HomeThe GenZ LabThe Changing Landscape of Work Purpose Among Gen Z: From "How?" to "Why?"

The Changing Landscape of Work Purpose Among Gen Z: From "How?" to "Why?"

  • Thursday, June 13, 2024
  • Edmée Citroën

The search for meaning, employer branding, the evolution of work methods, and recruitment tools: we share with you the insightful perspective of Alexis Berthel, HR Director at Panthera Group and Member of the National Bureau of ANDRH

How would you describe Generation Z?

Previous generations were more focused on the "how." The question of process and how to do things was central. Today, the younger generations want to do things their way and are more concerned with the "why." It's important to provide meaning and explain the purpose and objectives behind what we do.

This changes some of the paradigms of work, especially in terms of hierarchy. There is less and less verticality, and relationships no longer operate in the same way. It's more collaborative and agile, with interactions going both up and down.

In this context where employees are gaining more autonomy in their work organization, how do you manage the hyper-individualization of requests and preserve the collective aspect?

There are indeed more and more individual-related requests. The challenge for companies is to successfully tailor the work organization while preserving the collective framework. Excessive individualization can risk creating privileges for some employees.

The question of remote work, which is a societal issue, raises concerns. Personally, I reject requests from employees who demand full-time remote work, as it may exclude some. We should accommodate reasonable and manageable requests.

In terms of flexibility, I believe that some basic recommendations are necessary: having two fixed days of remote work and three days in person seems like an appropriate formula to maintain team spirit and ensure a presence of employees on-site.

Have you observed a decline in the sense of collective unity during the COVID years?

Indeed, I've noticed that today, employees are applying with higher expectations. This forces companies to introspect. It has compelled many organizations to implement telecommuting agreements to meet the desires of these talented individuals.

I believe it's crucial to define the term "talent." It refers to someone with high abilities in adaptability, learning, and curiosity.

In my view, someone possessing these three qualities can do just about anything.

They could be an accountant today and an HR specialist the day after tomorrow.

Today companies need to think as marketing agencies. 

How important is the brand of your company in today's context? 

Companies must now think like a marketing service. It's essential to implement strategies to gain recognition, foster affection, and attract candidates. The values chosen by the company are pivotal. There should be a few of them, not too many, and, most importantly, they should be exemplified, embraced, with evidence of what is asserted.

Il est aussi fondamental d’avoir des avis positifs sur les sites d’évaluation des collaborateurs (comme Glassdoor). Avant d’intégrer une entreprise, chaque candidat se renseigne. Management, salaire, ambiance : il faut que l’entreprise soit sexy, c’est fondamental.

According to you, what defines a great candidate experience? 

Short, snappy, and smooth processes, with effective communication lines, are crucial. It's essential to avoid slow, languishing procedures, as they convey a very negative impression to candidates.

What is your perspective on the increase in resignations? 

There is undoubtedly a desire for a better work-life balance in the world of work. Employees want to do what they want and become who they are. In my opinion, there is individual awareness marked by a need for change and renewal.

Moreover, the context of inflation has likely led to some departures. In HR, there's a saying: if you want a real salary increase, you have to leave!

You have a solid policy regarding training. What have you implemented at Panthera?

We couldn't find anyone, especially for positions such as security agents or technicians. In this situation, when we're confronted with significant recruitment challenges, we have two options: either passively endure the situation or actively seek solutions. Therefore, we established a training center that offers various external training programs, an internal training center, and a Vocational Training Center (CFA) dedicated to apprentices.

You believe it's essential to take care of the offboarding process for employees. Why is that?

We observe many re-recruitment phenomena: individuals leaving the company and then returning. Hence, the importance of properly handling the departure of these individuals, even in cases of resignations. They act as ambassadors for the company and inevitably convey an image of the organization outside of it, whether we intend it or not.