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The New Generation of Call Center Agents

The New Generation of Call Center AgentsAs more Generation Z employees join the workforce, call centers and their clients are noticing a shift in worker attitudes. This new generation, often referred to as Gen Z, demands a distinctive approach to employee recruitment and retention. The oldest members of this generation are in their early 20s and are entering the workforce, particularly within the BPO industry.

Young call center agents are a valuable asset to any company. They are tech-savvy, flexible, and socially aware. By understanding their skills and requirements, you can create a work environment that will amaze and satisfy them.

A Stronger Grasp of Technology

Gen Z is the first generation to grow up immersed in digital technology. Gen Z individuals seamlessly integrated technology into their lives at a young age. This is in contrast to older generations who had to learn it as they aged. They’re so used to technology that it feels like a natural part of who they are.

Many of them even see technology as a crucial part of having a successful career.

In fact, a surprising 80% of Gen Z want to work with the latest technology in their respective roles. And when they’re considering job options, a whopping 91% of them say technology influences their decision when weighing offers.

You may think that Gen Z agents are too attached to their phones because they’re so comfortable with technology, but recent research shows that this isn’t entirely true. Gen Z employees actually have a strong sense of knowing how, and more importantly, when to set down their cellphones.

This self-regulation comes from rules they experience while in school and encouragement from older generations to limit device usage. Even when they can use their phones at work, Gen Z agents are good at controlling themselves. They willingly put their phones away to stay more focused more often than other generations.

A Desire to Move Away From Traditional Working Arrangements

Having the freedom to choose when and where to work is crucial for Gen Z, especially after dealing with the challenges of a global pandemic throughout much of their careers. As a matter of fact, Gen Z call center agents prioritize flexibility while evaluating job options. When surveyed, 75% of Gen Z participants stated that a job that offered flexibility was more valuable than one that paid more.

This preference for flexible work arrangements comes from a solid grasp of technology and a strong desire for a better balance between work and personal life. It’s important to note, however, that Gen Z isn’t solely interested in remote work. In reality, many Gen Z employees are worried about feeling disconnected from others if they only work remotely. This leads them to lean towards hybrid work options that offer a mix of both remote and in-person.

While many call centers implemented remote work policies during the pandemic, clients have begun to specifically request in-person agents. As a result, many call centers have had difficulty keeping Gen Z employees happy. Instead, BPO partners can achieve a healthy balance between client and agent needs by implementing hybrid work plans.

A Need for Better Engagement

Gen Z staff experience lower levels of engagement at work compared to other generations. There are two main reasons for this.

First, there’s a lack of strong relationships with managers and coworkers. Going through a global pandemic has made Gen Z agents feel disconnected from their colleagues. They recognize the importance of forming connections with others at work, but they also know that these connections are different when they’re not face-to-face.

Second, Gen Z employees are feeling more stressed and burnt out at work compared to other generations at the same point in their careers. While most employees experience some level of job-related stress, Gen Z workers are reporting an exceptionally high level of burnout. This sense of frustration and exhaustion has led some to engage in “quiet quitting,” where they stop putting in extra effort beyond their basic job requirements.

The desire to connect better with coworkers puts in-person and hybrid contact centers in a unique position to meet the needs of Gen Z agents. The ability to meet with and better collaborate with their peers keeps this generation from feeling burnt out and isolated, allowing them to better fulfill their roles.

A Higher Standard of Work Culture

Gen Z represents the most diverse and socially conscious generation so far, which underscores the need for an excellent workplace culture. They’ve played a key role in pushing for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in their workplaces. These groups play a vital part in clarifying, advocating, and fostering the DEI goal, all with the ultimate aim of ensuring that everyone in the organization feels valued.

Furthermore, they place significant emphasis on ethics and general social awareness. When Gen Z contact center agents consider potential BPO employers, a major factor they weigh is whether the company shares a commitment to social consciousness. They might inquire about your call center’s involvement in charitable donations, volunteer time off, or participation in local community events.

Find A Call Center That Knows How to Retain and Recruit Any Agent

The integration of Gen Z into the BPO workforce brings a wealth of opportunities and challenges that require a dynamic response. By understanding their unique traits, expectations, and preferences, BPO providers and companies can create environments that not only attract and retain Gen Z talent but also foster their growth and contribution to the BPO industry.

If you’re looking for a BPO provider that truly knows what contact center agents of all generations need, our expert advisors are here to provide a free consultation.