What kind of workplace does the new generation dream of?

Along with Millennials, Generation Z employees have been in the workforce for a while.  We all know that it is necessary to understand them and build a work life in line with their expectations. The largest consulting firms in the world continue to keep a close eye on this young generation through regular research.

Generation Z employees have some common expectations, such as autonomy, flexibility, the ability to create their own work-life balance, meaningful work, and a focus on sustainability.  Previous generations did not even think of these sophisticated wishes, let alone demand them.

The fashion definitions of the past are long gone: Attend work regularly, be stable, obey workplace rules, do what the boss says and not be too conspicuous…

For the new inhabitants of corporate life, these patterns look like a vintage shoe: Sturdy, worn, nostalgic and out-dated.

So what is their work life like?

Deloitte’s Generation Z and Millennial Survey is based on the views of 14,483 Generation Z and 8,373 Millennial employees in 44 countries. Employees’ responses show that both their perspectives and their lives have changed as a result of the extraordinary developments of the past few years. While there are some positive things to report, the overall picture for the future is one of concern.

Here are the highlights of the research:

  • As Gen Zs and millennials rethink the role of work in their lives, work/life balance remains a top priority with flexible work arrangements, including part-time jobs growing in popularity
  • Gen Zs and millennials cite the cost of living as their top societal concern, with more than half of respondents saying they live paycheck to paycheck
  • Stress and anxiety levels remain high, driven by financial and environmental concerns, as well as workplace pressures
  • Gen Zs and millennials want employers to help prepare them for the transition to a low-carbon economy

In one way, the pandemic has been beneficial

Gen Z and millennial respondents are seeing employers make progress in some key areas since pre-pandemic times. Approximately one-third of Gen Zs and millennials in full- or part-time work say they are very satisfied with their work/life balance, compared to only one in five in 2019, and satisfaction with flexibility at work, along with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts have also increased.The pandemic prompted a rethinking of the role work plays in their lives.

While nearly half of Gen Zs and a majority of millennials say their job is still central to their identities, they place a strong focus on work/life balance—the top trait they admire in their peers, and their top consideration when choosing an employer.Gen Zs and millennials want flexibility in where and when they work. Many respondents now have hybrid or remote work models, a benefit they value deeply. Meanwhile, flexible work arrangements, which offer a range of work structures that alter when work gets done, or the number of hours worked, are a growing priority.

Gen Zs and millennials would like to see their employers offer better career advancement opportunities for part-time employees, more part-time jobs overall, and the option for more flexible hours for full-time employees (e.g., condensed four-day work weeks).While Gen Zs and millennials acknowledge the progress that employers have made in recent years, there is still work to do.

How should leaders behave?

Based on the research, Deloitte’s experts offer the following advice to leaders:

Get curious. Explore a similar line of research with your workforce to understand what would elevate their experiences and build the trust of Gen Z specifically.

Connect. Be intentional about creating opportunities for connection between members of Gen Z and other generations.

Co-create. More than other generations, Gen Z wants to have their voices heard. They want agency to create a future that they find meaningful. Enlist their energy and problem-solving skills.

Build a culture of reverse-mentoring. Many organizations typically have older employees who mentor Gen Zers. In the same way, leaders can promote a culture in which Gen Zers reverse-mentor their mentors, helping these more senior employees better understand Gen Z.

Ask the influencers. Tap into influential members of Gen Z inside and outside their organization to help test ideas and shape the future culture of the workforce.  

All these suggestions make it easier to understand and respond to the ever-changing expectations of the new generation. This is the main purpose of the feedback culture that Moodivation wants to create in companies. Being curious about what they say, being in touch, developing a culture of collaboration through feedback and acting accordingly is the best way to understand employees.

Call us anytime to find out what Moodivation can do for your organisation.