Businesses urged to accommodate new generation joining the workforce

Freshworks has released a global report, with research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), looking at the attitudes and motivations of Generations Y and Z towards employment, technology adoption, and brand interaction.

The new report identifies trends amongst these two generations, looking at the impact of digitalisation in both work and non-work settings.

It’s not all about the money

The study shows that the newest generations to enter the workplace are rethinking what they want out of jobs and employers. Hybrid working and flexibility outrank salary as the top factor when choosing where to work. That preference is 10 per cent higher among the younger Gen Z participants, reinforcing the generational shift from salary to freedom. Lack of engagement from companies, poor management, and career advancement, as well as a desire to travel, are key reasons why Gen Z and Gen Y quit their jobs. ‘Helicopter’ management, strict hours, and poor communication were the main criticisms of leadership teams.

Communication and collaboration are standard

Easy-to-use technology is an expectation for the youngest generations in the workspace. Unsurprisingly, the perfect workplace tech consists of a laptop combined with social media and instant messaging capabilities and collaborative apps, such as Slack, Teams, and Zoom.

However, Chatbots and AI capabilities were listed by respondents as ways to improve employee engagement, as well as offer more self-service options to carry out simple tasks. Gen Z and Gen Y both wanted to see omnichannel contact used for support, emphasizing real-time messaging, and suggesting that these new generations seek instant assistance and real-time answers.

Emails are cancelled

Today, social media is the primary method for how Generations Y and Z prefer to engage with brands. In fact, nearly twice the amount of Gen Y respondents (compared to Gen Z) cited influencers as critical factors in their purchasing decisions. Smartphones are the way to purchase products, and text-heavy websites drive down engagement. While participants state that brand trust, authenticity, and personalisation are key, high prices, poor experiences, and lack of or poor-quality IM/chat for customer support remain major turn-offs.

John Crossan, Vice President & General Manager of Europe, Freshworks said, “if businesses really want to tap into the right talent, they need to know what makes them tick – both Gens Y and Z want immediate engagement with brands and colleagues, expecting real-time response times making chatbots and AI a standard expectation, and need,” said. “Long response times and clunky chat features are being routinely rejected.”

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