Companies are asking, “what does generation z want in the workplace?” Who is Gen Z, and how can a company encourage applications and active engagement in employment with this youthful generation?
Group Enroll aims to answer these questions and offers valuable tips to help employers attract Gen Z employees more effectively. Learn more about the characteristics that define this generation and how you can create the ideal workplace for them.
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What is Generation Z (Gen Z)?
By majority definitions, Generation Z includes those born between 1997 and 2012. This generation is in the early years of their careers and is going to take up approximately 27% of the workforce by 2025.
Companies that want to be attractive to this generation need to learn more about the characteristics that define Gen Z. These characteristics include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
The characteristics of this generation stem from the instability of life through the early 2000s due to the instability of the Great Recession and the continuous development of cutting-edge technology. Gen Z is also facing greater job uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Does Generation Z Want in the Workplace?
Gen Zers began interacting with technology at a very young age, and this interaction with a worldwide platform shapes their idea of the ideal workplace. The concepts and practices that Gen Z wants to see in their potential employers include:
Truth and Transparency
Transparency and honesty are vital building blocks of trust for Gen Z employees. This generation values authentic information and speaking openly without ridicule. Company leaders should strive to be transparent with these employees to build a strong career relationship.
Combination of Communication Styles
Due to growing up with instant access to the world wide web, Gen Z is likely to be flexible in communication style. This generation holds the highest percentage of social media presence, but at least 50% still appreciate in-person contact and training.
Companies should aim to incorporate flexibility into their communication platforms with this up-and-coming generation of employees. This concept means being open to multiple forms of communication, which can include:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- In-person interviews or meetings
- Emails with encryption protection
- Chat and video call platforms
Not only does this expansion diversify the communication options in the workplace, but it also allows your employees themselves to be more diverse. Gen Z isn’t alone in its reliance on alternative forms of communication — neuro-diverse and hard-of-hearing individuals of all ages will appreciate improved accessibility, too.
Diversity and Inclusivity
Gen Z wants to see a positive impact from the companies they work with. Much of this involves improving workplace diversity, inclusivity, and equity. Companies must strive to create a workplace where employees feel safe being themselves.
The most significant sources of discrimination in the workplace include, but aren’t limited to:
- Socioeconomic status
- Disabilities or health status
- Gender identity
- Sexual or romantic orientation
By cultivating diversity and inclusivity in the company, you will create an environment where Gen Z employees feel highly respected and valued. In turn, your company benefits from employee engagement and productivity improvements by providing strong job satisfaction and security.
Authentic Work-Life Balance
Work-related stress and anxiety catalyze employees to take time off to improve mental stability, but many companies have policies that discourage this from happening. Today’s job seekers are looking for a work-life balance that minimizes stressors while still achieving high productivity in their careers.
Companies looking to attract Generation Z can provide a wide variety of perks that help employees find the right work-life balance. These perks include, but aren’t limited to:
- Employee assistance programs that help employees safely find appropriate resources to cope with stressors
- A healthy workplace culture that values autonomy and prioritizes mental health
- Adequate leave credits (and encouragement to use them as necessary)
Implementing these programs may seem counter-intuitive, but encouraging a healthy balance helps boost productivity overall. A stressed-out worker is likelier to be less productive, more frequently absent, or leave the company outright.
Many Gen Zers are looking for a current employer that offers comprehensive benefits that help them overcome life’s obstacles. Companies looking for a competitive edge in attracting the younger workforce should explore investing in the following benefits for their employees:
- Student loan assistance: helps reduce worry and financial stress for new graduates
- Lifestyle benefits: gym memberships and meditation sessions to maintain or improve physical and mental health
- Mental health support: mental health days and available mental health support programs help employees cope with anxiety and depression
Benefits like these build a loyal work relationship with a foundation of compassion for the people who perform a company’s most vital tasks. You can also compare group benefits insurance and explore health and dental rates.
Career Growth and Stability
A significant portion of the answer to “what does generation z want in the workplace” comes down to growth and stability. Gen Z is actively seeking jobs that are “future-proof” to find a stable place to learn, grow, and contribute to the improvement of the world in general.
Gen Z is already experiencing the drawbacks of constantly changing jobs in uncertain times. While it has made these individuals remarkably adaptable, they yearn for stability. This generation wants to stay relevant in their chosen industries and reach advanced roles in their ideal companies.
