How Gen Z Thinks about Work, Business, and More: A Year of The Play by Play

Hosted by

Steve Boese

Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors


Nick Schlemmer

Podcast Host

Jack McFarlane

Podcast Host

About this episode

How Gen Z Thinks about Work, Business, and More: A Year of The Play by Play

Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish Steed

Guests: Jack McFarlane & Nick Schlemmer, Hosts of The Play by Play podcast

This episode of At Work in America is sponsored by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes.Think stress-free payroll isn’t possible? Think again. Whether you need to simplify your tax filing or streamline your day-to-day pay system, Paychex makes managing your payroll easier and more profitable. That’s why we’re here with open arms and a special offer for new clients — for a limited time, get one year of complimentary digital W2s so you can focus on growing your business instead of time-consuming payroll tasks. Learn more at Terms and conditions apply.

Today, we sat down with Jack McFarlane and Nick Schlemmer to celebrate their one year podcast anniversary and chat about what they’ve learned along the way and what the future holds.

– Gen Z on podcasting, business, and education

– Workplace culture and marketing to Gen Z

– Let’s talk “Game Time”

– Future plans, guest episodes, & dream interviews


Thank you for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!

Transcript follows:

Announcer 0:00
Welcome to At Work in America, sponsored by Paychex. At Work in America digs in behind the headlines and trends to the stories of real people making a difference in the world of work. And now here are your hosts, Steve Boese and Trish Steed.

Steve 0:28
Welcome the At Work in America show, another great show today. Trish Steed, how are you?

Trish 0:34
I’m good, Steve, how are you?

Steve 0:36
I am well, thank you. I feel like it’s been a while. We had a crazy run of travel and events and high jinks and hullabaloo even Trish, but my goodness,

Trish 0:48
it certainly did. I counted six trips in five weeks for myself. So I think you had similar.

Steve 0:56
Yeah, too many. And still more to come, more on that later, including a road trip coming up that we’re both really excited about, and hopefully do some really cool content, but we’ll talk about that later. Trish, we need to thank our friends at Paychex of course, right we got a chance to meet with them at HR Tech and did a really cool video about it. I’m going to promo that video real quick. It’s on our LinkedIn page, our company LinkedIn page is the best way to find it. It’s also on the website, a little demo I did with Nathan Shapiro about some of the new benchmarking and HR analytics solutions. Check that out. It’s like seven minutes long. It’s fantastic and thank you Nathan and Paychex for doing that. And of course, this episode is sponsored by our friends at Paychex Trish one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. You think stress-free payroll isn’t possible. Whether you need to simplify your tax filing your streamline your day to day pay system, Paychex makes managing your payroll easier and more profitable. From Self Service Employee portals to automated processes. Our services can save time and money while giving you peace of mind that everything is up to date and accurate. Trish, who else needs accurate pay? Who cares about that?

Trish 2:05
Who else cares about accurate payroll?

Steve 2:07
A whole generation does – Gen Z cares about that.

Trish 2:12
And I’ll tell you what, I think I heard rumor that one of our guests actually uses Paychex. So we’ll have to confirm that.

Steve 2:18
We’ll dig into that and other the other nonsense Gen Z is up to in a second. But please do visit our friends at Paychex. Go to Terms and conditions apply. But thanks to our friends at Paychex. And all kidding aside, if you want accurate payroll up to date payroll services just beyond customer service beyond comparison, check out our friends at Paychex. So good stuff like that lately.

Trish 2:51
Yes, you know what I mean? I kept going back to their booth at HR tech and just kind of plopping myself down and working from their booth. So thank you to them for that as well. They’re just a great group of people.

Steve 3:02
They are and speaking of a great group of people Trish, our co-hosts on the HR Happy Hour network. And we are today being joined by two of those hosts on the HR Happy Hour network. They are the hosts of The Play by Play podcast. First let’s welcome Jack McFarlane. Jack is a business major at the University of Utah, go Utes. He loves football, golf and hanging out with friends. That’s a that’s a pretty busy plate you’ve got there Jack. Jack, welcome. How are you?

Jack McFarlane 3:29
Good. How are you guys doing today?

