Navigating the generational shift in the workplace: Part 2
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Navigating the generational shift in the workplace: Part 2

Navigating the generational shift in the workplace: Part 2

To read the first part of this series, click here.

If you want to get Gen Z on board at the workplace, speak their language of purpose and impact. Engaging Gen Z effectively requires a shift in organizational culture, emphasizing purpose and demonstrating how individual roles contribute to broader goals. This alignment of personal values with work is critical for Gen Z.

The customer experience action statement is a potent tool for working with Gen Z. Unlike traditional mission or purpose statements, the action statement is a pragmatic call to action for every employee. It serves as the organization's guiding star, influencing behaviors and decisions at every level. The mission and vision statements focus on who you want to be when you grow up. It's not something you do today but in the future. The purpose, on the other hand, is your company's "Why." It's inspirational, and it should be.

The action statement is a game changer for your culture. From the CEO to the warehouse staff to the newest employee, it's your company's North Star. It's what everyone has to do intentionally. It serves as a universal rallying point across the entire organization about being the one thing that all employees have in common, regardless of their job title or position in your company.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Starbucks both recruit from the same labor pool as their competitors—same age range and demographic. They both pay their employees similarly to their competition. Yet, the Ritz and Starbucks employees perform differently than their competitors' employees. Why? Because Starbucks and Ritz Carlton inspire employees to rally around a common goal. They do this through a customer experience action statement.

Consider Starbucks as an exemplary case. Their action statement, "We create inspired moments in each customer's day," transcends the act of serving coffee; it's about meaningful engagement with people. This approach has revolutionized their customer service and cultivated a dedicated employee and customer base. Unlike traditional mission or purpose statements, the action statement is a clear call to action for every employee.

The concept of a customer experience action statement is a fascinating and strategic approach within a business. It's primarily focused on internal operations rather than being customer-facing.

Guiding internal behavior

The primary purpose is to guide the behavior and actions of employees. It's a directive meant to align their daily activities and decisions with the company's overarching goals in customer service. By being internal, it serves as a constant reminder and a benchmark for employees to measure their actions against.

Employee engagement

The action statement is tailored to create a shared sense of purpose among employees. It's a tool to engage and motivate the workforce from within. By focusing internally, the statement nurtures a culture that is customer-centric without making it a direct marketing message to the customers.

Operational consistency

When an action statement is internal, it ensures that all levels of the organization understand and commit to a unified approach. This consistency is crucial for delivering a seamless and high-quality customer experience. While not explicitly advertised, it is profoundly felt by the customers.

Training and development

The statement acts as a cornerstone for training and development programs. It helps inculcate the values and practices that lead to excellent customer experiences. This internal focus ensures that before any interaction with customers, employees are well-equipped and aligned with the company's vision.


Being internal allows the action statement to be used as a tool for quality control and performance measurement. Managers and team leaders can use it to assess how well employees are aligning with the company's ethos, allowing for more targeted and effective improvements.

Corporate culture

An internal action statement helps in building and reinforcing a strong corporate culture. It's a part of the organization's DNA, a blueprint that shapes and defines the workplace environment and influences how employees interact with each other and with customers.

Strategic differentiation

While customer-facing statements like mission or vision statements articulate a company's broader goals to the public, an internal action statement focuses on the specific behaviors and actions needed to achieve these goals. This helps in creating a distinct and strategic approach to customer experience that can set a company apart from its competitors.

It works behind the scenes to mold and direct the behaviors and mindset of employees, ultimately manifesting in exceptional service experiences for customers. While not directly visible to customers, its impact is undeniably reflected in every interaction they have with the company.

Innovation and change are integral to Gen Z's ethos. Their preference for purpose over paycheck, their desire for meaningful engagement, and their quest for authenticity in the workplace are not just passing trends but are reshaping the future of work. As organizations, it's imperative to recognize and adapt to these shifts.

The narrative of Gen Z is still being written, and it's a story of resilience, adaptability, and purpose. By reworking culture, emphasizing purpose, and providing an environment that aligns with their values, companies can unlock the potential of this dynamic generation. 

Cal DiJulius is a customer experience consultant at The DiJulius Group. To learn more, click here.

Published: January 1st, 2024

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