They’re the youngest faces in your workplace – the ones who’ll one day be running the show, and who bring incredible value with their energy, instinctive digital skills and unique viewpoint.
Gen Z – born between 1995 and 2012 – are also the employees most likely to walk if they don’t like what they see.
That poses particular challenges to workplace leaders – because not only are they hard to keep happy, but it’s also important to fully understand what’s going on in their very different headspace. Important because there’s already a lot of them around; in the US they already make up a quarter of the population.
In this guide, you’ll discover:
- What really motivates Gen Z
- What makes them pick your organization over others
- What makes them quit
- How technology helps you retain their valuable talents.
What really motivates Gen Z?
Generation Z have grown up through some troubled times – a worldwide recession and then the challenges of the pandemic. Many have seen their education, social life and leisure severely affected. So who can blame them for valuing the finer things in life?
For this thoughtful generation, while salary remains the most important factor in deciding on a job, it’s a less important factor than it is for every other generation. (Deloitte – Understanding Generation Z in the Workplace).
And if they are given the choice of accepting a better-paying but boring job versus work that’s more interesting but less lucrative, Gen Z are fairly evenly split over the choice.
“According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Annual Report, 51% of Gen-Z employees are more likely to prioritize health and well-being over work. They also list positive culture, mental health and well-being benefits and a sense of purpose/meaning as their top three priorities.” – Forbes.
Hybrid working, with its flexibility and sense of personal empowerment, is popular with this generation, but they also value in-office time, as we’ll discuss below. Managers need to be able to cater for these varying requirements.
What makes them pick your organization over others?
Deloitte advises: “To win the hearts of Generation Z, companies and employers will need to highlight their efforts to be good global citizens.”
The analyst says empty words alone will not do: Companies must demonstrate their genuine commitment to ESG (environment, sustainability and governance)
Today’s well-informed employees are keen to understand the environmental, social and governance status of their company. Providing them with efficient space occupancy and good environmental conditions is essential, so capturing real-time data about how your workplace is being utilized is important.
“Work-life balance, fair pay and value alignment: today’s youngest workers want it all – and are willing to walk away if they don’t get it.” (BBC)
In survey by Randstad, Gen Z respondents gave 5 main reasons for jacking in their jobs:
- Dissatisfaction with career (43%)
- Work-life balance (36%)
- Low compensation (33%)
- Lack of recognition (27%)
- Insufficient flexible options (27%).
Phew – no pressure, then, workplace manager!
Industry has already seen an epidemic of ‘quiet quitting’ – where workers do the absolute minimum to get by – and recently, Tik Tok became inundated with tales of young workers seeking ‘lazy girl jobs’ that pay as much money as possible for the least work.
Whether this trend represents a healthy commitment to a good work-life balance or a challenge to people’s future economic and career wellbeing is anyone’s guess. But, as Gen Z themselves would say, it’s a thing.
As a workplace manager, you can help these Gen Z employees feel more enthusiastic about coming to work by creating a seamless experience when they do, using workplace management technology such as hot desk booking software to minimize admin and remove obstacles to a positive day in the office.
How does technology help you retain their valuable talents?
Hybrid workplace solutions have evolved rapidly in response to the growing trend for employees to act like consumers of the workplace. Consumers – like hospitality users – require their needs to be completely satisfied, or they simply go elsewhere.
For Gen Z, hybrid working is important, but they also value highly the support, friendship, training and mentoring that face-to-face office working brings.
14% report they work remote less often now because they want access to office perks like snacks or lunches, as well as collaboration and meeting their colleagues. (Randstad)
Meeting room management systems make collaboration easier to organize for a dispersed workforce, while the hot desk management systems mentioned above give workers a sense of autonomy because they can book the space that suits them, near the colleagues they want to work with, via a mobile app.
Workspace management technology also helps you create the efficient, carbon-reduced workplaces that satisfy the Gen Z need for quality ESG credentials. The best of these systems, such as Rendezvous by NFS, includes desk and room scheduling app, sensors that help maximize space utilization, and integration with building management solutions so heating, lighting and ventilation are well-used.
Workers are getting younger as Generation Z comes of age; managers generally are, too. But the spread of ages in the workplace remains extremely wide.
It’s up to leaders to understand the differing drivers that attract and retain the talent that is vital for business continuity and success – it’s no wonder that HR and IT now have a seat at the boardroom table.
Luis De Souza, workplace influencer and CEO of NFS Technology, says: “With the arrival of Gen Z in the workplace, we continue to see a move towards more holistic management styles that honour diversity and work hard to create the conditions that fulfil the needs of all workers.
“Supported by the development workplace technologies, this evolution is in the process of rewriting our entire world of work – and that’s got to be a good thing for workers, for organizations and in the end for their customers.”