Your upcoming workforce is Gen Z. Their views on work and the workplace are different from those of your existing workforce. They prioritize employee experience and job satisfaction more than compensation. They don’t hesitate to switch jobs if they do not feel valued and see growth opportunities. If you are not preparing your workplace for Gen Z, you are embarking on a bumpy ride. Generative AI, a new wave in the technology world, promises to help you dodge the workplace challenges rushing towards your business.
Breaking down Gen Z and employee experience
It is important to understand what Gen Z expects at the workplace. Most employers think that money is the only motivation for employees. But this is not applicable for all workplaces and workforces. Let’s dig deeper into this matter. McKinsey did a study on employee preferences based on age groups. As one would think, inadequate compensation is the top reason for leaving a job for most of the existing workforces, that is older millennials and Gen X. But for Gen Z, who might be the minority in your workforce now but soon would be the majority, compensation comes only after career opportunities and meaningful work.
When asked about the reasons for staying in the current job, compensation is the least priority for Gen Z. They are motivated by workplace flexibility, meaningful work, and growth opportunities. This is in contrast with other age groups.
Gen Zers are born after 1997. They didn’t see the birth of the internet but grew up with the internet. So, we call them the true digital natives. They cannot accept traditional practices followed at the workplace and feel uncomfortable using legacy systems. 33% of Gen Z strongly expect their employer to provide modern workplace technologies.
Besides, the youngsters are the least engaged with their work. They easily get bored and burned out and are more prone to switching jobs. If you look at the employee life cycle of these youngsters, their enthusiasm and performance levels are high for the first six months. But within a year, they feel uninspired and demotivated. They want their work to be value-adding but not boring. They want to associate with inspiring leaders who work in a collaborative and semi-formal fashion. In search of challenging opportunities, they may part ways with their current employers.
With all this said, Gen Z are a hard-working population. They are optimistic about the future. At the same time, they feel they are bogged down by emotional barriers such as anxiety, lack of motivation, and low self-esteem. A study by Workforce Institute found that more than one-third of the Gen Zers are anxious about their abilities to be successful at work.
(Source: Workforce Institute)
In a nutshell, factors such as meaningful work, work-life balance, learning, and growth opportunities are the X factors of employee experience for Gen Zers. Your workplace technology should support employees at transactional level while offering support to stay motivated.
Gen Z + Gen AI – A match made in heaven
Gen Zers are quick to embrace modern technology and apply it to their day-to-day life. I’m pretty sure that Gen Z was the happiest when OpenAI launched ChatGPT. For someone who is already in love with Artificial Intelligence technology, generative AI is another reason to love AI more.
I could say it more confidently when Pew Research Center found that 70% of Gen Zers use ChatGPT. Almost 60% of them leverage the generative AI tool to make informed decisions.
Just because they love the AI technology, I wouldn’t say having generative AI at work will enhance employee experience. Generative AI has some potential use cases at the workplace that can open new doors of opportunities. From our conclusions drawn from the previous section – you need to promise the young talent a modern workplace that encourages innovation and creativity. As a first step, you need to eliminate mundane tasks from your business processes in marketing, sales, legal, and supply chain operations.
Companies are now using workplace technologies such as intranets and employee experience (EX) portals. A workplace intranet provides a secure private network for your employees to communicate, collaborate, create content, manage tasks, and drive company culture. Employee experience portals automate workflows – from task planning to leave management to payroll. Without generative AI, these two options work fine. However, integrating generative AI for enterprises will take the usability of these solutions and employee experience to another level.
Intranets and EX portals help employees find information and resources. Sometimes, you may have to read an entire document to find answers to your questions. Imagine the experience when you get more contextual, summarized results. No searching for a needle in the haystack. Generative AI does not just summarize information. It has a creative brain on par with humans. The content creation, including text, images, and videos, capabilities of generative AI free up your employees from those tedious tasks such as email writing and coding. Studies found that programming tasks that would generally take 78 hours, could be done in just 36 hours using generative AI technology. So, your employees can spend more time on brainstorming ideas, discussing strategies, or relaxing with a fresh coffee.
Gen AI adoption for employee experience is on the rise
LinkedIn India did a survey on the implications of generative AI at workplaces. Their report revealed that almost every young professional believes that gen AI will become an invisible teammate in the coming five years. By taking away drudgery, generative AI boosts productivity, addresses challenges at work, and offers better work-life balance for Gen Zers.
In our blogs, we extensively covered how you can leverage generative AI for enhancing employee experience and empowering your young workforce. You can read them here:
- Enhance Employee Experience (EX) with Microsoft Power Platform (saxon.ai)
- How Generative AI will transform HR management / Saxon AI
- How Digital Workers can help employees transition back into the (saxon.ai)
Alibaba’s former CEO Daniel Zhang describes the advent of generative AI in the era of cloud computing as a watershed moment. Zhang says, “businesses across all sectors have started to embrace intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game.”
Organizations across industries worldwide are embracing generative AI technology. For example, world’s second largest company Aramco is betting on AI to transform its employee experience through AI-powered learning and analysis. Genpact is training its one lakh employees globally on generative AI to empower their young workforces. Salesforce is reimagining employee experience with generative AI.
How are you planning your generative AI strategy to attract and retail Gen Z talent?
Don’t know where to start and need expert support?
We’re happy to help. At Saxon, we are helping businesses tap into the true potential of AI and gen AI to become future-ready. You can talk to our experts and explore solutions tailored for your business.