The Enterprise and Generation Z

By Lisa Zangari

The post-millennial generation — or Generation Z — has started to enter the workforce, quickly demonstrating their tech-savvy upbringing and digital understanding to their new employers. They have been raised on the Cloud, mastered mobile technology at a young age and have an entrepreneurial flair, which means they are ambitious, hard-working and time-sensitive.

At OpenText, we understand that the workforce is shifting, and this shift is happening in all industries at organizations of all sizes. Executives must acknowledge that the employment landscape is in constant flux, but the arrival of Generation Z and their non-negotiable demands into the workplace may be the digital kick-start an organization needs.

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 welcome 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 hyper connected. Social media and virtual relationships are as important as physical and this plays a huge part with their make-up as a generation. They will not 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.

Gen Z lacks the patience and skill-sets for thorough research. Due to the rise of Google as a research tool (often the only 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, organizations 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) strategy 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.

Gen Z are on-the-go and independent. Evidence suggests that, as influencers in the digital age, this generation believes that they achieve greater productivity when they, as employees, are given more autonomy over where, when, and how they work. Through secure management platforms, access to information can accommodate this autonomous request.

Gen Z values stability over flash. Although it may not seem like it, Gen Z are very conscious of an organization’s ability to maintain stable operations. In their lifetimes, they have weathered financial and real estate crises and countless global issues. Given their complete awareness of the dangers of risk, mismanagement and financial woes, Gen Z look for stability at the core of any organization. This generation is not looking for the hotshot, fast-paced, high-risk job; they aspire to be successful in a stable and secure career.

By 2020, the “digital elite” or Gen Z will make up almost 50% of the workplace. Given this, organizations should now actively be taking steps to move into a more agile, streamlined business model, which involves leaving behind legacy systems and embracing the digital world.

Lisa Zangari is Chief Human Resources Officer at OpenText.