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Middle East businesses warned to prepare now for generation Z

UAE. Middle East employers must learn how to adapt to the unique demands of Generation Z in order to attract and retain new talent as we enter a new era of digital revolution, regional experts have warned.

PA Consulting Group says failure to grasp how to motivate and communicate with this entrepreneurial group of people may threaten the survival of those organisations reluctant to change.

A three-part strategy has been developed at the company’s regional base in Abu Dhabi to help employers embrace and empower Generation Z – broadly those born between 1995 and 2014 – in order to introduce and maximise their skills and values in the workplace.

Revealed today by Jason Harborow, Head of PA Consulting Group, Middle East and North Africa the plan calls for Middle East employers to create an open-minded, connected and forward thinking working culture. This should allow Generation Z employees to:

- develop their own brands aligned to the organisation’s vision and beliefs
- benefit from ‘rank ranging’ to replace traditional hierarchy which stifles creativity
- get new incentives like work-from-home options and unlimited annual leave instead of outdated rewards packages

“The key for employers from the outset is to recognise that they are dealing with a completely new generation of people who are different in many ways from those coming before them,” said Harborow.  “Generation Z are typically idea-driven, impatient but realistic, opinionated, individualistic, hyper-connected and digitally-savvy.

“We know that smart phone penetration in the Middle East is continuing to rise and is forecasted to reach around 75% across the region by 2018. So now is the time for employers to truly understand what impact these potential new members of staff will have on their business.”

In developing a Generation Z strategy for Middle East Employers, a team from PA Consulting Group in Abu Dhabi considered stark contrasts with Gen X (1965-1980), who value work-life balance, are self-reliant, adaptable and independent, and Gen Y-ers (1981-1994), who are typically team-orientated, confident and ambitious.

Generation Z has been identified as a cohort unlike any before them, with a unique and distinguishable set of characteristics, values and expectations of the world. 

Said Harborow: “Change is particularly daunting for organisations in the Middle East where we work with a multi-cultural pool of talent.  But the next phase of the digital revolution we’re currently witnessing will demand new ways of thinking, communicating and doing business.”

“In order to attract Gen Z, employers must create an open-minded, connected and forward thinking working culture which is innovative and entrepreneurial.  Managing them will require a focus on their output and an environment in which they are listened to and valued. 

“Creating loyalty and retention will come from giving them the opportunity to create meaningful work, to collaborate with others and offering more part-time working options. 

“With the increased awareness and popularity of flexible working opportunities at digital organisations such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, businesses adopting the more traditional models will need to modify their relationships with staff in order to get the best out of them.”

Photo Caption: Jason Harborow, Head of PA Consulting Group, Middle East and North Africa

About PA Consulting Group
An employee-owned firm of over 2,500 people, we operate globally from offices across the Americas, Europe, the Nordics, the Gulf and Asia Pacific.  We are experts in energy, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, manufacturing, government and public services, defence and security, telecommunications, transport and logistics.

Our deep industry knowledge together with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation allows us to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results that have a lasting impact on businesses, governments and communities worldwide. 
Our clients choose us because we don’t just believe in making a difference. We believe in making the difference. 

For more information, please visit www.paconsulting.com

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