With the changing face of the workplace and the workforce getting increasingly younger, employers have to adopt strategies that will enable them to harness the potential of their young employees, experts have advised.
The experts who spoke at a student summit organized by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) in Lagos, said that employers of young people they referred to as ‘Gen Z’ should be ready to build a culture of entrepreneurship with the organization.
The student summit is ACCA’s annual event and this year’s edition had the theme, ‘Building Blocks for Emerging Careers’ and gathered experts from various fields of human activities to talk to both students and young professionals assembled for the summit.
“Gen Z professionals are generally impatient and entrepreneurial in spirit and so, employers should allow them to collaborate across the globe,” Abisola Adefarasin, a former official of KPMG, said.
He added that employers should allow these young workers to have flexible working opportunities just as they should be allowed to explore the world around them. “In all of this, employers should walk their talk and also align the organisation’s vision and outcomes,” he said.
Ayo Bankole, convener, Lagos SME Bootcamp, noted that some employers were looking for young workers with entrepreneurial mindset, pointing out, however, that it is only risk appetite that makes entrepreneurship different from career.
He advised that employers should know the weaknesses of these young workers but should have the capacity to deal with the threats which the organizational culture poses to them.
“Employers should tap into their digital mastery; powerful stories have emerged through our discussions of how Gen Z employees have already made their mark on the organisations in which they work through leveraging their technology know-how to attack business problems differently or rapidly create solutions.
“Organisations are focused on creating new roles too that are tech-focused as their businesses change, and astute enterprises are seeing Gen Z as fantastic ambassadors and early adopters to encourage the rest of the business to use digital,” he noted.
Bankole advised the young professionals to think entrepreneurship, pointing out that whilst job security is a clear priority for young people, it’s clear from employers’ perspective that Gen Z have a natural entrepreneurial flair.
“Organisations cite the obvious benefits of creating a culture where young people can bring their entrepreneurial thinking and capabilities to fruition within the relative safety of an organization,” he said.
To function very well in an organization, Maris Akinsulere, head, recruitment at KPMG, Nigeria said the Gen Z have to be deliberate in collaboration and improve their communication skill, noting that the human factor is still important despite the impact of technology.
He advised further that they should communicate across sections and always think about the other person which speaks to interpersonal relationships. “Carry people along as that is the path to growth; be a team-player,” he said.
Adedeji Kowobari, Lead, Concierge DentistNG, also advised the young professionals on how to get on well in a work-place and also how to build a personal brand.
“You need to have self-esteem; be confident; seek a good mentor; work on your weakness and improve your strength,” he said.
As a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries that upholds the highest professional and ethical values, ACCA concerns itself with the workplace and the employability of young professionals.
Tom Isibor, head, ACCA Nigeria, said at the summit that they were also taking a thorough look at the disruptions in the world of finance with particular attention on the continuous evolution of the profession today and in the near future.