It’s a brave new world – are you ready for the challenges (and benefits) of a Gen Z workforce?
Gen Z is the latest age cohort to be entering the workforce and is expected to become a large portion of the global workforce by 2025, representing 27% of its total makeup. They have the reputation of being ‘difficult’ to engage and manage with stories of quiet quitting and an aggressively ‘woke’ approach to employment, but that’s a rather unfair characterisation if you take the time to understand what this new group of job seekers bring to the table, and how their experiences have shaped them. They may represent a different set of values than prior generations, but that just means it’s key for employers to recognize the differences and prepare accordingly.
Gen Z are on track to be the UK’s most qualified generation (according to Open Study College data on higher education). But the rapid pace of change that Generation Z grew up with may be influencing their approach to work-related matters. In particular, LinkedIn data shows a 134% year on year increase in job hopping among Gen Z. As such, employers must understand what is really important to the group so that they can maximize retention rates.
Which benefits and values do Gen Z consider important?
As the world continues to be affected by uncertainty, Gen Z candidates have become increasingly aware of the risks associated with a poor work/life balance. In addition, due to the COVID-19 crisis, there may be a heightened level of anxiety and stress in their lives. Recruiters should be aware of this and closely consider the needs of these younger candidates when looking for new hires. Keep in mind that they may have expectations beyond just traditional qualifications or skillsets.
Mental health and wellbeing
Gen Z is transforming the social landscape in regard to mental health attitudes. According to Gallup studies, Gen Zers and young millennials rate working for an organisation that values their wellbeing as a critical factor when it comes to job satisfaction. To create a healthier workplace culture, having a well-rounded Health and Wellbeing strategy in place is key. It’s essential for companies to provide staff with resources such as an outlet where they can express their feelings and be comforted by the fact that they have support from their employer. By prioritizing wellbeing, workplaces can promote an environment of understanding between employers and employees.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
For many younger staff, a company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important factor when considering a job offer. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s essential for companies to have solid DEI policies in place that are regularly evaluated and updated accordingly. Its also important that the policies are more than just lip service and are a genuine part of the companies ethos.
Ethical and sustainable practices
Young adults today are facing climate anxiety caused by the growing awareness of the climate crisis. According to Bupa, 64% of Gen Z workers believe their employers should take action on environmental issues. Employers have an opportunity here to make their businesses more sustainable and appeal to prospective employees who recognize and appreciate ethical work practices (82% of whom are willing to accept less pay in exchange for those values).
Flexible working options
As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a shift in the workforce, with the resulting increased flexibility appearing as an attractive benefit for many Millennials and Gen Zers. Anecdotally a lot of Gen Z jobseekers prefer to work from home but in a more concrete proof of what is important to them, a survey by McKenzie reports that 18-34 year olds are 59% more likely to leave their jobs if hybrid working isn’t retained as an option.
The cost of living in the UK is continuing to rise, leading more and more people into paycheck-to-paycheck living. With prevalent wage stagnation and skyrocketing fuel prices, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many households to retain their savings across a single month. While Gen Z is often seen as less financially motivated than the preceding generations, these realities are forcing them into expensive renting rather than buying – and creating increasing levels of dissatisfaction of wages not being commensurate with the hard work put in.
Although a salary or hourly pay raise may not be a viable option for many businesses, they can remain competitive and retention-focused by offering financial perks. Such offerings could include discounts at supermarkets and access to high-quality financial advice. Allowing employees to make long-term plans beyond their next rent payment is key to job satisfaction; thankfully services such as My Staff Shop Reward Beans allow users to transfer the virtual currency into an ISA, allowing them to easily invest in their future.
Employers will increasingly need to recognize this trend when crafting their benefits packages to appeal to all employees. To stay ahead of competitors and attract top talent, take the time to tailor your staff benefits package to meet their needs and wants. Visit My Staff Shop to see if their demo can provide helpful insights on how you can make sure your employees feel appreciated.