The workplace is evolving as employees request better benefits, flexible environments, and virtual enhancements. As companies continue to hire employees from generation Z, they're learning how these recruits best connect, learn, and grow into their positions. Now, young hires are looking for new outlets for connection online and in the boardroom, embracing creativity and communication for a better work environment.

Two mobile app screens: a home screen with a user's chats, connections, and communities; a chat page between two connected users.
Pineapple app: Explore page, Jam page

Pineapple is a new professional networking platform designed for gen Z. Officially launched in November, the app allows users to display their experience, projects, creativity, and strengths using a visual profile. The app was created by gen Zer David Diamond and aims to foster meaningful connections between users by bridging LinkedIn’s professional standing with Instagram’s creative platform. Pineapple also fosters formal communities within the app where users can have “Jams” or threads to discuss topics of interest and forge deeper connections.

This is not the first social platform gen Z has turned to for professional advice and connection. Popular hashtags on TikTok like #HRTikTok and #careeradvice lead users to experienced advice on resume writing, interview skills, and career guidance from recruiters and professionals. Mia Williams, the 25-year-old founder of the career-resource website The Colors of Her Success and popular TikToker, told the Wall Street Journal that her generation responds well to peer-to-peer based professional counsel. “[My] value proposition is that I look like you and I’m speaking to you in ways that you understand.”

According to the BBC, young employees are participating in what the outlet calls reverse mentorship. Opposing traditional top-down mentoring, some companies are turning to their youngest hires for direction on new hybrid work settings, diversity and inclusion practices, and larger generational divides within teams. Jim Berry, director of the MBA program at University College London, told the BBC that “One key thing for employers is intergenerational awareness, as we may view things differently because of the societies we grew up in. Starting these conversations allows us to break down some of these barriers.”

Often held in group settings, some mentoring sessions could focus on social issues, LGBTQ+ concerns, disability inclusion, or address general organizational challenges. Reverse mentoring can help enforce team solidarity, wellbeing support, and employee retention. According to Jennifer Jordan, professor of leadership and organizational culture at the Institute for Management Development, Switzerland: “Individuals involved in these programs are about 30% more likely than non-paired peers to stay in the organization.”

Generation Z is redefining “professional networking” with more interactive apps for connection and forthright conversations with their C-suite to enforce real changes in the workplace.

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