about this just before the pod­cast here, but that 51% of Gen Z does­n’t care about get­ting a col­lege degree, that they’re more inter­est­ed in skills based edu­ca­tion train­ing on the job. Think a good anal­o­gy is they see work more climb­ing on a jun­gle gym than climb­ing a rope or a lad­der, for exam­ple. So I mean, it’d be inter­est­ing just to com­ment on that for a moment because it’s such a dif­fer­ent change even from what we expe­ri­enced not that long ago.

Jor­dan Peace (32:07):

Yeah. I, geez. I think by the time I was even in mid­dle school, there was con­ver­sa­tions begin­ning about not, are you going to go to col­lege? Where do you want to go to? What are you going to study in col­lege? There was an assump­tion that unless we were in a sit­u­a­tion where we sim­ply could not afford col­lege, which real­ly, there’s tons of pro­grams out there to help with that. But even still, that was the only way. It was­n’t going to hap­pen if our fam­i­ly was in dire need and you need to go out and work now, or we just did­n’t have the resources or some­thing. That was the only pos­si­ble way that I was not going to go to col­lege. And that was­n’t my fam­i­ly, that was every­body I knew. It was just like, that’s what you did next. Because if you did not do that, the assump­tion was your oppor­tu­ni­ties are severe­ly lim­it­ed. Right. Which did­n’t actu­al­ly turn out to be true press. I appre­ci­ate my col­lege edu­ca­tion. I appre­ci­ate even more of the time I spent there, but I could have done lit­er­al­ly every­thing I’ve done from the age of 22 to now with­out that degree. Same. It did noth­ing to help me get here. Not what I learned in class. Maybe what I learned about doing my own laun­dry. You know, what I learned about clean­ing my house or the life skills. I could have learned that on a job liv­ing in an

Jason Mur­ray (33:34):

Apart­ment. Well, native dig­i­tals are wise up to it because they’re say­ing, well, why is pay a hun­dred grand or more for this in order to get a degree that, as you said, has served you none in the things that you’ve done over the past decade or more.

Jor­dan Peace (33:51):

Yeah. I mean, I even think about, and not to always take things back to kids, but I got five of ​‘em. I think about it all the time. I’m not even sav­ing towards col­lege for them. I’m just sav­ing in accounts for each one. Just sort of gener­ic advi­so­ry accounts that are tax­able that could be used for any­thing. Cause I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to seed their busi­ness, start busi­ness, I’m going to, they’re going to go to trade school, or they’re going to come work for me or

Jason Mur­ray (34:17):

Be able to buy a house. Even

Jor­dan Peace (34:18): A

Jason Mur­ray (34:19):

House native dig­i­tals can’t do these days.

Jor­dan Peace (34:21):

Right? Yeah. I have no idea. And I just stopped assum­ing a lit­tle while ago that col­lege was the route and has, it’s no com­ment on them as indi­vid­u­als and their capa­bil­i­ties or even their personalities.

Jason Mur­ray (34:33):

Well, I think it’s a com­ment on the neces­si­ty of it to actu­al­ly move for­ward in the world. So I mean that’s,

Jor­dan Peace (34:39):

Well, col­lege col­leges kind of priced them­selves out too. I mean, that’s anoth­er piece puz­zle there.

Jason Mur­ray (34:43):

But I think com­pa­nies aren’t adapt­ing quick­ly to that real­i­ty. So yeah, I mean, the fact of the mat­ter is you’re going to have more and more young employ­ees com­ing in with no pedi­gree, let’s say, as it relates to col­lege education

Jor­dan Peace (34:57): In that way.

Jason Mur­ray (34:58):

But I think still high­ly valu­able employ­ees who are going to be look­ing to com­pa­nies say­ing, Hey, how are you going to train me? How are you going to devel­op me? Are there appren­tice­ship? Are there ways that you can teach me on the job, the real­ly prac­ti­cal skills that I need to actu­al­ly be suc­cess­ful in the world ver­sus the,

Jor­dan Peace (35:14):

Because iron­i­cal­ly kind of old school,

Jason Mur­ray (35:16): Yeah, it is

Jor­dan Peace (35:18):

Going back in time, but in a kind of fresh

Jason Mur­ray (35:20):

But new way. Cause desire,

Jor­dan Peace (35:21):

The oppor­tu­ni­ties are dif­fer­ent, right?

Jason Mur­ray (35:23): Yeah, very much. Yeah.

Jor­dan Peace (35:25):

Well think about too, I mean, think about when we did finan­cial plan­ning. I remem­ber we had clients that were 18 years old that were, had such Insta­gram fol­low­ings that they were mak­ing far more mon­ey than you and I prob­a­bly ever will at 18. It was just like, what? That was not a thing, right?

Jason Mur­ray (35:43):

That was not a thing. Good gen­er­a­tion. Well, even on the oppo­site end of that, there’s a guy that who also start­ed work­ing when he was 18, right out of school at the nuclear plant. So like a skilled trade. But by his mid twen­ties he was mak­ing $150,000. Right? I mean, so it there’s oppor­tu­ni­ty out there that does­n’t require that same kind of path that I think was instilled in us in that way. Yeah, absolute­ly. Well, let’s wrap up just talk­ing a lit­tle bit about what can com­pa­nies do, how do we take this fram­ing, maybe apply it to some of the ways that we go about build­ing com­pa­nies, lead­ing peo­ple, and so forth. And so I would love to hear from you some things that come to mind. I mean,

Jor­dan Peace (36:20):

What I hear, just lis­ten­ing to our­selves in this con­ver­sa­tion and think­ing about try­ing to lead a com­pa­ny our­selves. I think we just need to be flex­i­ble. We need to be real­ly open-mind­ed. We just need to not think about things like pedi­gree in the same way. We need to not think about where peo­ple work and how they work in the same way. And we need to under­stand that peo­ple need dif­fer­ent things. And the only way to pro­vide such a diverse group of peo­ple and oppor­tu­ni­ty to be suc­cess­ful in the way that they need to be suc­cess­ful is to be incred­i­bly flex­i­ble. You can’t say, well, we are all going to return to this office all the time. We can’t. And I would argue you can’t also say we’re all going to be remote only. And there’s nev­er an oppor­tu­ni­ty. There’s nev­er an oppor­tu­ni­ty for you guys to get togeth­er and get around a whiteboard.

