What is Gen Z wanting from the workplace?

Vivian Fong · 23 Dec 2022

What is Gen Z wanting from the workplace?

Two things have shaped the trajectory of the workplace, the pandemic and Gen Z, both changing the way we work and the way we think about work and life.

Instead of working in an office surrounded by four walls and a cubicle and having to commute, the pandemic brought a new way of flexible work. With technology making life easier, we are now able to work from home or at our favourite coffee shop and still get the necessary work done.

Gen Z has also presented the workplace with a different approach to work life. From recently coined terms such as “quiet quitting”, doing the bare minimum of a job description in search for better work-life balance, employers in this day and age have the challenge to adapt to this new way of work.

With these two changes, the million dollar question in today’s workplace stays the same. How can we acquire top talent, let alone, retain that talent and have a loyal, dedicated and committed employee? How can we reform the workplace to better adapt to these changes?

These days, companies are struggling to hire the right candidates that have the right credentials for the work in scope. And if you are lucky to find a candidate that does fit your scope of work, it is increasingly hard to convince them to stay.

Research shows that the average time an employee stays in their position is approximately 5 years, however, with Gen Z and millennials included, the rates are lower, ranging approximately 1-2 years. This could be due to a number of factors, but Gen Z is becoming increasingly aware of their work-life balance, and would rather quit their job than work for a company that doesn’t align with their values.

It has been said that by 2025, Gen Z will account for almost 30% of the global workforce. This generation was the first generation to grow up with technology and social media, and their priorities are shifting.

It is interesting to see the trends of each generation and how they impact the workplace. For Gen Z, the change we’re seeing now is quite drastic.

So now with Gen Z entering the workplace, here are things to consider when hiring and recruiting from today’s top talent pool.

Tech-everything

After all, Gen Z grew up with the internet by their side 24/7. Having everything so easily accessible to us, from our emails to social media to text message, convenience and speed really is key. Employers should note that Gen Z expects clarity, clear communication and things to be…tech savvy!

Personalisation

With algorithms on apps knowing our personal preferences such as Netflix, Spotify and amazon, it is so easy to search for exactly what we’re searching for. Because everyone is different, personalisation in the workplace really is key to developing long lasting relationships with those in the workplace.

As an employer, allow Gen Z’s the option of flexible work. Allow them to maximise their personal productivity by crafting their own schedules around work. Allow them to live a life outside of work as well, as this generation really priorities their work-life balance.

Mental Health

Gen Z is the most stressed generation to date, but this generation is more willing to speak up about it than prior generations. As work is known to heavily weigh on mental health, it is especially important as an employer that you prioritise a well-rounded work culture that targets this, to show your employees that you and the organisation cares.

As an employer, this could look like offering health and wellness benefits such as discounted fitness classes or stocking the office pantry with healthy snacks. Asking your employees to sleep instead of bringing work home or taking a day off when they don’t feel as well. Whatever it is you do, make sure your employees know you care.

Teamwork

Gen Z expects authenticity and ethics. They want leaders they can look up to, that can display the traits and character of ethical authentic leadership. This generation also really prioritises branding and value, they want to work for a company that can accurately communicate what they stand for. A company without a clear message and impact isn’t going to stand out for this generation, as Gen Z wants their work to have meaning, they want to make an impact at work and in the world.