In the past decade, HR professionals have done everything to understand what Millennials want in their career path. Now it is time to usher in Gen Z (born 1997–2012) into the workforce. By 2025, Gen Z will make up a quarter of APAC region’s population and about 27% of the workforce—surpassing Millennials as the most populous generation on the planet. In this article, we will be uncovering their perspective on needs and priorities in life to help employers understand how to foster a collaborative vibe with our youngest cohort.
1. They Prioritise Work-Life Balance
Everyone wants good pay and benefits, but 38% of Gen Z ranked work-life balance as their top priority in choosing an employer. Companies that wish to entice Gen Z talents must offer a working culture that encourages a healthy lifestyle and greater well-being. This generation does not possess the ‘work-to-live’ hunger. Though, careful not to mistake that mindset as an unwilling notion to be hard workers. They just chose to value the quality of life as much as career advancements. Contrary to how Millennials faced the ‘Great Recession’, Gen Z demonstrated a shift in the job market dynamics during the Great Resignation by being the highest percentage of workers (31%) thinking of leaving companies despite disruptions caused by the pandemic. To keep Gen Z employees in your team, foster a positive corporate culture that treats employees with empathy as individuals, not production machines. Periodt.
2. Mental Wellness Matters—A Lot
Mind Share’s Mental Health at Work 2021 Report uncovered that a whopping 81% of Gen Z respondents are leaving their jobs for mental health reasons. Experts say we are on “the cusp of the greatest mental health crisis of all time” with skyrocketing ADHD, depression and suicide rates. They may be less likely to experience good mental health even in post-pandemic days.
World Health Organisation (WHO) defined stress as the health epidemic of the 21st century. If left unchecked, stress can result in productivity-sapping outcomes, from diminished work quality to co-worker clashes. Companies must do better in promoting a healthy way of life and robust well-being in a variety of ways:
- Introducing mental-health days
- Provide employee assistance programmes
- Organise community events
- Training managers to recognise signs of mental illnesses
- Offer work flexibility
3. They Demand Transparency
Generation Z is pessimistic about careers and life in general, but they have also been labelled the ‘change generation’ for their passion and deep desire to serve a higher purpose through their work. The generation that grew up with easy access to the internet and social media has been exposed to a plethora of negativity, from corruption to dishonest leaders and rampant misinformation. Having the ugly side of life presented to them so early on, it is no wonder that most Gen Z-ers are cynical and sceptical about the workplace, their co-workers, and employers. Their self-defence radar is always on, and they are very wary of being taken advantage of at work. However, they are pretty good at navigating through professional conflicts without letting emotions interfere with their duties.
Therefore, authenticity is a crucial factor influencing their office etiquette and dynamics. They need to be kept in the loop and expect transparency from leaders, which means managers cannot make promises they cannot fulfil. The younger generation does not tolerate empty promises and appreciates honest no-filter feedback and input that adds value to their work.
4. They Want to Know What Is Expected
Gen Zers are more fearless and crave opportunities to learn and grow. They view failure as a chance for redemption, and overcoming failures help them become more innovative. 17% believe that failure will make them more comfortable to take on new risks, as long the risks are worth taking. These post-millennials can be deeply invested in their work, willingly contributing their time and effort to produce meaningful work.
Generation Z needs to understand what the workplace expects out of them. Organisations will have to change by establishing procedures that provide the company’s objective, starting with catering programmes that help your team reach their goals. Create a platform that allows two-way communication and easy access to resources and information for your employees to express their opinions and thoughts. It is all about nurturing a greater understanding of the expectations in the workplace.
5. They Are Highly Entrepreneurial and Digitally Savvy
These young bloods have always had access to their smartphones, the internet, and tonnes of apps in their hands. They have grown accustomed to the rapid pace of technological advancements and can embrace the changes rather intuitively. This allows the digital natives to find work solutions more swiftly and be hyper-investment in achieving positive outcomes.
Also nicknamed the Net Gen, Gen Z employees will be greatly disappointed if their workplace is not technologically up to date. Not only are they proficient in social media, they are also adventurous and are able to adapt to high-level programs that are crucial at any workplace. Gen Zers are more entrepreneurial than the generations before them, and they assume more ownership of their work. Companies that offer upskilling opportunities such as on-the-job training, boot camps and apprenticeships are more likely to draw this pool of talents. As they grow and evolve at the workplace, Gen Zers expect employers to help them advance their careers through professional development and improvement initiatives. Companies that can offer diverse opportunities with the safety of a rewarding employment will most likely earn loyalty from these tech-savvy workers.
6. They Care About Social Responsibilities
Gen Z is the first generation to prioritise purpose over salary. They believe that their profession should have a social impact and want to be advocates for the right causes, rather than taking a back seat as volunteers. Gen Z employees are willing to work hard, but they prefer to serve entities that care about what matters to them.
72% believe that racial equality is the most pressing issue today, with environmental concerns coming in second. Companies will need to emphasise their efforts to be decent global citizens to win the hearts of Generation Z by proving their commitment to treating workers equally and inclusively no matter their race, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Environmental sustainability and climate change should also come to play if they want to win over Gen Z. These young professionals uphold solid principles and demand evidence that their employers are going beyond the minimum compliance of going green. Ultimately, they want to serve organisations they can stan—going to the extent of studying the company’s track record on their mission and values before deciding where to work. Dig deeper into the causes they believe in and continue building firm cultures that speak to their beliefs.
Thrust into the Future with the Young and the Bold
Gen Z entered the job market when the overall workforce was shrinking. Organisations who want to attract and retain the best and brightest of the generation will require a non-traditional perspective on work itself. Leaders must be ready to expect more individuality as they progress through their careers and evolve at a rate that matches the external environment.
Are You Ready to Ride High with the New Generation of Workers?
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