The Voice of Generation Z: We Want to Be Intrapreneurs

Еvery generation has to think ten steps ahead of previous generations to ensure their progress in all spheres of life. In fact, young age is not a barrier to making impactful changes, and Josh Miller, Director of Gen Z Studies at XYZ University, is a prime example of this. 

Josh is an award-winning entrepreneur and an avid advocate for Generation Z. By combining his authentic Gen Z perspective with industry-leading research, on which he works daily, Josh helps companies around the world to better understand and successfully engage both young professionals as well as their peer customers.

Today, Josh reveals his latest research findings and expert perspective on the most effective ways to attract, develop, and retain young generations in our exclusive interview.

Distributed Workforce Trend #1: Intrapreneurship

According to XYZ University research, 58% of Gen Z representatives are willing to start their own business someday, with 14% having already started. Such a high interest in becoming entrepreneurs has inevitably influenced the way companies appeal to younger generations in an effort toward their long-term engagement and retention. 

Josh points out that the most innovative companies are embracing intrapreneurship in response to Gen Z’s needs. This system allows individuals to “work within a business in an entrepreneurial capacity” that, in turn, enables workforces to “flex their leadership and creativity muscles.” 

“An example of this concept in execution is a program called 20Time, which gives employees 20% of their day to focus on a passion project. Two companies that have implemented 20Time are Google and 3M, which led to the creation of post-it notes and Gmail,” says Josh, emphasizing the necessity to provide workforces with a certain degree of autonomy to drive innovation and improve performance. 

Beyond providing autonomy, companies can spark up Gen Zs’ engagement and involvement in businesses by tapping into their socially conscious nature. “We [Gen Z] have the ability to create opportunities and find new solutions to global problems. I think that our socially conscious nature will drive us to careers where we can innovate to make life better for everyone,” confirms Josh. 

Distributed Workforce Trend #2: Reimagined engagement

To keep Gen Zs continuously engaged and productive, companies should give careful consideration to the three pillars of workforce experience: learning, communication, and personalization. 

Social impact is huge

According to Josh, companies that can find a way to integrate a community focus into their company culture will be sure to have more engaged and motivated workforces. Other than that, collaboration tools for community members should not be limited by modern communication platforms like Skype, Slack or Google Hangouts. Josh emphasizes the importance of supporting on-demand digital collaboration with in-person events and interactions to strengthen relationships with younger generations. 

Learning means convenience and brevity

Josh says that onboarding shouldn’t be a lengthy process. To avoid information overload and to ensure the retention of critical knowledge, he suggests using nano-learning right from new hires’ first day and integrating such micro lessons into each individual’s journey with a company. Josh places emphasis on the necessity to create a hands-on learning experience for meaningful application. In other words, learning should be done in the flow of work and in the flow of life. Training should be designed to help every individual reach their goals by completing a very simple set of activities delivered to them just-in-time.

Trusting people is key

Creating personalized experiences is easier than most companies think. We’re then brought back to the task of providing every individual with a certain degree of autonomy. Providing autonomy means trusting your people. “Let workforces carve out their own path and create their own journey to success as long as they are consistently getting their work done. This freedom allows people to create their own happiness and personalize their own experience,” concludes Josh.

How Direct Selling can tap into the key workforce trends today 

Josh has some good news for direct selling companies. Considering the growing expansion of the above-mentioned trends, the direct selling industry is in a unique position to offer Gen Zs the entrepreneurial experience they crave for without as much financial risk. However, this doesn’t mean that DS companies shouldn’t continue to adapt and evolve to adopt new ideas and best practices, particularly with the rise of social media and localized commerce. This is necessary for attracting both potential distributors and customers among Generation Z. 

In his recent Gen Z Podcast episode with DSA CEO, Joe Mariano, and the chair of DSA’s research committee, Jeff Kaufman, Josh emphasizes that it is important for direct selling companies to recognize the emergence of the gig economy and Gen Z’s role in this. However, it’s not just about their need for entrepreneurial financial stability. 

“Generation Z has been raised during an era of activism and spirited discussion, spurring our desire for involvement in important discussions,” says Josh. Gen Z needs to feel heard in order to feel valued. And if they feel valued, they will stay engaged and loyal. To kindle Gen Z’s interest and, as a result, make them more active and productive, direct selling companies should consider the following steps.

Explain to Gen Zs how your DS company is different from Uber-like gig opportunities. “You’re not going to build business skills by doing Uber; you’re not going to create a social network; you’re not going to be part of a community; it’s not something you necessarily believe in, you’re doing it because it’s just a form of work to earn extra money.”

Once again, social impact and community focus are Gen Z’s driving forces. Show how joining your direct selling company will fulfill them and help build social and business-related skills.

Choose the right tools to provide your Gen Z distributors with personalized experiences. Microlearning together with business activities delivered at the right time to the right individual can make a huge difference. By leveraging a smart platform that collects all relevant performance data and automatically delivers personalized activities to individuals, your Gen Z distributors can follow customized paths to success based on their goals. This way, you ensure their engagement by catering to each individual’s needs and autonomy, allowing Gen Zs to pave their own way to success.

The top three predictions for the future of work in 2029

Josh uncovers his perspective on what aspects will be crucial in developing a high-performing distributed workforce in the next ten years.

The corporate world and academia will begin to work closer together.

Students will be spending more time in real-world, interactive learning environments that are relevant to their future careers. The academic specialization occurring will prepare students to fill crucial skill gaps.

There will continue to be a greater focus on results as opposed to the process it takes to achieve those results.

The reason for this trend is because a results-oriented direction combines Millennials’ desire for flexibility with Gen Z’s desire for results.

An increase in mental-health awareness within organizations.

Workforces will expect access to counseling and therapy and want to feel that their companies care about their personal well-being.

Curious about personalized learning paths? Request a demo of the Rallyware Performance Enablement Platform to supercharge your Gen Zs and drive their productivity!