Written by Chris Amani, CEO, Humanity
Generation Z – those 2.5 billion people born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s – are about to turn the HCM (Human Capital Management) profession on its head. With most of them in or entering their 20s in the next several years, they’re fast becoming a significant portion of the total workforce pool. More importantly, they are poised to have a disproportionate and lasting impact on virtually every corporate HCM process, none more significant than on dynamic workforce scheduling which is at the heart of organizational profitability, productivity, and employee retention.
Gen Z is the first wave of employees who’ve never lived without digital technology. Dubbed “digital natives,” their digital experience began at birth. They’ve never lived without the Internet, Wi-Fi, mobile phones, social media, GPS, ride-sharing, and virtually every other aspect of today’s ubiquitous digital lifestyle. Generation Z represents a new class of digital citizens.
Companies that are quick to integrate new systems and adapt to new processes that align with Gen Z priorities stand to benefit dramatically. Those that don’t will join a long list of time-past corporate roadkill – the Sears, Oldsmobiles and Howard Johnsons of a bygone era.
This will be particularly critical in markets where the workforce is fluid, where certification and compliance issues regulate workforce management, and in a situation where employees have multiple personal priorities, including family obligations, ongoing education, long commutes, and even multiple jobs. Hospitality, healthcare, retail, transportation, and a wide range of service industries are in the crosshairs.
Successfully keeping a local, regional, national, and even global workforce that includes a significant portion of Gen Z employees scheduled – in place, engaged and on time – will require a change in mindset, and quite likely the addition of future-proofed new tools. Unfortunately, when it comes to dynamic shift scheduling, most of the leading horizontal HCM platforms come up short in this regard.
What’s missing is an approach that integrates the Gen Z personality and can thrive in a generational mindset that operates differently than that of today’s workforce. At Humanity, where cloud-based, app-driven workforce shift scheduling is our sole focus, we believe that if your scheduling platform integrates the following three attributes you’ll be successful at attracting and retaining a loyal Gen Z workforce:
- Mobile – Today 95 percent of Gen Z owns a smartphone. But what’s really important to understand is how they’re using these devices. A recent Gen Z study conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics implies that this generation lives on smartphones. Therefore, businesses and recruiters need to adapt mobile interfaces to engage this new transforming workforce. Transitioning from an Excel sheet or hand-written schedules to cloud-based scheduling technology is an initial step to making it easier for businesses to seamlessly integrate staff scheduling platforms for the Gen Z workforce.
- Sharing – Gen Z’ers love to share. This is epitomized by the success of Uber and Lyft – Generation Z is far less concerned with car ownership than any generation since World War II. As shared mobility continues to grow, solutions like a cloud-based scheduling application can help employees directly share shift change and vacation requests from mobile devices. Being digital natives, not only does this appeal to the Gen Z workforce by allowing them to easily take control of their own schedules, but managers and supervisors also benefit with more time to focus on essential business operations instead of back-and-forth communications to manage shifts.
- Flexibility – 50 percent of Gen Z’ers found flexibility as “very important” when choosing to work for an organization, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Flexible working arrangements enhance the degree of employee loyalty. When scheduling is a simple and flexible process, talent attraction, retention and productivity are all bolstered, especially in industries where employees do not have fixed, standard or repetitive schedules. With advanced, data-driven scheduling, Gen Z’ers can request to work additional hours, work specific times that match their schedules and put in vacation and time-off requests, all in one simple platform.
Generation Z brings a brand-new wave of talent as they enter the workforce, so it is essential for employers to recognize the needs and motivations that drive them. By providing the tools that cater to their work styles, employers are not only gaining Gen Z interest, but also setting them up for success which can lead to long-lasting work relationships, and ultimately happier customers and an improved bottom line.
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