Steve 3:31
We’re doing great. And let’s welcome Nick Schlemmer. Nick is currently attending the University of Nebraska, who’s on a winning streak, by the way, and pursuing a degree in Professional Golf Management with a minor in hospitality. Some of his hobbies are living a healthy lifestyle. I don’t know if that’s really hobby, Nick. Golf and podcasting, of course, Nick, welcome to show how are you?

Nick Schlemmer 3:52
Good. How are you guys? Thanks for having me.

Steve 3:55
Our pleasure, Trish, I want you to maybe kick us off because the impetus for this show was a milestone in the history of The Play by Play and I know it is important to you, I’d love for you to talk about that.

Trish 4:07
It is, so The Play by Play that the boys started was just over a year ago. I think the other day was their actual official one year anniversary of being podcasters. Which I just want to say if anyone is not familiar, that is a huge milestone. Most people actually stop podcasting within the first three months of starting and a few more make it to the six month mark. So the fact that these two young men have made this a whole year with no stopping in sight, I believe their show keeps getting better and better. And so at first I want to congratulate both of you, Jack and Nick. What a huge accomplishment. Did you ever think you’d be doing this a year? Jack? How about you?

Jack McFarlane 4:50
I think when we first started I’d like to imagine what it would be like in a year or even after just six months but it didn’t really seem real. And then now that the year has coming on it went by and like the blink of an eye. I think the biggest thing that we do is like we just really enjoy making the podcast, which maybe is a problem for others. Like they might see it as like, oh, we have to make money or something. But we just really enjoyed doing it. And so we take episode by episode, we have a great time with it.

Trish 5:17
Perfect. Nick, what about you? I mean, you’ve been doing this a whole year. Did you ever think you’d be at this milestone already?

Nick Schlemmer 5:23
No, like Jack said, it flew by like, it’s just become part of my weekly lives like, oh, we have to get ready for the podcast, all I get to record this week is gonna be fun. Like, what are we going to talk about? What are we going to do? It’s just it’s been a blast. And like Jack said, it’s flown by?

Trish 5:40
I love that. Steve, I know, you know, there are many times in our podcasting life, right? We’ve been doing this about almost 15 years. And there were times it’s difficult. It’s not just an easy, fun thing, right? Everyone sort of here’s the end result. But there’s a lot of work that goes in behind the scenes. And I know you and I both had moments, where we’ve been like, oh, my gosh, should we stop this? Right?

Steve 6:04
Yeah, for sure. It’s to do one, week by week and to do it well. And to kind of put the effort into that you need to create something that’s not just quality, but compelling, and fun and interesting. And when you start introducing guests into the mix, now Trish, we usually have guests on the show, and I know the guys can talk about the Sunday sometimes have guests, sometimes they don’t. But when you start welcoming guests into the mix, that’s a whole nother level of work to do. So yeah, it’s much more work than most people think. And I think that’s a testament to I mean, the huge percentage of podcasts that just go away, right? They go away after one episode or two episodes. Some of it is is you know, maybe they’re just not catching on or their hosts don’t give them enough time to catch on. But I think another part of the reason is the amount of work that really goes into it that people underestimate. So it’s it’s kudos to the guys for keeping it up for a year because honestly, they do it 99% of the work on it. Like we helped them get their start on the network way back when but no, I don’t do a thing to help them at this point.

Trish 7:11
You’re sharing on social.

Steve 7:12
Ready to get themselves. Yeah, and I did post and I want to have the guys weigh in here in a second. I did share their most recent show on LinkedIn. And one of the things I shared was, hey, this is like a great milestone the guys have been out this year. But the thing that I wrote is particularly right, because we’re an HR, HR podcasting network, primarily, right, most of our shows are about work in the workplace. And one of the things people who talk about work love to talk about these days is our Gen Z and Gen Z issues. And I think I put something on LinkedIn like, you know, other people like to speculate or talk about Gen Z, like we have Gen Z people knocking themselves listen to them directly. So maybe that’s my first question for the guys. And I’ll throw it to you Jack burst is yeah, what? What’s, what’s the show? Kind of the ethos, the mindset, what are you guys trying to bring forward, especially to our audience, right on the network? who quite frankly, are a lot of older folks like myself and Trish?

