At Beepo, 90% of our staff cohort fall into these generational categories so I find myself asking the question - why do Gen Y and Gen Z get such a bad wrap?
Each generation is raised with different values and morals that impact their lifestyle choices. It’s this particular reason why a workforce has to adapt to the different characteristics and attributes that each generation offers. While adaptation may seem like an inconvenience, failing to do so can jeopardise work relationships and ultimately, your business growth.
I think lots of businesses have been guilty of judging and misunderstanding the work ethic of Gen Y and Gen Z due to the expectations and standards set by previous generations. This is generally where the ‘bad wrap’ stems from. What I have learnt is that it’s important to understand that each generation brings something different to the table. And therefore, will most likely be different when comparing to the previous generation.
So, what’s different?
My definition of work/life balance has always been, work hard to gain the results and then strive to achieve lifestyle balance outside of the workplace. Nowadays, it is very clear that work/life balance has a completely different meaning to Gen Y and Gen Z, with them looking for that balance to come from within the workplace. There is an expectation from Gen Y and Gen Z for the employer to provide this balance in the workplace through things like job satisfaction, team building activities and regular reward and recognition. I still see the desire to work hard and achieve the results, but generally only during the designated work hours. Previous generations would often sacrifice family/personal time to get results and often at the expense of the elusive "balance".
If we look back to the early years of the industry, it was very common for really talented staff to simply chase the money that the outsourcing industry offered, and consequently, end up in roles that were often well beneath their skill set and qualifications. The generations we see coming through the ranks today will turn down a role if it isn’t going to provide them with the experience they need to fulfill their dream career. To them, it’s not about finding a job with a good pay package, it’s about finding a job that will genuinely benefit their future.
Nowadays, Gen Y and Gen Z will only look for roles that are not only aligned with their skills and abilities but also their values. As I mentioned earlier, job satisfaction and regular reward and recognition is something they don’t take lightly. If a role is not going to give them a sense of self accomplishment, they don’t want it.
Technology is evolving and transforming the way we live, learn and work. Nowadays, Gen Y and Gen Z are given the opportunity to develop their skills solely through technology. Through this, Gen Y and Gen Z have adapted to modern workflows that allow for a seamless and mobile working lifestyle. If a job does not provide such seamless workflows, Gen Y and Gen Z aren’t interested.
However, with technology evolving at a rapid pace, businesses are being forced to update their internal processes. Utilising the skills of Gen Y and Gen Z should be considered if technology advancement is having such an impact on your business. The technical skills of the younger generations can be leveraged to drive digital transformation. The combination of older and younger generations transferring soft skills within a workplace is the ultimate benefit for any business.
Overall, I don’t think one generation is better than the other. Each generation offers something new and exciting to the workforce. It’s because of these differences that a business can continue to grow and stay up-to-date with current trends. It’s why and how our business is so successful.
We are into our sixth year of operating in the Philippines and have seen significant changes in the industry during this time. The outsourcing industry is rapidly evolving alongside the needs and expectations of our clients around the globe. I attribute a significant slice of this positive evolution to Gen Y and Gen Z.
We are a strong business and I always say the strength of our business falls back on our people, so why the negativity? Well - there really shouldn’t be any. It’s up to each employee, each manager, each business owner to understand that each generation is different.
To meet one of our talented Gen Y team members who thrive in their role with us, read this blog.