This unique generation expects more from employers — and employers can benefit from these digital natives.
The corporate workplace has changed quite a bit during the past few decades. Gone are the tightly arranged rows of wooden desks with employees smartly dressed in formal attire, spending the day talking on their office phones, creating reports on typewriters. Thanks to technological advances, by the 90s, offices became routinely outfitted with desktop computers or laptops. And by the time we hit the early 2000s, employees began working in a variety of settings – from more traditional desks to modular workstations to open, collaborative workspaces.
Then came the global pandemic and the mandatory work-from-home arrangement. As the global health emergency subsided, offices began re-opening. But employers have had to adjust to a workforce that includes workers who embrace working remotely and don’t wish to return to the office.
Now the corporate world must prepare for another major shift – the arrival of Gen Z in the workforce. How will the arrival of this unique generation change the corporate environment? And what can ARM organizations do to welcome Gen Z employees into the workforce?
What you can do for Gen Z
Generation Z is defined as those individuals born in the late 1990s to the early 2010s. In the U.S., Gen Z has been raised in a world defined by continuous political and economic upheavals. Many grew up in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack. This was followed by war, recession, a global pandemic, demonstrations focused on racial issues and a governmental insurrection. Thus, Gen Z individuals find it difficult to maintain trust in authority and the institutions meant to manage society.
Some older members of Generation Z have already entered the workforce, but not as many as you might think. Gen Z has been the slowest generation to enter the workforce early in life. Only 58% of the Gen Z population ages 18 to 21 have joined the workforce, compared with 72% of millennials within that age group.
This group is also the most ethnically and racially diverse generation, and they want that reflected in the workplace. They also demand good pay and a sense of purpose. These are technically savvy individuals who are accustomed to simultaneously use multiple apps and devices. This efficiency in their personal lives must translate to their work experience. And they also desire a strong work-life balance, as well as the freedom to not be tied to an office.
Not to mention, they are willing to walk away from any job if these desires are not met.
Yet, these demands should not put fear into the hearts of ARM organizations looking at a group of Gen Z candidates. After all, these organizations are already adopting innovative solutions that make their staff more efficient and easier to manage when working outside of the office – exactly what Gen Z employees are looking for.
For example, specific repetitive tasks can be automated, freeing agents for activities that require a more personal touch. And the data gathered by innovative solutions can help collections and recovery organizations determine which accounts are most likely to pay, allowing agents to focus on those.
These solutions include automated workflows, which allow employees to increase their contribution. It also promotes process adherence with up-to-date workflow protocols accessible within flexible workplace environments.
These workflow efficiencies help provide Gen Z employees with that sense of purpose they desire. They can focus on helping people, instead of just inputting and managing data.
What can Gen Z do for you
Gen Z employees are digital natives. They have, in essence, grown up with the cloud, social media, and internet access wherever they go. They also have only known a digital world where practically everyone has a smartphone. And ARM organizations must tap into this Gen Z expertise.
For example, many ARM organizations are exploring the option of incorporating text messaging into their digital strategies. This is a shrewd option considering that text messages have a 98% open rate and that 95% of text messages are read within the first three minutes. For your Gen Z employees, texting is more natural than a phone call. Naturally, this makes them a valuable resource for guidance in this area.
Members of Gen Z are also more diverse, tolerant, educated, and socially committed than some of our more recent generations. And, according to studies, 51% of Gen Z employees are more likely to prioritize health and well-being over work. They also list positive culture, mental health, and well-being benefits and a sense of purpose/meaning as their top three priorities.
In addition, Gen Z employees want an employer who cares about their well-being. They want their leaders to be ethical, open, and transparent. And they want leaders who support a diverse and inclusive workplace.
For ARM organizations who haven’t already done so, this is the ideal time to begin incorporating many of these changes into their corporate culture. By embracing flexible work environments, a positive culture, and employee well-being, ARM organizations will be in a prime position to attract the next generation of workers. In addition, appealing to Gen Z’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility is a smart business strategy.
A formidable combination
Employers must take note of Gen Z’s background and mindset as this unique generation continues marching into the workplace. Organizations need to be aware that Gen Z employees are focused on more collective and holistic notions. This new employee group wants to know how their jobs and careers can help build long-term security for their communities and the world around them, as well as their lives outside the workplace.
Organizations that embrace this unique outlook can not only transform their corporate culture, but can also benefit from the skills that these digital natives have grown up with.
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