2024 is the year in which we’ll see Gen Zs overtake Baby Boomers in the workplace. The biggest change this will bring is the fact that Gen Z is slowly but surely erasing the concept of ‘company loyalty,’ with 40% saying that they plan on leaving their job within the next 2 years.
This doesn’t have to apply to you!
Simply embracing the change and adapting to the new trends will ensure that your employees stay happy, no matter which generation they belong to. As we gear up for another year, let’s talk about what’s on the minds of young employees in 2024.
Equity & Equality
Gen-Z doesn’t just view diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as corporate jargon; they consider them non-negotiable.
Just about how seriously Gen Z takes DEI is often underestimated. For example, about half expressed willingness to leave a job lacking equity, according to Handshake, while 53% indicated they wouldn’t apply to a job lacking sufficient diversity.
To attract Gen-Z, organizations should actively cultivate diversity, showcasing leadership that resonates with young talent. Companies can instill inclusivity through unconscious bias training and celebrating diverse holidays. All in all, aligning with Gen-Z’s DEI expectations involves intentional efforts and not just trying to fill in a quota of superficial practices.
If you’re not sure where to get started with this, there are companies who specialize in being your support through DEI, so don’t be afraid to ask for some help.
Flexibility & Balance
Gen Z’s fervor for achieving work-life balance runs deep, and it’s likely influenced by witnessing their parents and millennial peers grapple with burnout. The prospect of relentless, long work hours or a daily commute to the office just doesn’t resonate with them.
Instead, they are far more inclined toward flexible schedules, especially after many experienced the shift of remote work or virtual learning during the lockdowns of 2020.
Unlike previous generations, Gen Z seeks the freedom to choose where they work based on their schedules and preferences. Notably, approximately 29% favor remote work, while 27% deem it a necessity. This is especially true for corporate office roles that truly don’t require the employee’s presence in order to be filled.
Beyond the practicalities of remote work, many Gen Zs want flexibility in terms of their time. This allows them to have both financial stability thanks to a full-time job and enough time for creative pursuits outside the formal work sphere. The concept of side gigs and entrepreneurial endeavors becomes a means for self-expression and exploration, liberating Gen Z from the notion of defining themselves solely through their occupations.
Opportunities for Growth and Education
More than anything, Gen Z professionals are driven by ambition. To attract and retain them, organizations must provide growth opportunities, including professional development, mentorship programs, and transparent career paths. Despite their preference for flexibility, Gen Z acknowledges the drawbacks of fully remote work, emphasizing the need for in-person mentorship and training.
The reason behind this need is the cautious economic outlook of Gen Z, who value stability and investing in their future. So, even if you are unable to provide on-site training or mentorships, there are other ways that you can cater to this growing need. For example, many companies provide educational budgets to their employees, offering them the freedom to choose where, when, and how they will develop their skills. Other solutions include subscriptions to learning apps and platforms, pre-made educational company videos, and partnerships with educational institutions.
Around 46% of Gen Zs and 45% of millennials say that they feel burned out due to the intensity of their work, which is why Gen Z workers express the need for mental health support in the workplace. To answer this, companies often hire either an in-house wellness officer or include mental health support in the healthcare packages they provide. Another approach may be a limited number of mental health days in addition to PTO and sick leave.
Although mental health is a priority, Gen Z appreciates all kinds of benefit packages – especially those that are unconventional. For example, complimentary gym memberships or free food at the company may not seem all that impressive when compared to traditional benefits, but that’s just because Gen Z sees insurance, retirement plans, travel fees, parental leave, and PTO as a given.
Here are a few more innovative benefits you can offer:
- Paid app subscriptions (anything from Spotify premium to meditation apps),
- Phone plans,
- Days off for birthdays,
- Four-day work weeks,
- Half days on Fridays,
- Asynchronous work (work whenever just meet your deadline)
- Pet insurance,
- In-office pets or pet-friendly offices.
If you’ve run out of ideas – just ask your employees! Employee-chosen benefits usually come in the form of a limited monthly budget, which each employee can spend on whatever they want.
Corporate Social Responsibility
If you know anything about Gen Z, you probably know how passionate they are about different social issues & injustices. Naturally, this means they actively seek out employers whose values align with their own, emphasizing a commitment to positive societal and environmental impact.
Creating an accepting and inclusive environment not only aligns with Gen Z’s values but also enhances their engagement levels within the workplace. When applying for jobs, an impressive 83% of Gen Z candidates assess a company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), while 41% expect engagement in social causes they support.
So, if you’re already active in any form of making a positive impact on the world, make sure your Gen Z recruits know it by incorporating the message into your employer branding efforts. On the other hand, if you’re not making social change a priority… well, good luck finding Gen Z workers at all.
So… How Do I Attract Gen Z Employees?
After covering what you need to do if you want to retain your younger employees, let’s take a step back and look at a few tips you can incorporate into your hiring strategy.
Of course, keep in mind that if you offer all the things we talked about in the article, the best thing you can do is to be open & honest with your Gen Z recruit.
Other than that, here are a few more tips:
- Don’t micromanage – let them have space to show that fresh perspective and creativity you hired them for
- Be transparent about pay – openly post the range you’re offering and make it as narrow as you can
- Rethink your job ad – are you sure you’ll be able to find a 23 y/o with 10 years of experience?
- Treat them with respect – Gen Z is the most likely demographic to easily leave a role if they don’t like it,
- Give work a purpose – make sure to let them know your company’s mission and why you’re devoted to it.
Last but not least – don’t underestimate your Gen Zs. They may be just an intern or entry-level, but their unique perspectives, digital prowess, and innate adaptability can be invaluable assets to your team! (Plus, they’re a great way to stay in touch with youth culture and prevent becoming a grumpy old man/woman.)
If you’re new to all this – don’t worry! Your Talent Agency can provide top-notch recruitment services and get you the employees you need in no time!