With each generation of workers comes a variety of expected changes to the workplace, and that is no different for Gen Z. As a generation that has grown up with technology and social media and is entering a workforce that has been shaped by a global pandemic, there are several expectations that they are looking for before applying to a job.
By 2025, Gen Z will make up almost 30% of the global workforce, so it is important for employers to adapt to the best ways to attract and retain these workers. By fostering an environment where every employee feels comfortable and valued, businesses will see positive growth that improves their productivity and customer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at a few of the things that Gen Z workers are looking for.
Flexibility & Work/Life Balance
The new generation of workers are continuing to push for flexibility with their schedules, and many businesses have seen progress in improving employee work/life balance over recent years. Today, approximately one in three Gen Z workers are very satisfied with their work/life balance, compared to one in five in 2019. There is also an increase in the request for a four-day work week, which would provide employees with an extra day off to attend to their personal lives.
Following the pandemic, many Gen Z workers also desire the option for remote or hybrid work. Having this flexibility in where they can complete their work is something that this generation values greatly. In fact, 77% of Gen Z workers who are currently in remote or hybrid roles would consider looking for a new job if their employer asked them to work on site full-time.
Focus on Mental Health
One of the most discussed topics in the workplace today is mental health. Gen Z has seen increased negative experiences with their mental health compared to other generations, with about 46% saying that they feel stressed all or most of the time. With this in mind, it is no surprise that this generation is looking for companies that take their mental health seriously. Businesses that value the well-being of their employees through mental health resources and taking steps to reduce burnout will continue to see more engaged employees. 80% of Gen Zs cite mental health support and policies as a top factor when considering a potential employer, so it is important for managers to implement these at the core of their organizations.
An important expectation for Gen Z workers is respect, especially from their bosses. Authentic leaders who show recognition to their employees will see higher retention and more engagement and productivity. Unfortunately, there are still many employers who do not value authenticity and empathy as much as their Gen Z employees. Gen Z ranked empathy as the second most important trait in a boss, while bosses ranked it as fifth most important. This difference in the expectation of relationships between employees and their employers can lead to increased turnover from Gen Z workers.
Societal & Environmental Impact
Another popular topic in the workplace is diversity and inclusion efforts. A company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a huge factor in a Gen Z worker’s decision to apply for a job. This generation of workers wishes to work for businesses that prove that they value their employees and foster an environment where everyone belongs.
In addition to DEI, Gen Z is looking for climate change efforts. 55% of Gen Zs say they research a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job from them. This generation is looking to reduce their carbon footprint and seek to work for companies that have the same values as they do when it comes to our environment. A few environmentally-friendly actions these workers are looking for from businesses are banning single-use plastic products in the office, renovating offices to be greener, and training employees on how to be more sustainable.
As employers take in the knowledge of the expectations of Gen Z workers, it is important to take action to adapt to them. This generation of workers will only grow, and implementing changes will help recruitment and retention efforts in addition to building trust in business.