Jack McFarlane 8:08
Yeah, I think if we had to boil it down to one thing, it would just be maybe the mindset of Gen Z would be the best way I would describe it. Like if we take our last episode where we wanted to talk about marketing. And so we were researching for it and stuff. We just couldn’t find anything other than like brand marketing. But we were looking for more, you know, that business side of attracting Gen Z, and there’s just nothing out there. So we want to be the voices for our generation. And let companies know, hey, this is what we’d like this is what we’re looking for. This is what interests us, you know, because Gen Z is very different than any other generation. So we just want to put all that information out there for everyone use.

Steve 8:48
Nick, what’s like you’re trying to your point of view as a Gen Z, or like, what do you like? What do you like to bring forward on the podcast and hope people take away from it?

Nick Schlemmer 8:56
Yeah, I mean, just like Jack said, we just like to put our point of view into everything in the business world marketing world or even just generic lifestyle in everyday life. I mean, everything we talked about, we always tried to put our viewpoints and what our generation mainly thinks about certain aspects. And yeah, I think I think you hit it right on the nail. You nailed there, excuse me with just hitting our point of view.

Trish 9:21
You know, Nick, one of the things when we started this a year ago, it was really a bit of an experiment. And, you know, we talked about what should the show be about and it was all on you, you guys to come up with, you know how you were going to handle this. We’ve maybe given a few pointers here and there. But one of the things I’ve seen evolve in this year is that focus on how things do relate back to a business point of view. Can you talk a little bit maybe about how the show has grown in the year because it started? Certainly a little more fun. Not that you don’t still have fun segments, but maybe talk about how that has shifted, tying things back to business.

Nick Schlemmer 10:00
Yeah, of course. I mean, like you said in the beginning, the show just started off as just me and Jack kind of getting the hang of things, right learning how to put on a podcast and having fun with it. Because I get in the beginning, I feel like even maybe for you guys too, like, at the beginning, it was to have some fun with it. It was something new to start. And now I think, especially with having special guests on the show, learning their aspects and what information they brought, kind of helped me and Jack tie into the business world using what we’ve learned from them. And then also what we know and what our generation thinks is, is bringing that all back together.

Trish 10:37
Yeah, absolutely. Jack, I know for you, I mean, you’ve you had thought about or at least talked about potentially taking some sort of a broadcast angle before you started college, right? And so kind of went a different direction and more of a general business at this point as you’re figuring it out. But would you say there are benefits to being a podcaster? When it relates to what you’re studying in school? Or how you prepare for what you’re studying? Is there a benefit? Or is it not really tied to school at all?

Jack McFarlane 11:09
I’d say the benefit that I see the most would be on like public speaking side of things. So if you’re giving a presentation, or doing group work in class, like I’ve noticed, in this past year of podcasting, and I’ve always been a decent public speaker, but now it’s just like second nature for me. So you know, I could speak in front of class, no problem, I don’t get stage fright or anxiety about it. And then also, at Utah, they are now offering, like, classes in VR, and classes in AI and all this stuff that we’ve already covered on the podcast. So now I’m seeing like, topics that we’ve been talking about really starting to be implemented into the real world. And that excites me a lot of like, well, we must really be, you know, on the right track if it’s starting to come into school and stuff. So that makes me excited, too.

Steve 11:56
That’s great. I think it’s anytime college students particularly right, having a creative outlet outside of the normal coursework, I can see just huge benefits in that, whether it’s podcasting or writing or artwork, or even playing sport, even thanks, sports, which, I suppose isn’t a creative outlet, but still an outlet outside of the classroom, right? Because it’s, I know, back when I was in school, it was pretty easy to just try to grind through those classes and not do much else. And it you know, it’s a wasted opportunity, I suppose, right? Not taking advantage, some of these other things that you could do outside of the classroom, because, honestly, it sets you apart too. It’s a little bit distinctive to be able to put that on your on your profile or on your resume. Right. I think it’s so that’s a good thing as well. All right. So I want to talk to the guys about some of the highlights from the past year. As you look back on say, give me a show or two. I’ll start with the unit. Give me a show or two shows or gas. What’s been a highlight for you what stands out for folks who are just maybe getting introduced to you guys and the play by play, you know, because we have new listeners all the time. And it’s easy to forget that what what show would you say go back in the archive and listen to this one.