Companies can provide growth and stability by offering workshops and training courses that lead to advancement in the workplace. Build on the skills this generation continues to hone and create a direct, clear path to stabilize Gen Z careers.
Another answer to the question of “what does generation z want in the workplace” involves flexibility. Flexibility in the workplace addresses multiple facets of employment, including forming work schedules to individual preferences and providing remote access to work opportunities.
Gen Z is more likely to choose a workplace that caters to their preferred work schedules because it helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance. While many Gen Zers, roughly 50%, want to work on a team or communicate in person, the others prefer remote work to facilitate productivity and independence.
Consider allowing flexible work schedules that encourage these proactive and self-aware employees to engage on their terms. You might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of opening up to flex and remote job opportunities.
Access to Technology
Generation Z is the most comfortable generation yet when it comes to keeping up with rapidly-changing technology. While Millenials have the edge over the Baby Boomer generation, Gen Z consists of more digital natives than ever before.
Companies can count on Gen Z to have incredible insights into vital technology-based tools and platforms that streamline workflow processes, increase consumer engagement, and heighten productivity. Be open to suggestions and feedback from this section of your workforce to stay on the cutting edge and attract the attention of Gen Z.
Gen Z has strong concerns about socioeconomic issues, sustainability, and climate change, and these concerns aren’t limited to their personal lives either. In addition to making lifestyle changes, Gen Zers will actively search for companies that address these issues meaningfully.
Simply updating your company’s mission statement won’t fool these tech-savvy and resourceful employees. According to LinkedIn, half of the surveyed young workers feel that corporations fail to impact society and the environment positively. But this generation still hopes to see a change in their lifetime.
Companies must make significant changes to provide proof of a positive and proactive work culture to attract the top talent within Generation Z. This generation appreciates experiencing solid ethics in business practices, reducing carbon footprints, and diversifying workplaces.
Attracting the Attention of Gen Z Employees
What does Generation Z want in the workplace? What will attract them to apply to your company and share their rapidly growing talent with you? Consider implementing the following tools and practices to attract and keep the attention of Gen Z employees.
Implement Internal Talent Marketplaces
Internal talent marketplaces help your workforce learn and develop by combining your existing HR with AI-powered platforms to match employees with short-term projects. Short-term projects are a perfect way for employees to learn new skills for future advancements in the workplace.
This technology helps employers maximize the use of existing and unused skills within their current group of human resources by encouraging talent agility and minimizing the costs of replacing talent. In addition, Gen Zers will enjoy developing an ideal career path that provides the stability and growth they desire.
Create Educational Connections
Companies that want to attract Gen Z should consider connecting with educational institutions. Building relationships with colleges and universities helps increase visibility among these young workers that may not know your company exists yet.
Connecting with educational institutions can be even more important for industries where discrimination and bias still occur. Create and enforce a safe work environment that this generation can share on social media to showcase your dedication to equitable employment.
Companies that make it clear that they prioritize diversification and inclusivity will catch the attention of Gen Z talent from an early age. Maintaining that dedication over time with transparency will make it clear that you are an ideal employer that creates a positive impact in the world.
Encourage Internal Apprenticeships
Internal apprenticeships help Gen Zers learn new skills, develop existing skills, and forge paths to higher positions in their chosen companies. Businesses can connect Gen Z candidates with their more experienced predecessors for on-site training and development.
Practicing internal apprenticeships helps address career growth and stability concerns while also encouraging a positive learning environment that is mutually beneficial among the interacting generations within your company.
Build Better Benefits and Assistance
As one of the most significant factors Gen Z considers in a new position, companies should strive to build support for physical, mental, and financial health through a robust benefits package. The most essential benefits to feature will include:
- Additional health and dental coverage options
- Mental health support
- Student loan assistance
- Lifestyle benefits
In addition to seeking benefit packages, Gen Z is aiming for support from the workplace to reduce work-related stresses. Consider investing in employee assistance programs that confidentially evaluate employees and refer them to appropriate services and resources.
Companies can also work to provide beneficially flexible work schedules and remote opportunities that Gen Z needs to accommodate their unique needs and lifestyles. These concepts work together to create a powerful attraction to your company.
Group Enroll: Group Benefits Plans to Attract Employees
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