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, this generation accounts 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 and being thrust into a world of work turned upside down by a pandemic and widespread social unrest.
In recent times, ‘be kind’ has become a mantra on how to live life in a troubled and uncertain age. The same mantra could equally be applied to how different generations treat each other and how employers can learn from the mistakes of the past. 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 Generation Z and nothing has really changed. Almost 4 in 10 Zoomers describe themselves as ‘hard working’ (38%), whereas a quarter of previous generations i.e. Y, X and Baby Boomers describe them as ‘lazy’ (22%, 29% and 23% respectively). 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. After the challenges of recent times the world needs to tap into the fresh ideas, energy and natural enthusiasm of youth. The same could be said of contact centers.
The latest Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) solutions help to create a positive contact center environment in which Generation Z will thrive. Aim for:
Follow this simple checklist to attract and develop the best Generation Z talent. For more ideas, watch our upcoming webinar or download the Health of the Contact Center 2021: Agent Wellbeing and the “Great Resignation” report.