Every generation brings to the workplace a set of characteristics that are shaped by the events and cultural norms of the day. Take Generation Z, Gen Z, or Zoomers as they are fondly called. Born between 1997 and 2015, Generation Z employees account for nearly 25% of today’s workforce.
While it shares the advantages of being the first generation of mobile natives, Generation Z faces other challenges such as growing up in a recession, being thrust into a world of work during a global pandemic, and widespread social unrest. So how can this generation help save the world? In this article, we will discuss the report from Calabrio about Agent Wellbeing and the Great Resignation. Uncover the secret to why these younger employees are the key to the future.
Gen Z employees know the importance of maintaining their mental health. It has become the new way to deal with so much unrest. These young workers know that some of the main mental health challenges boil down to how their work environment is structured. That’s why in recent times, ‘be kind’ has become a mantra on how to live life during uncertain times.
This creates a unique opportunity for employers to learn from mistakes made with previous generations. Think about how Millennials were treated. Who can forget that iconic front cover of TIME Magazine in May 2013 that screamed ‘Me, me, me generation – lazy, entitled narcissists?’ It was a perception that pervaded the media at the time and caused unnecessary trauma to Millennials everywhere.
Fast forward to Gen Z workers, and nothing has really changed. Almost 4 in 10 Zoomers describe themselves as ‘hard working’ (38%), even though some older generations like Baby Boomers describe them as ‘lazy’ (23%). Is it a case of history repeating itself?
It’s time for organizations to tune into the culture of Generation Z and not assume the worst as they did with Millennials. In fact, Zoomers are an optimistic group, with 25% saying they expect to have a better life than their predecessors. They also believe that having a job they love is the most important thing.
It is time to cultivate this positive Gen Z spirit. Instead of thinking of them as “lazy,” consider the true value of supporting a work-life balance. After the challenges of recent times, the world needs to tap into the fresh ideas, energy, and natural enthusiasm of youth. If contact centers are looking to stay on top, they will need to embrace the needs of their younger employees. But, how to make the switch to support your gen employees (that even supports older workers)?
Supporting your employees doesn’t need to be challenging. The latest workforce management solutions are built to help balance remote work, offer flexibility, and more. These are some of the key things needed to help maintain a work-life balance that’s attractive to both younger and older workers. Let’s explore some of the ways to build a work environment to entice and retain talented Gen Z workers:
The Calabrio survey of more than 250 contact center professionals revealed what agents were craving. After higher pay (55%), the thing agents wanted most was flexibility (34%). Younger employees value flexibility and the ability to have a hybrid or remote work schedule. Modern WFM self-scheduling solutions provide autonomy to facilitate this flexibility.
For example, the latest AI-driven Chatbots take shift preferences from agents and update their schedules automatically. They approve requests for leave and overtime in seconds. This gives agents the breathing space and extra income they want, while contact centers get the coverage they need.
Jobs may no longer be for life, but younger employees still desire meaningful career growth and opportunities. Our report showed 34% of surveyed agents wanted more career development. This is a great opportunity for managers to focus on performance coaching to keep even the youngest workers engaged.
Having access to their average adherence, handle time, or work time scores, gives them a clear path to maintain their contact center goals. This also means agents can see where they need to improve and how they can take control of their own performance.
Gen Z wants simplified processes and systems for maximum impact. Too many applications in different places will be rejected by this age group. Support younger workers with technology that blends mobile and desktop applications with CRM and critical business systems. This will provide a single pane of glass where complete customer journeys are reflected.
It will also make it easier to understand what channels customers use and let agents see previous purchases and past conversations. Having the right technology in place will support service advisors of all ages. This is because they’ll be able to process customer issues faster and easier.
Compared to previous generations, Gen Z greatly values gender equality (13% Gen Z vs 1% Baby Boomers) and racial equality (20% Gen Z vs 6% Baby Boomers). This shows that younger workers and consumers want brands that are as diverse as they are.
Similarly, younger employees want to acquire diverse skills that are often hindered by a traditional ‘cookie-cutter’ employee experience. Thankfully, the modern contact center has a myriad of quality management, WFM, and analytic solutions to satisfy their drive. Managers should aim to help quench Gen Z workers’ thirst for knowledge, support mental health initiatives, and provide career incentives.
Now that you understand what drives Generation Z employees, it’s time to make sure your contact center can support them. The last thing you want is to miss out on retaining and recruiting top talent. Thankfully, you can follow the above checklist to really attract and develop your young agents. Learn more about how you can support your agent’s wellbeing.