Nick Schlemmer 13:08
I would say going back pretty early on was our show with Big Brothers and Big Sisters like Jack mentioned with Tawana Meyers. I really enjoyed having her as a guest on the show. She was our second guest, I believe that we did. And just learning all about her organization and what she does and and how it ties back to the schools and everything it was it was great. So I would totally recommend, if you haven’t heard anything from us, go and check that show out for sure.

Steve 13:38
Nice guys, Jack, we have one that you’d like to call out as well for folks maybe to go back in the archive and take a listen to if they haven’t yet.

Jack McFarlane 13:45
Yeah, if you’re looking for a guest episode, I 100% agree with Nick, that was such a blast to record. And it was like so easy. And we just had a great conversation for 40-50 minutes with her. And that is a great episode to listen to. But if you want just me and Nick, I think I love our urine review. Yeah, that was starting the new year was really fun. I can’t wait for you know, in a month or two we’re gonna go back and see what our predictions what panned out. And that was a really fun one. Anything with a game time. That is my favorite segment. All our game times are so much fun. And then next thing and our last one was my favorite moment. The whole year. That was the best.

Trish 14:31
So Jack mentioned game time again, a lot of people you have a ton of listeners you’re getting probably 2500 to 3000 downloads and listens per episode, which for a year old podcast is phenomenal. But like Steve mentioned, you might have some people who aren’t familiar with you yet. Can you describe game time and what you all do in that segment?

Jack McFarlane 14:52
Yeah, game time. I mean, what don’t we do in game time we have done guests the price we did It college mascots, we, it’s just a way that, you know, we can end the show on a really high fun note that can get the audience involved because we make it to where everyone can play along. And we just started doing like with nixing introducing like punishments with a winner or loser. So now, it gives a little extra incentive to really crush the game times. But we just, we think it’s a great way to end the show on a high note.

Trish 15:24
Well, I have to tell you, too, I mean, sometimes Nick wins, sometimes you win game time. Every single time I listen, I actually play along. And you all both beat me every single time. So these are not easy answers, right? It’s a little bit of trivia. It’s a little bit of maybe estimation on certain games that you play, but it really is fun. And you’re right, it does bring people into the conversation. Nick, what do you think about gametime? I know it kind of gets it ebbs and flows right as to who’s on top. But overall, how do you like gametime?

Nick Schlemmer 15:58
I love doing game times. I mean, like you said I’ve had we’ve all had I’ve had mainly ups and downs. I’ve lost so many, Jack has just been kicking my butt here recently with the game times. But they’re a blast. And like tying it back to the audience and you playing along with us as well as like, I love to hear that. And they’ve they’ve just been so much fun to do.

Steve 16:21
Yeah, that’s a really fun segment. And it’s a good way to inject some fun into the show. Right? And that’s it’s a super idea. I was so glad when I heard it for the first time. And you guys credit for coming up with it was you think about moving forward, right into next year? And beyond? Right? Where you might want to take the show? Is there is there some things you’re thinking about for next year you might want to do? And maybe some new features, or maybe a dream guest that you say, boy, a guest this particular guest or maybe someone who does a certain type of job or involved in certain industries or Nick, you’re nodding. So I’ll go to you first there’s there’s someone on the list or something you’re thinking about for next year?

Nick Schlemmer 17:03
Yes. So I’m really looking forward to next year for what me and Jack and put together and some of the things that I’ve been thinking about is I want to do just more guest shows, I love speaking with other people learning what they know, and just getting to interact with them. And but also I want to I would love to have another guest on the show that has a podcast and just talk about podcasting. And what’s it done for them just like we’re doing today, but flip the roles to where we’re hosting them. I think that could be a fun time as well. And my dream guest this was a tough choice because I have way too many people that I look up to and want to be like, but I don’t know if you’ve heard of him. But excuse me, his name is David Goggins is my dream guest to have on the show. He is a retired Navy Seal, motivational speaker, working out healthy lifestyle kind of guy just, I would love to talk with him on the show.