Jason Mur­ray (37:13):

That’s what’s designed and solve

Jor­dan Peace (37:14):

Some prob­lems. Exact­ly. Nobody, I would argue prob­a­bly nobody or most peo­ple don’t want zero oppor­tu­ni­ty for that, right? They just want the flex­i­bil­i­ty. And that’s chal­leng­ing. And to some degree, it could be expen­sive even. But I think about how we run our com­pa­ny. We think about, okay, well we don’t pro­vide an office space for every sin­gle per­son, but we almost account for it as if we do. Right? What would it cost to pro­vide a desk for every sin­gle per­son? And then how could we use those funds dif­fer­ent­ly because we don’t pro­vide a desk for every sin­gle per­son to serve peo­ple to serve the need of get­ting togeth­er occa­sion­al­ly for that team build­ing and that fig­ur­ing prob­lem solv­ing and doing some of those things togeth­er and break­ing bread and what­ev­er. And I think that’s the type of think­ing that’s need­ed. It’s just like, okay, it’s what­ev­er we’ve done in the past.


Let’s take the lessons that can apply and let’s use those and let’s let the oth­er ones kind of fall by the way­side that just don’t apply any­more. And that kind of stub­born atti­tude of just like, I’ve been here, I’ve done that. I know how things work. Sor­ry, the world’s chang­ing too fast. To think that what we learned 10 years ago is still rel­e­vant. Yeah, no. So I, I’d say above all, and in the inter­est of time, I’d just say be flex­i­ble. Be open-mind­ed and under­stand that your employ­ees are very, very dif­fer­ent than one anoth­er. And poten­tial­ly the group as a whole is very dif­fer­ent than who­ev­er you were lead­ing 10 years ago or 20 years ago if you’ve been doing it that long. Yeah.

Jason Mur­ray (38:51):

Yeah. I mean there’s say, you might even call it an arro­gance of every pre­ced­ing gen­er­a­tion that total­ly assumes that, hey, just the way things are is the best way. Right? And there’s a resis­tance. And so what I’m hear­ing you say is being will­ing to move through this trans­for­ma­tion that’s tak­ing place, being flex­i­ble, being adapt­able, and not just fight­ing it is

Jor­dan Peace (39:17):

A huge part of it. Yeah. I think you got to know what your absolutes are, and you got to know what kind of your rel­a­tive truths are, right? There are some things that have car­ried through all gen­er­a­tions and will car­ry through all gen­er­a­tions things. Just like being hum­ble and kind to your peo­ple and lis­ten­ing to them, right? Whether you’re lis­ten­ing over zoom or in per­son over cof­fee, kind of a uni­ver­sal absolute, right? But then there’s a whole lot of things that I think we as lead­ers, espe­cial­ly the old­er we are, we want to hold onto them and be like, no, no, no. This is how busi­ness is. And it’s no, that actu­al­ly belongs in the cat­e­go­ry of things that you need to be open-mind­ed and open-hand­ed about. Yeah. And I think that’s the dif­fer­ence between great lead­er­ship and kind of aver­age lead­er­ship going into the next 10, 15 years.

Jason Mur­ray (40:02):

Well, I think that’s a great place to wrap up this con­ver­sa­tion. And I hate to break it to you, but you failed to use the word of the day. I did not. From the last conversation.

Jor­dan Peace (40:12):

Cacoph­o­ny. I said, you missed it

Jason Mur­ray (40:15): I total­ly missed it.

Jor­dan Peace (40:17): That was smooth. I’m a smooth oper­a­tor today.

Jason Mur­ray (40:19): Yes you are. Yeah. I was

Jor­dan Peace (40:21): Talk­ing about inter­view­ing CEOs and get­ting a cacoph­o­ny of answers.

Jason Mur­ray (40:24): I was get­ting excit­ed, which is kind of

Jor­dan Peace (40:25):

Not using it cor­rect­ly, but it was close.

Jason Mur­ray (40:28):

Yeah. My active lis­ten­ing was just, sore­ly lack­ing there

Jor­dan Peace (40:33):

You’re for­giv­en. What’s my word? Next week? Well, I

Jason Mur­ray (40:35):

Got excit­ed because I thought we could keep score and I get a point if you for­get to use it and then you get a point when you do use it, you’re

Jor­dan Peace (40:40):

Going to get crushed If we did that. I am crushed. Don’t think

Jason Mur­ray (40:43):

<laugh> prob­a­bly true. Well, the word of the day for the next episode will be anachronism.

Jor­dan Peace (40:50):

Good. Gosh, these are not get­ting used here. <laugh>, I’ll be googling that in about five minutes.

Jason Mur­ray (40:57):

So Well, thank you every­one for join­ing us on this episode, and we’ll see you next time.

Jor­dan Peace (41:02): Yep. Bye-Bye.

Request demo

Subscribe to the Fringe newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.