Gen Z in Call Centers: How to Motivate the New Generation

June 19, 2018

As the saying goes, “time flies in the blink of an eye”: with millennials already in their 30s, a new generation of employees are now entering the workforce. And many of the most forward-thinking businesses have already started to pave the way for this new generation, known as Generation Z.

Generation Z, born in 1995 or later, are likely to completely transform workplace norms in the future, so organizations in general need to understand what makes their future employees tick in order to keep them motivated and help companies grow.

Call centers, in particular, will need to be aware of this. Attracted by relatively high salaries and flexible working hours, many fresh Gen Z graduates will start their careers in a call center. So, like it or not, as a call center leader, you too have to understand what motivates the newest members in the labor market.

To help you out, in this article we’re going to talk about five notable Gen Z characteristics, and show you how you can keep Gen Z’ers motivated in your call center. So, here we go with the A-Z on Gen Z!

A career-focused generation

Although many millennial consider call centers a temporary workplace until they find something they perceive as being more substantial, it seems that Generation Z are in general a lot more career-conscious. Having grown up in a connected world, and with access to infinite amounts of information from a very early age, they better understand what careers are available, and which might be best for them.

Their commitment to the career concept will result in them being excellent customer service representatives, as they will be aware of the value of going the extra mile to excel at their job, rather than settling for less.

On the other hand, as Z’ers are more career-focused, they will require a greater level of attention from their employers. With high career aspirations and a continuous desire for improvement, they will definitely refuse to be just another cog in a call center.

Therefore, as a call center manager, you will need to ensure that your Gen Z agents have clearly-laid out promotions paths for a potential career in a call center. Always bear in mind that this generation doesn’t necessarily plan for the long term: if you don’t support them in their career growth, they’ll simply use your company as a stepping stone and utilize the knowledge they gather at another organization.

Up-to-date technology

Generation Z is the first generation to grow up as digital natives. In fact, for the emerging new generation, technology is at the heart of life. These kids were practically born with a tablet in their hands (rather than a silver spoon in their mouths), so it’s no surprise that they cannot imagine a world without smart gadgets.

Is this a bad thing? Well, in our opinion, the answer is NO. These kids know exactly how to utilize technology to make their lives easier. And they are ready to bring this tech-savvy approach to their workplace.

Unsurprisingly then, poor levels of technology at a workplace is one of the most frustrating factors for Generation Z’ers, and you can be sure that outdated technology tools will make them want to move on. So, to keep your Gen Z agents motivated, make sure to empower them with up-to-date technology.

And, in an ever-changing technological work environment, you need to keep up with technology advancements anyway, don’t you? As Gen Z feels the same way, it’s a win-win situation.

Thinkers, not executors

In contrast to Millennials, who typically look for job stability, members of Generation Z are renowned for taking risks and are a lot more entrepreneurial at heart. This generation, it is believed, is comprised of thinkers, rather than just doers. They will want to share their ideas with you, not just follow your instructions.

Furthermore, ever-evolving technology, connectivity, and social networks have provided infinite real-time information to Gen Z kids. They have used internet from a very early age, and they’re used to receiving dozens of impulses from different social media channels. As a result, their thinking is more diverse than previous generations, and they are always up for some brainstorming.

So, if you want to keep the Gen Z’ers in your team motivated, always make sure to find some time to listen to their ideas. As they may well have an entrepreneurial mindset, they have the potential to help you shape the future of your business by sharing their insights with you.

Energetic work environment

Over the last few decades, we’ve seen how office cubicles were slowly replaced by open-plan offices to accommodate millennials’ needs. However, office environments created to attract millennials may not be so appealing to the members of Generation Z.

The newest generation is more focused on individuality, and like their work environment to reflect this. Although open plan offices are still popular among employers due to their cost-effectiveness, they can have a negative impact on productiveness, and Gen Z’ers will be looking for more in their workspace.

But, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to invest a fortune in a newly-designed office. An office plan, however, with private and collaborative workspaces is definitely something you should consider. Gen Z’ers are constantly on the move and don’t like to spend all their time at their desks.

So, although an open plan office will make it easier for agents to talk to each other, there should also be individual working areas in your office as well. By providing such workspaces, both Millennials and Gen Z’ers at your call center will be able to collaborate with their peers and use private areas when they need to deal with a complex issue.

Flexible work

Gen Z’ers prefer flexibility at work and find the idea of working from home or even from a coffee shop or similar appealing. As workers who increasingly reject traditional working hierarchies, they will expect to be offered flexible working options once or twice a week, as well as a possibility of remote work. In comparison, an inflexible working environment will definitely scare them away.

Therefore, try and create a more open work environment for Gen Z members in your agent team. This generation is already used to completing tasks virtually from anywhere, so you can be sure that if they have to leave the workspace early for whatever reason, they’ll likely finish their tasks from home.

In addition, unlike Millennials, Generation Z is happier with flexible working hours, so if your call center provides 24/7 customer service, then you can even count on them to take on those ‘dreaded’ night shifts.


As you can see, Generation Z is more self-conscious and is looking for a strong work-life balance. It’s clear that if Gen Z’ers feel motivated and fulfilled in their role, they will be loyal to your call center in the long term. All you have to do is to find that golden mean to keep them productive as well as motivated.

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