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Younger generation: “Young people tend to leave if the boss or team are not cool”

Yannick Blättler, an expert on generation Z, knows exactly how young people tick – which is in fact very differently. This means companies need to address the current trends today.

Sandra Gonseth

26-year-old Yannick Blättler has a Master in Business Innovation and lives in Hergiswil, canton of Nidwalden. His company Neoviso advises businesses on how to deal with young employees and customers. When not in the office, he also likes to get away from the computer screen. He has set up a cookery club with friends he met at university. A new product is tested each time they meet up, such as olive oil, wine or even biscuits sometimes. (Copyright: Monika Flückiger)

You’re 26 and already have your own company. Is that typical of your generation?

Absolutely! We want to fulfil our potential and work on things that interest us. While I was studying, I realized that there are huge differences between young and older people in terms of how they live, their patterns of behaviour and their interests. So I set up a company and advise companies on how to deal with generation Z.

How do young people tick?

The purpose of work and what it entails are more important than careers and money. If there’s no sense of purpose, no company can make up for that with money. Your income is obviously important to make a living, but it’s not the top priority.

What sense of purpose is required?

Young people want to work for a vision rather than corporate goals. They need to be clearly shown where the road is leading and why their job is important to the future of the company. Young people also expect flexibility in terms of working models. For example, an employer should support longer periods of travel.

But people can’t just come and go as they please …

Of course not. I’ll give you an example – a hotel chef definitely couldn’t do that because they have fixed working hours. But you can offer them flexibility in other ways. For instance, by agreeing annual working hours so that they can take a few weeks off in one go or by giving them the option of a job swap with a partner hotel.

The turnover rate amongst young people is high. Is it actually worth investing in them?

The ideal time to win over young people is in their first jobs: They have lots of fantastic ideas and are highly motivated. The best approach is to give them the opportunity to assume responsibility at an early stage. If the boss or team are not cool, they tend to move on. These are precisely the people who are able to retain them at the company long-term.

How do you motivate young people to work for a company?

It’ll take five to ten years before the younger generation dominates the world of work. One thing is for certain – they have a different way of working and thinking. This is why companies need to address the current trends today.

What are these trends actually?

TikTok, a video-based platform, is very much ‘in’ at the moment. Companies need to have a presence on the platforms that young people actually use – these definitely include Instagram and Snapchat at the moment. A brand-based presence is no longer enough. A strong narrative is required to win young people over.

What’s your ideal vision as a Swiss Post customer?

While brushing my teeth, I ask my voice assistant Alexa when my parcel will be delivered today. She tells me my parcel will arrive at 11 a.m. because I have a meeting arranged beforehand. I find such thought processes tremendously exciting. But simply exploring them at innovation centers is not enough – decision-makers also need to address them.

What makes young customers tick

  • Immediacy: everything has to happen quickly.
  • Flexibility: they don’t want to get tied down.
  • Clarity: simple and concise language.

What makes young employees tick

  • The work must have a purpose.
  • Managers and teams must provide inspiration.
  • Flexibility in terms of working hours and working models.

written by

Sandra Gonseth

Editor