The enterprise and Generation Z
By Mao Gen Foo November 25, 2015
- Gen Z is ambitious and values career growth and financial stability
- They will make up almost 50% of the workplace in 2020
THE post-millennial generation, or Gen Z as it is commonly referred to, has started to enter the workforce, its young people flashing their tech-savvy upbringing and digital understanding in the eyes of their new employers.
They have been raised on the cloud, mastered mobile technology and have an entrepreneurial flare that means they are ambitious, hard-working and time-sensitive.
The arrival of Generation Z and their demands in the workplace may be the kickstart organisations need to revitalise their digital makeup.
They’ve grown up with easy access to the Internet and are heavily reliant and persistent on connectivity. Their knowledge with regards to technology is almost second nature, which has earned them the nickname ‘digital natives.’
In essence, they are equipped with the ‘tools’ needed to get the job done!
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The workforce is shifting, and this shift is not only applicable to specific enterprises, nor does it affect one specific demographic, but applies to all.
Executives must acknowledge that the employment landscape is in constant flux as they are impacted by the influence of disruptive forces.
Aside from Gen Z, who represents the future, one must recognise that the factors which shape the workplace come in the form of disruptive technologies and shifting workplace demographics.
The workplace now has numerous contributors – traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, who unlike the others, were born to work and play around technology.
Communication amongst Gen Z is preferred through the form of social media, virtual relationships are as important as physical, they are hyperconnected, and this plays a huge part with in their makeup as a generation.
They won’t be able to distinguish between online and offline, because for the most part, their devices will keep them connected. This unique characteristic heavily influences their mindset with regards to access to information.
As the workplace becomes increasingly younger and digital technologies become more influential, each demographic will feel the changes that are set to come forth as Gen Z begins to make their mark.
By 2020, the workplace will be made up of a mobile workforce. This mobility is supported by the demand of connectivity.
Enterprises must ensure that information is instantaneous, data platforms are compatible with difference devices, and mobile environments must be stable enough to facilitate the transparent exchange of information.
The ability to immediately access information will ultimately represent the focal point of how fast an organisation can operate and grow. The workplace, due to digital technologies, has already become interconnected and independent.
2020 will see the domination of zero-distance communications because of open communication platforms, collaboration technologies and even video-conferencing.
This ability to cut down communication time will most likely be linked to the accessibility of information that is demanded by Gen Z.
The adaption to this new shift must be welcomed by the current workplace demographic and must be a necessity in order to retain Gen Z and to ensure that the rest of the workforce keeps up to date with the growth of technology.
Gen Z are not the best at doing thorough research. Due to the rise of Google as a research tool, many within and outside this generation look to find the answer within minutes, rather than develop a deep understanding of the subject matter.
Therefore, in order for Gen Z to be successful, organisations need a solution to classify information and enable Google-like searching faster.
Gen Z are intelligent, capable and impatient; they will always look for ways to deduce an answer in the quickest, most accurate form.
Therefore, implementing an underlying Enterprise Information Management (EIM) provides a platform to capture intelligent information and data for the workforce (Gen Z and others) to immediately access.
This benefits more than the Gen Z; it increases efficiency across the board and speeds up the information-gathering process.
The ‘digital elite’ or Generation Z will make up almost 50% of the workplace in 2020. By this time, criteria for jobs focused upon by Gen Z, is that social media usage is supported, and has freedom in the form of device flexibility and mobility.
A study by Forrester found that Gen Z are placed second with iPhone ownership at 24%, which comes as no surprise given they were born into the technological revolution that we are now accustomed to.
This on-the-go nature of Gen Z shouldn’t be a deterrent – however, it must be accommodated by a system that must be available at all times and easily accessible, especially if productivity is the desired outcome.
Given this, it falls upon organisations to be more agile, and move into a more streamlined business model which involves leaving behind legacy systems and upgrading to the latest technology.
Singapore is the perfect place to get up to date. A study by Randstad showed that only half (53%) of the employees in Singapore feel that their company is ready for the arrival of Gen Z, even though the majority believe that Gen Z are next to take over.
Enterprises now can prepare and have in place processes that allow the fluid integration of Gen Z. This process must be transparent, flexible and fast, to accommodate the non-negotiable demands of Gen Z.
Generation Z, as influencers in the digital age, believe that they achieve greater productivity when they are given more autonomy over when, when, and how they work, evidence suggests.
Through secure management platforms, access to information can accommodate this autonomous request.
The stability of an organisation is at a higher percentage, and although it may not seem like it, Gen Z are very conscious of an organisation’s ability to maintain stable operations. Their upbringing has exposed them to financial crisis that have affected the world, and they understand that financial obstacles are prevalent in any business setup.
Given their complete awareness of the dangers of risk, mismanagement and financial woes, Gen Z look for stability that is at the core of any organisation.
This generation isn’t looking for the hotshot, fast-paced high-risk job; they aspire to be successful in a stable and secure career.
Mao Gen Foo is vice president, Asia, at enterprise information management solutions provider OpenText.
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