Steve 17:57
We might be able to make that happen. Sounds like something we can get together.

Trish 18:01
I think the producer can absolutely make that happen. Right. Jack, how about you? I mean, obviously, you’ve got a lot of ideas too, for the show. Where what direction do you hope it goes in the coming year? And who would your dream guest be?

Jack McFarlane 18:15
Yeah, I agree with Nick, I think we should definitely do more guest shows we started out. Our first couple episodes was pretty split. And then I think we wanted to kind of grow our podcast at first just with us. So that’s what we’ve really been focused on. And I really liked the point. It’s that so we’re gonna definitely try to get some more really good exciting guests episodes. For a dream guest. I mean, if I had to pick just a dream guest I think I would choose like Steve Carell. I think he’s like the funniest guy ever made, maybe Will Ferrell is pretty funny, too. But more realistic podcast guests that I’ve been trying to get in touch with. I can’t do it. I’ve been trying to link them. But his name is Ryan Gardner. And he is the CEO of Bucked Up, which is like, you know, pre workout protein, you know, very, you know, like, like, Nick likes the healthy lifestyle living. And the headquarters is about five minutes from my apartment. So it’s Utah based. It’s a smaller company, like I’m very close to it. And so I’ve been trying to get in touch them. So maybe, maybe it will happen this year.

Trish 19:18
I feel like we could help with that one as well. These are realistic dream guests, right? These are people who I think would be more than happy to come on a Gen Z podcast and talk about, you know, their business and maybe how Gen Z is, you know, a question mark for them as well. Right. As Steve mentioned at the beginning of the show, it’s something that every single conversation I’ve had with companies in our industry are certainly wondering what Gen Z wants, what they think how should they be hired? How should they be paid? Write all the questions what, what benefits are important to Gen Z.

Steve 19:53
Yeah, I mean, you think about some of the workplace stories church this past year or last couple of years through the pandemic I mean, I would say two thirds of the kind of buzzy kinds of workplace stories emanate from Gen Z ers making Tik Tok videos, right? And that’s where all these terms came from, like quiet quitting and lazy girl job. Right. And what was the other one that just popped up the other day? Something about Monday’s Low Maintenance Monday or don’t do anything on Monday. I forget what the without maybe you guys know, I don’t know. Nick’s laughing you maybe you know what I’m talking about? Right?

Nick Schlemmer 20:31
Yeah, Low Maintenance Monday.

Steve 20:33
Low Maintenance Monday.

Trish 20:36
I want Low Maintenance Monday. That sounds really awesome.

Steve 20:40
Yeah, and there was just a one. I know this isn’t that like the Tik Tok show. And I gotta tell you, I have a very like, sporadic relationship with Tik Tok, which means I’ve made two in my life, one of them was very, very funny. But the the there was one that I just read about, I’m reading about this, right in the same publications where I get all my kind of big, heavy workplace news and what CEOs are doing and what’s happening in business, etc. And this was about was a girl, she was, I don’t know, call her 23 years old, just got out of college, graduated and got her first corporate gag, right, normal kind of nine to five job and I don’t know what she was doing. But she had to go there. Right? She had to physically go to the office to which is a drag, I guess every day. And the Tik Tok is her like literally just in tears, like lamenting how awful like the entirety of the experience has been for like you don’t have to, and you’re just crying her eyes out. And the old crusty people like myself might look upon this and say, Oh, Serves her right, you’ll figure you know, that’s the real world, blah, blah, blah, blah. But she’s really getting a lot of love in the comments. And in the stories about it. Because people are sympathizing and empathizing was there to say, hey, you know, what, you write a lot about the corporate world, and the real world really does suck, and it’s bullshit, excuse my language. And, you know, so we, you’re right. So I love how, you know, instead of just me speculating what that might mean, we can look to guys like Nick and Jack and the folks that they talk to you on their podcast to understand a little bit more about it, because it’s a real thing.

