With the Great Resignation in full swing, we see a certain demographic of workers at the forefront: Generation Z. Dubbed “Gen Z,” this age group is born between the years of 1997 and 2012; meaning, that half of this group is entering or have been in the workforce and half is still in their early years of school. Compared to Millennials who have experienced vastly different norms, Gen Z’ers have never faced a world without technology. Employers today need to differentiate between the two groups and recognize that this new wave of employees are technologically and socially savvy.
This new era of professionals has been leaving their jobs left and right – gravitating towards a career that truly fulfills them. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are starting to place greater value on their work-life balance and fleeing from careers that leave them feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. The pandemic provided an opportunity to advance and then showcase their skills to employers. Fresh minded, Gen Z is slowly altering the workforce as we know it. Employers are being faced with the question: How do we retain these young employees? Let us tell you.
Flexibility in the workplace
Gen Z values the flexibility of their work schedule and even better, a remote working opportunity. Whether it be at home or on vacation – young workers want to be given the chance to work in their offsite location. In this new era of freedom, not many want to be glued to their desk working 9-5 every day. At the height of the pandemic, we got to see the benefits of remote working and how it affected the workplace post-pandemic. A study by Info Cubic suggests that 70 percent of participants would rather work remotely than at an onsite location compared with before the pandemic .The benefits to remote work include less commuting stress, which leads to money saving, which results in a better work-life balance.
Integrating learning tools
Employees of any age can benefit from learning tools integrated into the workplace; we find this practice especially important to Gen Z workers, as they are attracted to a position that will genuinely help them learn and progress. Learning opportunities can benefit both the employee and the company, as they are then able to promote from within instead of hiring from an outside source. A report by software company, Cision, reports that 70% of US employees want to sign on with a company known for investing in employee learning and development. Learning tools can include anything from LinkedIn Learning to company workshops that will allow them to learn more from the individuals that they work alongside. Any chance to develop skills will foster a faster growth curve, which ultimately helps to retain a Gen Z employee.
Benefits are a clear addition to any job – but what makes Gen Z different is the types of benefits they are interested in. Alongside flexibility in the workplace and essential learning tools, employers should consider benefits such as unlimited paid time off, health stipends and student loan reimbursements. With a rise in mental health awareness, health benefits are a big advantage to a Gen Z employee. Young workers are extremely interested in the opportunity to have mental health days, travel, and maintain a life outside of the office. This allows for a more engaged employee while on the clock.
The atmosphere that an individual works in can make or break their work experience. Establishing an office with a team-like atmosphere is one of the most beneficial steps a company can take to promote a strong sense of company culture for a Gen Z’er. These young employees value community in their work life and including activities such as team bonding sessions, post-work hangouts or company-wide travel workshops can be an enticing addition. Company culture attracts Gen Z’ers and keeps a company relevant on a global scale. Young workers are the future, and it is essential that employers recognize this and the benefits they can bring to the company.
The truth is, very few Gen Z employees will remain in a workplace where they are mistreated or under-appreciated by their boss. The first step to retaining employees is ensuring that there is a strong leader at the forefront. In fact, Computer World conducted a survey where 18% of applicants indicated that it would take better leadership or a change in leadership to remain at their current job. Because Gen Z is a big advocate for mental health, it is only right that managerial positions are filled by those understanding of this need. Employees want to align with their employer’s values, so recognizing these factors is an important component.