Understand What Gen Z Wants in the Workplace
A generation like no other is starting to make waves in the workforce. Business leaders should seek to listen and learn what motivates Generation Z as they begin to take up the majority of new hires. Take it from me, a recently hired member of Gen Z.
What Makes Gen Z Unique?
Generation Z encompasses anyone born after 1995. Having had technology since birth, Gen Z is the first generation to be considered true digital natives. They are the first generation to have constant reminders of the events that have shaped their lives, the war on terror, the 2008 economic collapse, and, most recently, a worldwide pandemic. Every generation has its comparable list, but this bombardment with reality has made them more aware of social issues and more active in speaking up about them.
Top Motivators for Gen Z Within the Workplace:
Gen Z employees are distinct for several reasons; they are more self-starting, more self-aware, and more realistic. Therefore, leaders in the workplace face the challenge of adapting and thinking differently if they are to attract and retain this vital pool of fresh, young talent. Here are some aspects of a career that Gen Z, like me, are looking for:
- Opportunities for Career Growth
Gen Z is a constantly evolving generation. Personal growth and learning opportunities are the top priorities of Generation Z when looking for a position, according to a survey by ServiceNow. In today’s workforce, the skills needed to succeed are continually changing. Working in positions that provide opportunities to continue growing and developing their skills helps to ensure that Gen Z stays invested and engaged. They can be easily motivated if provided with a pathway to career development. As a member of Gen Z who has recently entered the workforce, having a clear path for progression has significantly impacted my motivation to keep working toward the next goal.
- Flexibility to Prevent Burnout
Mental health is a widely discussed topic among Generation Z. They have witnessed the struggles of the generations before them and place a high value on a harmonious work-life balance. Flexibility in the workplace that allows employees time to recharge is essential for Gen Z employees. Implementing flexible work patterns, including work-from-home or hybrid work-from-home, can keep Gen Z employees motivated and healthy enough to be productive. As a member of Gen Z learning how to navigate work life, I have found that when I can take time for myself, I return to work with a clearer mind, a sharper focus, and a happier attitude. Remote work has made it easier to balance my work-life and avoid burnout.
- Sense of Community
Four generations are now working collaboratively. Respect, purpose, and interpersonal relationships are essential within the modern workplace. Creating a sense of community and a strong company culture is more important than ever. Bringing employees together for structured meetings and events should be a priority. While members of Gen Z might spend most of their time communicating online, they cherish face-to-face interactions that foster and strengthen bonds with their colleagues. Gen Z peers of mine have casual group chats with their coworkers, including the boss, sharing memes, and creating inside jokes for the company. Bridging the gap between the employer and the employee is a sure way to develop a sense of community from which all employees can benefit, not just those in Generation Z.
Understand Them to Motivate Them
The concept of success itself has evolved. Elements such as happiness, work-life balance, and career growth have reached the top places in Gen Z’s rankings. Success for Gen Z looks like the right balance between working hours and personal time. Understanding the elements that Gen Z is searching for in a career will help business leaders to motivate them within the workplace.