As the latest generation to enter the workforce, Generation Z, the most populous and diverse generation, has lots to offer. It is estimated that by 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of the workforce and one-third of the Earth’s population. These individuals are hardworking, resilient, and adaptable, having navigated through some of the most challenging times in recent history. They are also actively committed to social justice and making a positive impact on their communities. So, what do companies need to know in order to engage and retain Generation Z workers?
Social Digital Natives
Able to seamlessly integrate technology into all facets of their lives, Gen Z is visual, digital, and global. They prefer video content and use technology to connect in all their relationships. They also have more access to and awareness of global cultures and issues than any other generation before them. These factors should be taken into account when considering work accommodations for this generation.
One of the things that Gen Z values most at work is flexibility. They want to work from anywhere, at any time, and want employers to understand and prioritize their need for work-life balance. Gen Z watched as their parents burnt out while juggling work and family responsibilities during the pandemic and do not want the same for themselves. To engage with Generation Z workers, companies should consider offering more flexible working arrangements, such as remote work, flex days, and compressed work weeks.
Mental Health Support
Gen Z as a whole experiences higher levels of anxiety and stress than any other generation before them due to the COVID pandemic, rising gun violence, divisive politics, rising inflation, student debt, housing crises, war, and a looming recession, Therefore, another priority for Generation Z is mental health support. They want employers to do more to support their mental health. This can include providing access to mental health resources, offering flexible scheduling for mental health appointments, and promoting a culture of open conversation around mental health.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Gen Z is deeply committed to social justice and wants to see companies do more to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. To meet Gen Z workers on this issue, companies should make a commitment to diversify their workforce at all levels, from entry-level positions to senior leadership roles. They should also create an inclusive work environment where all employees feel welcome and valued for their unique perspectives and experiences.
Finally, Generation Z employees want opportunities for career growth within their companies. They are eager to learn and grow in their work roles and want to be recognized for their hard work. In order to appeal to Gen Z workers on this issue, companies should provide opportunities for professional development through mentorship programs, training courses, and tuition reimbursement programs.
Companies that want to attract, retain, and engage this new, young workforce must reach across generations to understand and prioritize the values and ideals that Gen Z has adopted. By offering flexibility, mental health support, opportunities for career growth, and a commitment to global issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, companies can create an environment that is welcoming and engaging for all employees.