This generation is defined by its environmental awareness and concern for sustainability. It needs to perceive an authentic commitment to them to get involved in a project.
Each generation has values that identify it. And the one identified with the last letter of the alphabet, Z, is described as concerned about the environment and sustainability. Is it possible that the interests of centennials are congenial with those of the companies that today need them in their workforce and that possibly arose with other paradigms? It’s possible. To achieve this, action must be taken on several fronts.
Their sensitivity to the environmental agenda defines centennials as never before has happened with another generation. They want to be protagonists of a change in the relationship with the planet and they make it known through the tools they have at their disposal; social networks, the place where they exhibit their causes. They are committed to the point that if the company that hires them is not aligned with their purposes, they have no problem in resigning and losing financial independence if necessary. Generation Z’s demands for companies have to do with authenticity.
How to align their values with those of companies? Active listening, flexibility and empathy are the three concepts to work on. Francisco Michref, director of Public Affairs and Sustainability at Globant, believes that “companies that raise the flag of sustainability in an authentic way are those that manage to attract and sustain the engagement of those who seek a place to work out of conviction”.
Authenticity is then the key value. Mariela Mociulsky, Trendsity CEO, also points out that “there are many companies that are redefining their mission, but not because it is fashionable or because they simply have to invent a purpose, but because they are beginning to realize that many pre-existing contracts with collaborators are weakening, because all industries are changing. This implies that those companies that want to move forward carry out a sincere and transparent overhaul ”.
Cecilia Giordano, CEO of Mercer, expresses along the same lines, although she also considers that responsibility passes, rather than through organizations, through people: “We have to work hard on the purpose of the organization ―what we work for― and communicate it very well. Today, given the exhaustion, the great stress with which one lives, there is a lot of demand for companies to solve everything. Organizations are meant to be sustainable from the economic and from a social point of view, but there is also a first responsibility that belongs to us, people, what we work for, what is one’s purpose and what one gives before demanding to receive everything “. Ultimately, it is about responsibility and consistency on all fronts.
According to Michref, once a company defines its purpose it will then have to play a “training and awareness” role, proposing actions according to its nature, aligned with that objective and the industry to which it belongs, all at the same time. For Generation Z to be contained, it is necessary to make room for their concerns and “it will be necessary to know their possibilities, what motivates them to develop new products, as well as actions that call them to co-create and be part of that message”, Mociulsky points out. If social networks are the means to which centennials go to raise the sustainability banner, what better way than to harness that power in favor of their personal and organizational purpose.
To achieve this, it is also necessary for those who work in an organization to feel that their day-to-day life has value, regardless of the activity they carry out. “You can do a simple, routine task, but if you have a clear purpose and understand how your process helps achieve it, your task is revalued”, Oviedo emphasizes.
Communication is a key factor in facing this process. And not only with centennials, because four or five generations coexist in organizations. The feedback obtained through active listening and exercising empathy, will allow us to align sustainability goals. For Generation Z to feel comfortable and not turn their back on the corporate world, but also, and above all, for organizations to respond to the changes that society demands.