While the idea of working for the same employer for one’s entire career began to dwindle decades ago, millennials and Gen Z are perceived to be more likely than their predecessors to switch companies more frequently. Data to support this assertion is not entirely conclusive. For example, while Gen Z workers may be more than three times more likely to switch jobs than boomers2, other surveys indicate millennials would rather work for the same employer for five years than leave after two.3 Regardless of seemingly conflicting trends on a macro level, however, with typical churn rates hovering around 30% to 40%, contact centers need to consider the following unique characteristics of these groups when creating employee engagement strategies.
High technology skills and expectations: Millennials and Gen Z are often defined as technology-driven generations, born after the creation of the internet and with access to smartphones since they were teenagers or younger. They are accustomed to setting filters, customizing dashboards, and enabling features that increase their value and engagement with technology. Businesses that try to force antiquated, static user interfaces that do not evolve with the company, employee, or customer needs may find workers frustrated, non-compliant, and ready to move to the competitor.
Cultural shifts, such as growing diversity and social responsibility: Workplaces will need to ensure that both company culture and technology are accessible to, and inclusive of, increasing diversity. The millennial generation has a roughly 44% minority rate, as opposed to 25% of boomers, and Gen Z is on trend to be the last US generation with a Caucasian majority.4 Millennials and Gen Z also put a higher priority than previous generations on working for employers that demonstrate environmental responsibility and promote positive social causes.
Historically high levels of education: Millennials have higher rates of education than any preceding generation, providing them with more bargaining power as employees. Forty-one percent of millennials have a bachelor’s degree or higher, as opposed to an average of 34% for older generations.5
Comfort with technology eased the transition to work from home: A recent benefit of having millennial/Gen Z workers is that their tech-savvy abilities may have made their transition to work from home (WFH) more seamless than those with lower technical aptitude. This advantage will persist well into the future: A recent Frost & Sullivan survey shows 79% of organizations have at least one-half of their staff working from home on a part- to full-time basis, and 57% expect this to continue in the coming years.6