Having Trouble Retaining Gen Zers? Why the Consumerization of IT May Be the Answer

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According to a recent Deloitte survey, 40 percent of Gen Z workers would like to leave their current jobs within two years. Where are organizations missing the mark when it comes to retaining this generation? Organizations must consider whether they are providing the same level of efficiency that Gen Z is used to in their personal lives.

A key component to this is enabling a consumer-grade tech experience that mirrors the ease of use that Gen Z is accustomed to. To achieve this, companies must elevate their IT practices and technology to enhance the overall digital employee experience. As a result, organizations will see more long-term business success and better employee retention, especially among the Gen Z workforce. 

Breaking Down the Consumerization of IT

The two key aspects of today’s enterprises are people and technology––technology and the digital world are becoming more and more prominent, ultimately shifting the definition of “real world” to extend beyond the physical world. This enforces the idea that as technology and everyday life become more intertwined, the workplace must adapt accordingly.

Currently,67 percent of employees say the digital experience in their personal life is better than what they receive at work. Ninety percent of employees also believe there’s a connection between digital employee experience (DEX) and workplace happiness. Therefore, organizations must ensure that their technology never stops serving their people. The consumerization of IT has been a growing trend in many facets of life as people expect the same speed and convenience they are used to in their personal lives. This demand has also shifted to the workplace, especially as organizations encounter Gen Z workers of whom all things digital typically tend to come second nature. Failure to meet shifting employee expectations around technology could result in increased turnover as employees face a lack of productivity and positive work experience.  

The Benefits of Investing in IT Elevation

Historically, the IT department has had one main goal – to ensure company infrastructure works on a day-to-day basis, with minimal disruption or friction to employees. Today, IT has evolved into more than just a support function, but rather a strategic business function that makes employees work better, faster, and more efficiently. 

Forrester defines digital employee experience (DEX) as “a personalized set of interactions, processes, and content resources that enables every employee to achieve success and enjoy a positive work experience.” While company infrastructure has previously relied on key metrics such as the health of the network, applications, and devices, organizations must now be concerned with the health of the digital employee experience. Technology limitations with legacy software, as well as connectivity and access issues, all cause digital friction in today’s hybrid work environment, resulting in an incohesive and less productive workforce. As employees may attempt to work around digital friction, this creates security issues as well. Organizations that rely on DEX tools to proactively monitor and resolve IT issues will achieve a better understanding of and empathy for each employee’s individual experiences in the workplace.  

Organizations must modernize their IT strategy if they plan to compete for the next generation of talent. As digital employee experience can be a major roadblock to employee productivity and happiness, organizations that stray away from investing in elevating their IT not only risk the inability to attract the next generation of employees, but also the inability to retain them.  

Mark Banfield is CEO of 1E.

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