What do Generation Z employees want from their workplaces and how can employers attract and retain workers from this generation? Work experience student Lily investigated the research for us and, from a Gen Z perspective, details what employers need to know about the workplace’s newest generation.
You might be wondering why or if it is even difficult to attract and retain Generation Z employees. Recent statistics show that this generation’s workers are in fact leaving their jobs in search of more ‘meaningful’ ones. For example, statistics from LinkedIn present how job transitions in Gen Z have increased by 80% year-on-year, compared to 54% for the general working population.
Through such surveys, it is clear to see that Gen Z workers are not afraid to change jobs if the working conditions do not seem fit for them, or employers show a lack of understanding of mental health, highlighting how they are very much impacted by how respected they feel. They have grown up in a competitive environment due to the pandemic affecting job choices, and therefore yearn for feedback and development opportunities to maintain their general motivation.
5 key factors for attracting and retaining Gen Z workers
So, what are some of the key things Gen Z employees want from their workplaces? Here are 5 crucial factors affecting attraction and retention for the workforce’s newest generation:
1. Meaningful jobs and an ethical focus
Generation Z expect fast career progression opportunities, as they want to feel that they are contributing towards the good of the company. This could be a reach at pressing for a purposeful job, only showing how eager the generation is to be fully invested in their work and to make a difference throughout the duration of their career.
Generation Z takes up 32% of the world’s population, making it one of the largest generations ever, but also one of the youngest. Gen Z will be the generation affected by the decisions made by older generations, so it is only right that they have a say in the ethics and environmental factors of a company. Even though there is a lot of competition in the field of jobs, many Gen Z workers still say that it is important to them that their employer is aware and acts on environmental issues, for instance.
2. Respect and recognition
17% of Generation Z employees reported leaving a job due to not feeling respected in their place of work. Feeling respected has a significant impact on the amount of effort workers of this generation offer, with more work put in if they feel as though they are making an impact and employers show clearly that they are invested heavily in their future and growth. Generation Z is typically a generation that enjoys working individually, and by issuing individual work, it is easy to keep them engrossed in their work and make sure they feel acknowledged and therefore respected as they have made a personal contribution to the company.
3. Flexibility and being independent in the workplace
Gen Z workers are known for wanting flexibility in their working patterns. They think the general culture of a company should be flexible and supportive, meeting the needs and wishes of the workers. They want to modernize the workplace, whether that be with technology or by shifting the mindset of fellow employees. To obtain flexibility, you must present them with a work/life balance that works for them, and present more non-traditional benefits for employees.
4. Career progression opportunities
18% of a sample of Generation Z employees resigned from their previous job because they wished to “expand their scope”. Their craving for fast promotion could be a desire for recognition of work and achieved successes. It could also be a fascination to learn through a job that utilises multiple skills, stretching them and exploring various aspects of the job. The confidence that they feel deserving of a better position makes it clear how invested in their work they can be.
5. Mental health awareness
Gen Z employees want employers to prioritize mental health, as the generation is more aware of the dangers of poor mental health, are more open to talking about mental health, and are growing increasingly depressed. For instance, generation Z are 27% more likely to report their mental health as fair or poor in comparison to older generations. They want mental health to be as much of a priority as general health and safety regulations and be treated as seriously as physical health.
5 Top Tips on how to attract Generation Z employees
So, how can employers more effectively attract and retain their Gen Z workforce based on the factors explored above? Here are 5 top tips:
1. Provide meaningful jobs
When creating job descriptions and new roles for the company, consider how the role can have a meaningful impact on the organisation and wider society. By paying attention to this in the job adverts you put out, you’re more likely to attract Gen Z workers who are looking to make a meaningful impact in their careers.
2. Show respect and recognition
To show respect for your Generation Z employees (and indeed all employees), hold regular performance meetings, even for high performers, to clarify that employees in your business are well appreciated for work and goals completed, reminding them that success is not forgotten.
3. Offer flexibility and independence
Flexibility is obviously a large part of attracting this generation as workers; by offering flexible working options, they would feel that their needs are being met and therefore enjoy working in the company more.
4. Career progression opportunities
Providing career progression plans for all employees ensures that there are clear progression, development and learning opportunities available, which will be a huge motivator and retention strategy for Gen Z workers in particular.
5. Promote mental health awareness
There are many ways a company can acquire a suitable mental health policy to show a clear commitment to promoting good mental health at work. Employers could also offer optional mindfulness sessions, easy and free access to counselling, and safe spaces employees can go to if they ever feel uncomfortable or upset. These initiatives could be complemented by training sessions to educate employees about mental health issues and how to deal with them, for themselves or their colleagues.