Growing numbers of Gen Z employees are changing the way businesses work, but employers are struggling to retain new staff members. Experts advise focusing on workers’ emotional well-being, workplace flexibility, and communicating the company’s values more clearly to keep the new generation of workers committed.
October 19, 2022. Generation Z and millennials — a previous generation — now dominate the workforce and will constitute as much as 30% of all workers by 2030. Gen Z employees tend to switch jobs more often than previous generations and have less interest in making sacrifices for a company. Such career behavior urges managers to come up with new staff retaining strategies.
Surprising effect of pandemic — diminished career ambitions
The impact of the pandemic and the emphasis on personal health and happiness is challenging salary and career stability as a primary motivating factor. Time outside of work and the ability to pursue hobbies are equally important as the job itself. Diana Blažaitienė, a remote work expert and founder of Soprana Personnel International, a recruitment and personnel rent solutions agency, considers Gen Z’s approach to work a pivotal moment.
“Employers need to take into consideration that the pandemic led a lot of people, especially Gen Z’ers, to reassess their values. They no longer feel inclined to do more than what’s in their job description — high career ambitions gave way to avoiding unnecessary stress, burnout and spending more time with the close ones,” Ms. Blažaitienė said.
According to Ms. Blažaitienė, the pandemic affected all generations of workers, including Gen Z, with lasting effects on mental health and productivity. “That’s why employers must place a stronger focus on the emotional well-being of employees, like personal connection, motivational packages caring for physical and mental shape, as well as extra days off,” she added.
Flexible workplace — a new normal
Predictably, companies suffer significant losses associated with this new workforce behavior — a lot of resources are needed for screening and hiring processes, onboarding, and training new workers. Although days of working for a company until retirement are over, the loss of employees in an early stage of their career is detrimental on many levels, that’s why new staff retaining strategies must be implemented. To answer the question of why Gen Z is not motivated by the usual benefits associated with career growth, experts name a combination of reasons, including the lack of flexibility.
“First and foremost — flexible working conditions. Balancing work and life is crucial for Gen Z employees, and companies offering flexibility will undoubtedly be more attractive for potential jobseekers,” Ms. Blažaitienė advises.
A generation that cares about company’s ethics
As generation Z constantly reflects on greater life purpose for themselves, the same approach is being exercised on employers as well. Z’s want clearly stated values and for the company to behave ethically, engage in a positive societal change, and address environmental issues.
Ms. Blažaitienė thinks that those companies who will fail to communicate their values openly will be most affected. “This generation changes the way we work. Employers need to adapt their businesses accordingly to stay competitive and attract talent. And, most importantly, to embrace those changes in order not to please the Gen Z employee but actually to ignite a change in the organization. A brand new approach on how to connect, inspire and care for this young workforce is needed,” the expert concluded.