With every new generation comes change- economic, political, social- the world moves with its inhabitants. The newest cohort, Gen Z, are no different and their desires and needs differ from those of previous generations. There are multiple advantages to having this new generation as a part of your team, and exploring what Gen Z want from the workplace can help your company appeal to them.
Often, the hardest part of engagement for a Gen Z employee comes in the first weeks. Adjusting to a new workplace culture can be difficult, and in a 2022 survey of 2,500 jobseekers, 72% revealed they had experienced “shift shock” when entering the world of work or moving to a new job. This unease is exacerbated when the environment doesn’t fit the employee and can be reduced by adjusting a few factors.
The one thing that sits at the top of Gen Z’s workplace wish list is flexibility. Previously, the world of work meant spending 9-5 in the office, with a 30-minute lunch break at exactly 12:30pm. However, Generation Z desires malleability; the possibility to have their lunch when it suits them, options for hybrid working, and the ability to mould working hours around home life.
There are many advantages to these different options. Hybrid working, for example, appeals greatly to Gen Z. Splitting up the working week through location dissipates the daunting feeling a 5-day office-based week can create. It can also help promote higher quality results as this feels manageable and comfortable.
Moreover, according to communications and engagements app Firstup, “Gen Z cares most about work-life balance and personal well-being”. As a generation who are intent upon being open and honest about mental wellbeing and living life in a way that suits them, personal welfare resources are crucial in attracting Gen Z to a company. Access to sources such as counselling, gym benefits, or a wellbeing representative in HR help to create a welcoming atmosphere that shows a company is committed to putting its employees’ health first. A simple yet effective way to achieve this is to train a voluntary Mental Health First Aider; a two-day course qualifies a person for a year.
Other draws to the workplace for Gen Z are in-office experiences and perks. Whether this consists of a monthly quiz, tea and cake Tuesday’s, or a biannual charity-focussed event, inclusion in workplace social situations can result in a better and more enjoyable environment. When an employer shows their willingness to go above and beyond for their employees, the same will happen vice-versa.
Another pull for Gen Z is a company whose values are clearly set out and which ally with their own. This new generation feel very strongly that to work in a company is to align themselves with the firm and what it stands for. Therefore, creating a clear-cut set of values and ethics helps in attracting the right employees.
Though these are minor changes, they are doable suggestions that will create a more accessible workplace for Generation Z. By giving a little, you will get a lot.