Trish 22:11
Yeah, I think that, you know, just in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been at two major HR tech events. And at every single event, there are multiple chief marketing officers or heads of sales, or, you know, Global Product leaders who are talking about the fact that they know, tick tock is where Gen Z gets a lot of their information. And, you know, Jack and Nick, I know on your on your last episode, you talk a lot about that, that everywhere you look on campus, and you’re both at two very large schools. You know, everywhere you turn, people your age are looking to tick tock for more than just, you know, a fun dance routine, right? The look into it for information. Jack, maybe could you for anyone listening? Could you give them a little bit of kind of as a Gen Z? Student? What are you looking to get from tic tac that maybe you’re not getting from mainstream media, like someone my age would get?

Jack McFarlane 23:07
Yeah, I think Tik Tok has really evolved to kind of like you said, how it used to be, you know, go on there and look for fun dance or more like a funny video. And now, everywhere you look, every company has, you know, they’re really quick, like six to 10 second videos, advertising something or some sort of student do like this a lot of just really short, sporadic clips. And that’s what everyone that I see watching Tik Tok around campus is looking for because personally, I don’t use tick tock that often. I’m much more of an ESPN app guy myself. So I don’t get a lot of news from tick tock. But I mean, just yesterday, I was up in school and half of my math class during class on tick tock, just you can see him scrolling with theropods and like, and it most of it is, like branded stuff nowadays, at least from what I can see on other people’s screen. So it has really evolved into more of almost like a big commercial.

Trish 24:05
So a follow up question then Jack. If you were someone my age, Steve’s age, right? And you’re in a leadership role at whatever organization, and you’re currently not making tic tock videos. What is a recommendation you would have for them to get into this? Without being cringy? I don’t even know I’m so old. I don’t even know if the word cringe is like cringe. Probably. Is that gone? So do they, I mean, obviously, marketing teams spend millions of dollars to get this right. But what I guess my question is, should they be hiring interns or Gen Z maybe who are still in school part time to actually work with them on branding specifically for tic tac, or other short format videos? Or is this something that someone my age can learn to do without being sort of out of the loop?

Jack McFarlane 25:01
My short answer is no, there’s almost zero chance that someone your age that has no idea what Tik Tok is could go in there and do anything remotely productive, I guess. I mean, it might be a little cringe but what you see a lot like, if I’m looking on you know, indeed or LinkedIn and stuff, uh, there’s a lot of social media management jobs that are like interns, like you said, but I would say if you’re a company that wants to get on Tik Tok, you have to hire someone that isn’t Gen Z, that there’s no other way you could do it, right? Because it would just be crunchy for lack of a better term.

Steve 25:37
Nick, you’re nodding. What do you think?

Nick Schlemmer 25:40
No, I completely agree with Jack to where if you were a company looking to market more directly to our generation, definitely having somebody that knows the different verbiage or wordings that we use, or what kind of even boils down to like how we do our own social media posts, like what kind of fonts and all kinds of background pictures and whatnot, like everything that ties into marketing ties right back to our generation, and how we like to see things. So I think having somebody in our generation would make a huge positive impact.

Trish 26:16
I’m glad you said that too. Because I had never really considered even things like backgrounds or fonts or things like that, that would be very generation specific in terms of attracting or holding attention. Last week, in an event, I had my daughter, Carleigh, there with me. And this is just one tiny example. And it was something as a 53 year old woman, it would just never enter my mind. We were walking by a booth and they had on the backside of the booth, kind of like you would see on a red carpet or something that said, Do you know the name of the company, it was a really cool backdrop. But no one was using it for that for for people like me, it’s the back of the booth, right? She was already thinking about like, oh, my gosh, this would be a great place to take a picture, we’re missing out on opportunities here, they need better lighting, they could have done this, this and this, that would have made it really easy for someone in my generation to share it.

