The oldest Gen Zs are 27. We repeat, the oldest Gen Zs are 27!
This means that right now, Gen Zs are entering the workforce in droves. As companies, we need to keep up to date with how the latest generation communicates with one another: memes.
So whether it’s your team’s Slack channel or a Powerpoint presentation, let’s cover how to appropriately send memes to your employees.
Before you tell us, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, consider this.
Memes aren’t a 14-year-old pastime. Gen Zs grew up with memes, and seeing them and sharing them across social media as a way to express what they think and feel, as well as keep up with news, is completely natural. Our What Gen Z Actually Do Online report even found that 33% have created one themselves.
The thing is, there’s a stigma that memes are unprofessional. But when done right, a punchy meme can convey feelings beyond words and help you to connect more with your team.
You’ll be more approachable. You’ll strengthen bonds. You’ll get people motivated. And when emails feel dry and draining, meme LOLs can be the perfect antidote to that. We don’t need to read a Harvard Business Review article on the benefits of laughing in the office to know that that’s true (but here it is, anyway).
And hey, just give it a crack.
The best memes are the ones that say the right thing to the right people at the right time:
1. Be relatable
What does your office life look like? Celebrate the highs and chuckle about the lows. New client? Zoom technical difficulties? Office clean-up this Friday? What fertile ground for a meme! For an ocean of ideas, Google “workplace memes”. And do try to remain positive. TGIF! = good. TGIF, because our jobs suck! = not good.
2. Piggyback off others
If you can, get in on the big inside joke by creating one based on what’s currently viral. There are many ways to find them, but the easiest is to follow meme accounts (e.g. @epicfunnypage, @fuckjerry, @sarcasm_only, @daquan) and businesses at the top of their meme game. For this to work, you need to jump on it at their popularity peak.
3. Be kind
Double-check the history of the meme using unofficial meme encyclopedia Know Your Meme, to make sure it’s not controversial in any way. And think about what you’re really saying – memes are often pejorative and sarcastic, so be certain that your meme isn’t discriminatory. For the more serious conversations, it’s best to stick to the usual office formalities.
4. Create and send!
If you’re creating a new meme, use a free meme generator like Canva, Imgur and Imgflip. Slap it into your message, and see how the crowd responds. Tough crowd? Sometimes when something is so bad, it’s good-funny. But keep trying. If it comes to it, gracefully do a meme about how bad you are at memes. Life goes on.