The future of work rests on Generation Z, who will soon become the most significant and diverse generation in history. The entry of Gen Z into the workforce is changing the old social contract between employers and employees, who have different expectations for the work environment, culture and support. Innovative companies are recognizing the impact and developing strategies to address Gen Z's mental health issues.
What is Gen Z?
A generational cohort following the millennials, Generation Z is born between the late 1990s and early 2010s. According to research, Generation Z makes up 27 percent of the country's population and is the largest generation in American history. By 2025, Gen Z will comprise 27% of the workforce in OECD countries and one-third of the planet's population. Gen Z will generate 82 million U.S.consumers by 2026, surpassing millennials by 2 million.
What Gen Z thinks about work？
Gen Z is looking for meaningful work that provides a sense of purpose. They are looking for flexible hours, remote working opportunities, and more transparency in the workplace. They are also eager to work with companies prioritizing social responsibility and sustainability. Gen Z is tech-savvy and ready to use the latest digital tools to be productive, so employers should be prepared to invest in the correct technology to attract and retain this generation. They value innovation and creativity and are open to collaboration and new ideas. Gen Z is looking for an environment that is accepting and inclusive and offers growth opportunities and career development.
What does Gen Z Expect from Work?
The emerging generation expects more from the workplace than ever before. They prioritize flexible work arrangements, shared values, higher wages and more support for mental health. Gen Z doesn't just know what they want; they're more likely to seek new opportunities. A Bank of America report found that 25% of Gen Z workers have changed jobs in the past six months, and more are moving daily. There are many other expectations from Gen Z. If a company can not offer those expectations, there is a high possibility of them quitting the job.The following are the main 4 factors that employers could consider:
Gen Z employees value the flexibility of remote work, which has become the new global norm during the pandemic. It is found that 73% of workers now want permanent flexible working options. Remote and hybrid work increases productivity, reduces workplace distractions, and minimizes many stress drivers that exacerbate mental health issues among Gen Z employees.
2. Mental health support
While employer attention to mental health has increased, a stigma persists. Gen Z employees want to make a meaningful impact through better access to resources and prevention, awareness raising, empathetic leadership and a culture of well-being.
To serve these interests, companies must consciously design stigma-free work environments that prioritize well-being and integrate mental health throughout the organization through policies and programs that care about employees and value their personal and professional well-being.
3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Young workers demand higher standards of diversity and equity, and action is needed to create inclusive environments that support all forms of identity. New corporate policies must promote genuine commitment, employee resource groups, and more representative leadership. Businesses, nonprofits, governments, and society are coming together in an unprecedented global effort to take action towards diversity and justice. Companies must align their missions with globally guiding values, demonstrating in words and deeds that diversity matters.
4. Career Development
According to Glint's 2021 Employee Wellbeing Report, having the opportunity to learn and grow is now said to be the number one factor that defines a great work environment. Implementing training and reskilling programs can benefit all generations of employees, including Gen Z, and improve overall retention.
Companies that want to attract, retain and engage younger workers must span generations, prioritize relationships and meet Gen Z where they are. As Gen Z workers continue to ripple through old ways of working, employers must continue to improve their job flexibility, mental health, diversity, and career opportunities to serve the interests of these capable and talented young workers.
How Employers Retain Gen Z Employees
Employers must prioritize creating an engaging and collaborative work environment to retain Gen Z employees successfully. Gen Z is highly connected and adept at utilizing digital tools, so employers should consider leveraging technology to facilitate communication, collaboration, and feedback. Additionally, employers should focus on providing meaningful work experiences and offer frequent recognition for accomplishments. Gen Z employees appreciate a sense of purpose and impact, so employers should strive to create a culture that emphasizes positive feedback and development opportunities. Employers should also ensure their workplace is diverse and inclusive and provide flexible and creative solutions to challenges. Finally, employers should focus on cultivating relationships with Gen Z employees and provide regular and honest feedback to create a sense of trust and understanding.
The retention of your current employees is crucial for large businesses that are looking to grow. Your youngest employees should receive special attention because they have distinct values and are willing to change jobs. To retain these colleagues and ensure the long-term success of your organization, a flexible approach to working, mentorship, and a culture of inclusion are essential.