Trish 27:11
So Jack, I guess my question for you is going to be when you’re in those situations, and you’re maybe someone who’s planning whether it’s an event, or just general marketing and branding. Are you also of the opinion that a younger person would be able to guide you for what you’re looking for? Even because I know, in this instance, some I would have snapped a selfie and shared it just fine. It wouldn’t bother me one bit about the lighting or whatever. It seems to me like your generation is much more mindful of a curated experience, or am I just miss reading that?

Jack McFarlane 27:49
No, I think you’re 100% Correct. If you could, if you were making an event or managing event, it would be very smart to have at least one younger person on the team to do exactly what Carly did at your event, because it can be hard, you know, first glance, oh, that’s a cool background like and you know, most people, like you said, might not think of the lighting, but a lot of like, younger people will be like, Oh, that’d be a great photo, but we need better lighting, or, you know, like, even just the music you’re playing in the background. And I think that kind of goes back to tick tock a bit like, You got to have specific sounds on tick tock that, wow, you know, some Gen Z will like, compared to like a much older song. Like, if you were at a convention and there was some song from the 70s playing, you know, someone my age unless it was really good song really popular song would be like, whatever they want, think about it. But it’s the little things like that we’re having someone that is actually in Gen Z would really help market towards Gen Z, because it’s just some things you don’t think of.

Trish 28:50
Steve, I think the difference in just like our podcast and how we do things, and the way that they do their podcast also is they’re paying attention to all those little details and nuances. I’ve never really thought about the background music. I’ve never really thought about some of these things. But question for you, Steve. I mean, do you think it’s because when we were that age, when we were in our early 20s, and joining the workforce, before the boomers, right, it was the senior generation, they really didn’t care what we thought. And we were taught I would love to know about you. But like I was told that at my first job, it was like, Hey, sit down, shut up, keep your head down. You better be here before your boss gets here. You better stay until after your boss leaves and like no one really asked what my opinion was for a very long time.

Steve 29:35
Is that like, Yeah, I think that was similar to my experiences in the corporate world, certainly in the first I don’t know, 710 years, even maybe maybe not quite 10 years. But the first five years or so I was working in corporate America. I was working for a very, very big company, right one that’s still around that everyone’s heard knows their name. And if you ever made a long distance phone call, in 1980 you probably used them as you’re a customer of them. But the Yeah, you were definitely there was definitely the mindset was different, right? The mindset was on pay your dues work your way up and pay your dues meant a lot of different things that meant, it could mean like you said, just get there early and stay late. It could mean doing the lousy assignments that no one else wanted. It could mean just not saying a word. You know, I can recall lots of meetings, I sat in and never said a word. You just sat there because you know, the people who are a level or two or three or whatever it was, you know, more than you. And the last thing I’ll say about it, though, what, for me personally, and for a lot of people, and I think even probably the advice would apply today to like, technology was my way to fast track a lot of that stuff, right?

Steve 30:53
Because just like it is today, right? We’re talking about tick tock and Gen Z embracing and understanding the ethos of tick tock. More so than older generations, it was the same thing back in the 80s. And the 90s. Right, when we were getting instead of tick tock it was means that Microsoft Excel, and, you know, email, quite honestly, like I’m so old, like I can remember when email was just becoming a thing in the company I worked for, which is shocking. And it was also shocking, is it’s still a thing, like we still email each other all day long, like idiots. But regardless, right? embracing those tools helped me jump out a line maybe a little bit and cut the line to better projects and more cool assignments. So I would say it’s probably similar today as well. But yeah, it’s, it’s really, I’m glad that we have the guys on the network, though, because like we made a decision a year ago, and for folks listening to this, who see a lot of other shows in their feed, right, we did the HR happy hour show on this same feed since 2009.

Steve 31:57
And if you’ve been a longtime subscriber over the last few years, you’ve seen The Play by Play show, and the Inclusion Crusade show, the HR Means Business show up and all the other titles on the network, they come on the same feed. And we thought long and hard about doing it differently, right? Creating separate feeds for all these shows. And we thought no, let’s let’s keep it all together on one feed and try to expose the folks who listen to the HR Happy Hour Show for a long time. And now the At Work in America show to all these other voices. And I think it’s been the right decision. I hope folks appreciate that. And I hope it’s done two things, right. It’s given guys like Jack and Nick and our other hosts on the network, the chance to reach more people, but also given the people who subscribe to the show a chance to hear different voices as well. And in this case, really, really interesting. Gen Z voices which honestly, most people don’t really get to hear all that much. Right?

