The generation that value boundaries and self-expression, the ones who have had a global perspective since they learned to read, are now entering the workforce. Generation Z, categorised as anyone born between 1997 and 2012, have, in their short lives, had a significant impact on the fundamental workings of the world. With a radicalised mindset formed from being raised in a turbulent political and social landscape, Gen Z are confident, vocal and proactive and by 2026, Gen Z will overtake Millennials as the largest generation and account for more than 27% of the workforce. So, if you’re looking to predict what direction the working world is moving in, it is important to pay close attention to what exactly these digital natives are prioritising.
One of the key differences between Gen-Z employees and their predecessors is a growing focus on a healthy work-life balance. Most Gen-Z workers joined the workforce during a time where work-from-home was the norm and have since shied away from any roles that don’t offer them that same sense of flexibility. According to a LinkedIn survey, 72% of Gen Z have either left or considered leaving a job because their employer did not offer a feasible flexible work policy. They are the first generation to experience flexible working as a standard rather than a benefit and, as a result, it has become a huge factor when it comes to attracting and retaining new talent.
Health and Well-Being
This generation is recognised by the American Psychological Association as the 'most stressed' generation which can be attributed to an increased knowledge of global events and economic uncertainty that previous generations did not have direct access to. As a result, Gen Z heavily values emotional well-being at work. Health and wellness programmes have begun to pop up in various workspaces in an attempt at addressing the growing demand for mental health supports. According to Microsoft's Work Trend Index Annual Report, 51% of Gen Z employees are more likely to prioritise health and well-being over work, so it is essential for employers to have systems in place that address and support issues regarding health and well-being.
Purpose and Meaning
According to research done by Talent LMS, the top three reasons that Gen Z employees quit their jobs are unsatisfactory salary, burnout, and because they’re simply not passionate about the work. For a generation focused on moral-standing and global contribution, it’s unsurprising that they need a job that they feel aligns with their values and want to work somewhere where they feel their work creates meaningful change. In order to attract Gen Z talent, organisations must be vocal about
the missions and values of their company.
Growth and Development
According to the LinkedIn Employee Well-Being Report, employees see “opportunities to learn and grow” as the top driver of work culture. Gen Z employees specifically expressed a desire for more opportunities to move up or increase responsibilities and more opportunities to learn or practice new skills. Due to their increased bargaining power in the job market, Gen Z employees aren’t just looking for a job, they are prioritising a workplace where they can see themselves growing. They're looking for somewhere where they can learn valuable skills, have access to new opportunities and, ultimately, advance their career.
Authenticity and Inclusion
One of the defining factors of Gen Z’s upbringing is a shared focus on dismantling systems of injustice and inequality. As a result, these modern workers pay close attention the diversity and inclusion policies and practices of a company. Making commitments to the inclusion of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiatives in your company’s practices an important factor in enticing and retaining Gen Z talent. According to a survey from Monster, 83% of Gen-Z candidates said a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important, but it’s not enough to just talk about your DEIB commitments, there must also be visible action taking place or Gen Z will have no issue on vocalising their frustrations.
How to Utilise What Gen Z's Prioritises for Your Workplace
While it might seem daunting to employers to meet all of the above needs, understanding what these needs are and why they are important can be a huge asset to your company. Gen Z are quickly becoming a large part of the workforce and they represent a lot of the values of generations to come. By implenting these initatives now, you can ensure that your business is full equipped to meet the needs of all future employees and develop a committed and satisfied team.