How Companies can Prepare for Generation Z

Tom Castley
Tom Castley
In Culture, HR, Incentives
Tom Castley joined Xactly EMEA in July 2014 to lead the growth of the company in the region. He has over 15 years of sales and CRM experience across leading cloud organizations and is highly renowned in the industry as a true customer experience champion. Tom spent 7 years at Oracle to support the expansion of its Cloud CRM business, and managed a struggling sales team, which he successfully turned around in a year. Prior to Oracle, Tom worked in RightNow Technologies, where he was responsible for UK sales across a variety of industries.

For many people the end of the summer period means they can start the run up to the next holiday period, Christmas. But  those in their early to mid-twenties they may be focusing on starting a whole new chapter of their life. Traditionally this is the period where students who have completed school and studies start looking for work.

This means that for the first time ever we have four generations represented in the workforce, with Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s onwards) joining The Millennials, Generation X, and the longest serving generation, The Baby Boomers.

Getting the most from the four generations

This poses both opportunities and challenges for any HR department. As the skills shortage widens and the most diverse companies continuously come out top of the pile, attracting and retaining this talent is vital.

Following the release of our 4G Workforce Report, we have taken a look at what organizations can do to ensure they make the most of a diverse workforce.

There are many benefits to a diverse workforce, such as:

  • Better market understanding
  • Encouraging employee productivity
  • Attracting the best talent
  • Improving creativity and problem solving
  • Organizational flexibility

But what are the obstacles to reaping these benefits?

One-size fits all thinking

The biggest mistake of companies is to continue with the status quo. Each of the four generations has different ways to meet their goals, and organizations need to recognize this. Having grown up with technology at their fingertips, younger staff expect instant feedback and answers. Sales compensation is no different; transparency and visibility of performance against targets helps to inspire and motivate them.

Focusing only on money 

No one works for free but beyond a certain point, there is more to a job than just the take home salary. A happy and fulfilled workforce undoubtedly yields the best results. By tracking an individual’s performance in real time, recognition, praise and training can be given in the most effective way. Some sales teams will keep track of monthly sales on a whiteboard or a spreadsheet, but this lacks the real-time data needed to assess individual sales performances.

No 4 generation plan

This is not a case for figuring out how to motivate millennials or attract more generation Z employees, it’s about successfully integrating the four generations in the workplace. Nearly a quarter of British employees feel their managers are not effective at promoting teamwork amongst colleagues of different ages. Organizations need to offer the flexibility to keep everyone happy and competing on the same playing field.

By addressing these three areas organizations are not only going to find it easier to attract new talent, but also to retain existing talent. For many employees, work is about more than just financial reward, it is about feeling valued and motivated to succeed. Organizations need to implement the tools to provide this for their workforce.


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How Companies can Prepare for Generation Z

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