Trish 32:49
Yeah, I agree. I think too, one of the things we wanted to make sure we were doing is that, you know, we’re of a certain age, we’re very close in age, and we have had a very similar,

Steve 33:00
I feel quite young though, I lost, I’m down at my lowest weight since college, by the way, just FYI. So I’m feeling very good.

Trish 33:08
You know what, I think that it becomes a little bit of an echo chamber. And so when you hear other podcasts of people our age talking about what Gen Z once I really just don’t find it as credible. And I think you have to ask Gen Z. And I am excited to say that this is the first time where, you know, I’ve been going to events and they’re they’re talking about what Gen Z wants. But again, you’re you’re talking you’re putting the heads of talent acquisition on stage or the head of HR on stage. They might know a little bit but you need to get Gen Z workers and students on stage you need to be asking them directly. And so I think Jack and Nick are doing that in a much better way than we could ever cover a Gen Z topic. We just are not as credible. So you know, again, kudos to to you guys for tackling some of the things that we just can’t talk about with credibility.

Steve 34:05
Let’s give credit. Let’s give the guys the last word before we let them go back to school work, whatever it is they’re doing. We’ve got so much going on. Nick, I’ll throw it to you first. Any final thoughts anything you want to promo maybe shows coming up soon or give us like 30 seconds here.

Nick Schlemmer 34:22
It’s been great being on the show today talking to you guys. And like we talked about earlier this year, this upcoming year, me and Jack, we’re just really looking forward to what it brings in and what’s in store for us and everybody around us listening and what we can bring to them and make their days better and have more fun with our podcast. So looking forward to it.

Steve 34:41
Love it now. How about you Jack Any parting thoughts for our audience today?

Jack McFarlane 34:47
Well, first and foremost, I just want to say a huge thank you not to just you guys, but everyone listening for giving us this opportunity because you know it’s not really a podcast. No one’s listening to it. So we were me and a group both incredibly grateful. And then looking towards the future. Like we said earlier, lots of guests going to be coming. And also a boost, or better performance in audio and stuff, I know the whole network, we’re gonna switch over. So shows will sound even better. And I think we’re gonna try and throw in like fun sound effects and custom segment sounds. So a lot of fun stuff in the next year to come.

Steve 35:26
It’s tough, I love it. I’m tough guys.

Trish 35:29
I’m so excited to Steve for this. Because even you know, he mentioned the the sound quality and so forth. And you and I take that very seriously. And we always have, but to have younger people who are able to research things in a different way. Jack barely touched the surface earlier, he did mention research, these guys put a ton of time into preparation for their shows preparation for how things sound. And they’re really helpful to us. And they’re gonna continue to be helpful to our show as well going forward. So I think that’s just a testament to if you are not working with people from Gen Z, and I don’t mean having them come in and do meaningless work, right, busy work like we used to do with interns years ago. hire some Gen Z workers get their opinions, ask what they think and really let them sort of lead where things need to be going. Because I think that your overall business will be much more successful for it.

Steve 36:27
Good stuff. So thanks. Let’s thank the guys again Nick Schlemmer and Jack McFarlane, hosts of The Play by Play here on the HR Happy Hour media network. Let’s thank our friends at Paychex of course for all the support. We’ve got our Year End Show with our good friend Tom Hammond coming up soon Trish I know popped up on my calendar. The other day that we’re going to be recording the year end payroll prep and your begin preparation show with Tom from Paychex, which is an annual tradition here on the show and we love what we got to see Tom recently and was so great to hang out with him some so look forward to that. Plenty of other good stuff. We’ve got our show with our friends at Chewy coming up. Trish that was a great show of pets and pets at work. So check that out and everything else on the network as well. It’s all at wherever you get your podcasts thanks to Paychex again, of course and for Trish Steed. My name is Steve Boese. Thank you so much for listening. We will see you next time and bye for now.

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