In many ways, Gen Z is a prototype generation when it comes to today’s workplace experience. Previous generations formed fast and easy bonds with co-workers over shared face-to-face daily office experiences, so much so that when the pandemic forced everyone into isolation and remote work practices, many welcomed it as a change from the daily grind.
Virtual quiz nights and office remote happy hours became popular. People loved the novelty of it, and soon the idea of going back to work every day was anathema to them.
3 Ways Astrology Can Work at Work
- It can help employees find common ground and build relationships.
- A team event based on it can help employees unwind.
- Interviewers can use it as an icebreaker.
Today’s first jobbers, however, missed out on that important phase when you start a job and meet new colleagues who, over time, can become friends. Their first day at work was a completely remote and distanced experience, followed by a hybrid work model that has turned offices into very lonely places for these young people who have yet to properly meet and get to know fellow workers.
Yet many young people still place a premium on workplace culture. In fact, 77 percent of 20- to 30-year olds said company culture was extremely important to them when considering a new job, according to recent HiBob research.
Astrology as a Connector
Ever resourceful, this generation is using creative ways to connect with others at work.
In addition to using social media to document workplace experiences, Gen Z is also bringing in the esoteric, in particular using their love of astrology to help them find fun common ground with colleagues they don’t get to see often in a bid to develop stronger relationships. Your company’s Millennial workers might already have a Slack channel for horoscopes.
Before introducing it to your team, see if they’re actually interested in astrology by sending out an anonymous survey that focuses on employee interests. A strong HR tech platform can help gauge what employees are looking for as it relates to company culture and team bonding.
If your team is particularly into Zodiac signs, perhaps this could be a culture building moment for employees to learn more about their signs, horoscopes and what’s in store for the year ahead. A team event that explores astrology can offer employees a chance to unwind and learn more about how their colleagues think.
Astrology as a Hiring Tool
If this trend is creating positive outcomes for company culture, could it also factor into hiring practices in the western world?
Personality assessments at work aren’t new. Over the years, tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator have been used to help narrow down potential job candidates and encourage team building. Yet there is no real science to it; rather, it is based on the psychological types laid out by Carl Jung’s philosophy, which in turn takes much from the archetypes of astrology. So why not directly refer to astrology?
If your company culture is about bringing your authentic selves to work, then astrology can be a creative new application to drive employee connection and friendships.
Finding a team of colleagues whose strengths and areas of development complement each other is no easy task, no matter what the nature of the business. Likewise, as a manager, you want to help push employees to be the best versions of themselves and, by the same token, get the best out of employees for the business. If your company culture is about bringing your authentic selves to work, then astrology can be a creative new application to drive employee connection and friendships.
Using Astrology Responsibly
If you’re considering this approach, be mindful of the benefits and shortfalls of such an initiative.
When using Zodiac signs as a tool in your HR toolbox, carefully consider how it can be responsibly integrated into the professional arena. If you believe in astrology, you can argue that it has the potential to help give employers insight into a candidate’s personality and what motivates them. It can also be used to drive engagement and help conversations flow during the interview process.
Conversely, bringing the practice into a professional setting is risky. As with more traditional personality assessments, astrological readings should always be taken with a grain of salt. They should serve as a starting point for a deeper conversation with candidates and employees, not as definitive evidence of a person’s qualifications for a job.
To be on the safe side, use astrology as an informal bonding mechanism and not as a candidate screening tool.
Astrology is highly subjective and, as a result, can lead to bias. It also runs the risk of being perceived as discriminatory as it’s generally deemed as an unreliable and untested way of evaluating people’s characteristics.
Astrological profiling certainly has its uses whether it be for relationship or friendship compatibility, but if companies are thinking of introducing it into the workplace they should proceed with caution. Above all, it should not be used to pass judgment on others or their potential compatibility with the company.
To be on the safe side, try using astrology as an informal bonding mechanism, not as a candidate screening tool. It can be used for light-hearted fun or a source of relaxation for employees, especially Gen-Zers, for whom “what’s your sign” is much more than a pick-up line.