With Gen Z becoming active and central members of the workforce, managers and HR professionals need to know how to keep their employees engaged and welcomed in the workplace.

Deloitte’s recent 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey focuses on what younger employees are thinking about and motivated by. The research highlights six key areas of impact that inspire this cohort, including:

  • Progress and expectations
  • Financial concerns
  • Work-life balance
  • Mental health
  • Workplace harassment
  • Climate action

Interested in improving the employee experience for Gen Z? Then take a look at our summary of this fascinating research, and learn more about what will increase retention and engagement for workers who are 24 years old or younger.

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Progress and expectations

When it comes to progress in organizations, Gen Z has high expectations for their workplaces. They’re interested in working for and staying with companies that care about social impact and DEI, and offer learning or development opportunities.

Gen Z values values. Many younger workers want to do more than pull a paycheck — they want to make a positive impact in the world, and they want their jobs or career path to be centered on these ideals.

Understand your employee’s expectations, and learn what they want and don’t want.

Apply it: What are some ways you and your organization can strongly communicate your values and mission to younger employees? Or, how can you partner with Gen Z workers to establish values more clearly?

Financial concerns

Younger generations are very aware of income inequality and the rising cost of living, and they’re inspired by thought leaders and experts who help them get paid what they’re worth.

As Deloitte’s research points out, almost 25% of Gen Z employees want to take a new job in the next year, with “pay being the top reason they leave” (pg. 12).

If you want to meet retention goals, save money on recruitment, or develop deep and wide in-house expertise, ensure you stay competitive with compensation and benefits.

Apply it: How often do you talk with your employees about promotions or raises? Are you paying industry-standard salaries? What strategies are in place to ensure retention amidst record-setting turnover?

Work-life balance

Work-life balance (or, as we like to say at Hubstaff, life-work balance) is central to Gen Z’s view of work. Unlike some previous generations, Gen Z doesn’t root their identities in their job titles or resumes.

Rather, they place greater importance on living their best lives, being themselves, having autonomy, practicing hobbies, or having time for their friends, family, and partners.

It’s not that Gen Z doesn’t care about work. They just need to be able to trust that managers and organizations aren’t overworking them or promising flexibility but not following through.

Consider the recent Return to Office (or RTO) mandates that have destroyed job satisfaction and harmed employee trust. Younger workers would rather jump ship than lose their life-work balance.

Apply it: How do you ensure your teams get the right work-life balance and prevent employee burnout? Are you emphasizing flexible and remote work? Have you established generous PTO and time off policies?

Mental Health

For Gen Z, protecting their mental health is one of the key drivers behind their decision-making. Therefore, they choose jobs that are known to be less stressful, and they want those jobs to offer the following “mental health support tools” (pg. 22):

  • PTO
  • 1:1s with manager
  • A culture of supportive leadership
  • Stress-reduction resources
  • Mental health apps
  • No-meeting days
  • Psychotherapy resources

Apply it: How can you get creative about offering mental health benefits? Does your company culture value a stress-free workday?

Workplace harassment

Ever since the #MeToo movement, our society, as well as HR departments, have become rightfully less tolerant of unwanted physical contact or boundary-breaking actions or words.

Gen Z is very forward-thinking when it comes to issues of justice. These workers are very aware of harmful power dynamics in the workplace and how they can fuel harassment. By ensuring you have a safe and respectful work environment, you’ll ensure that you have motivated employees.

According to Deloitte, it’s important for Gen Z workers — especially women and LGBT+ workers — to have safe and confidential ways to report harassment. Further, they want to see transparent policies about how companies handle reports. They want their employer to provide education about respectful workplace interactions.

Apply it: How can your organization protect your workers from unwelcome behaviors from other employees? Do you have policies about reporting harassment?

Climate action

Deloitte’s survey found that “about four in five respondents say they want business to do more to enable consumers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions” (pg. 30).

Gen Z cares about the environment and ecology. They want to work for companies making a positive impact, and they have intrinsic motivations to support low-carbon, green, or ESG-focused projects and work.

Apply it: Does your organization motivate younger workers through climate care? If you are, are you ensuring your organization communicates its commitment clearly?

Gen Z, the workforce, and customers

Deloitte outlines six key areas of importance for Gen Z workers. Remember, this generation is interested in doing work that matters and positively impacts their world.

When building a company culture that’s welcoming to Gen Z, remember that this positively affects not only employee experience but customer experience as well. When you have engaged Gen Z workers, they’ll foster positive and happy relationships with your buyers, end users, or subscribers.

Therefore, take a look at the “Apply it” sections above, and look for areas to ensure you’re developing an inspirational space for the newest cohort of employees.

Category: Workforce Management