A workplace that stands for something, company culture that supports its employees, flexible work styles, good work-life balance, a sense of purpose – these are just some of the things Gen Z wants from its employers [1-3]. While these preferences are not overly demanding, Deloitte warns that few industries and businesses seem ready for their arrival into the workforce . This should come as no surprise, as Gen Z have challenged the status quo ruling society even before they entered the workforce, by calling for more inclusive and transparent actions on global sustainability issues [1, 4].
“Gen-Z’s expectations in the workplace are values-driven and aligned with their personal morals,” explains Ashley Stahl . This means that employers across industries will have to adapt or face being replaced by more modern competitors . So what exactly can a business do to attract the next generation of workers?
- Values & Morals: Gen Z have shown a propensity to support and work for businesses with which they identify at a personal level, and with whom they believe they can thrive in [1, 3, 4]. Surveys have shown that this generation is not scared of moving for work, and will relocate readily if they find the right opportunity .
- Inclusive Workplace: Gen Z will be the most diverse generation to enter the workforce . With a sizeable portion of Gen Z having expressed having witnessed or been on the receiving end of discrimination, companies must ensure they become safe spaces for employees and work towards building a more inclusive community [3, 5].
- Growth & Independence: Opportunities to learn, improve, and grow are valued, whether directly via their employer, or facilitated by them are well received . Likewise, working within a structure that allows a certain level of physical independence and digital interconnection has been identified as a major difference to previous generations [1, 2, 5].
- Respecting Balance: Maintaining work-life balance has been identified as a key consideration by Gen Z, as Chelsea Cohen notes, “They see the millennial workaholic lifestyle as a red flag because they’ve seen its adverse health effects. ” Work ends at the end of the allotted time schedule, and they will not balk at putting their social life and health ahead of their employer [5-7].
Again, while not a difficult set of changes to achieve for a business, there remains a lot of work to be done across various industries to meet them . Generation Z has shown that they will not compromise their own beliefs for the labor system. Outside of this, they echo a lot of the same talking points as the generations that came before them, such as respect in the workplace and fair pay. “Evaluating the behavior of an entire generation can be tricky, but research and data show that Gen-Z workers are bringing some fresh ideas and a strong work ethic to the world of work,” Stahl concludes . Is your business optimized and up to standard for the next generation?
- Generation Z wants to work within a structure they identify with from a morals and ethics standpoint [1, 3, 5-7];
- Inclusivity, independence, and flexibility within the workplace are all valued by Gen Z [1-3, 5-7];
- Although more vocal than previous generations about their wants and needs, Gen Z still aligns with a lot of the former’s values, and bring forth a strong work ethic [5-7].
 Vincent Diringer, 2022, “Gen Z Challenge Status Quo”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Vincent Diringer, 2022, “Encouraging Sustainability by Digital Means”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Karianne Gomez, Tiffany Mawhinney, Kimberly Betts, Kerri Sapp, Ahmed Brown & Kara Santner, 2020, “Welcome to Generation Z”, Deloitte.
 Vincent Diringer, 2022, “Dialogue Between Activists and Businesses – Key to Creating a Sustainable World”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Ashley Stahl, 2021, “How Gen-Z Is Bringing A Fresh Perspective To The World Of Work”, Forbes.
 Carl Oliveri, 2022, “Want to attract and retain Gen Z talent? Respect them”, Fast Company.
 Jordan Rosenfeld, 2022, “Here’s How Gen Z Is Changing the Workplace — and What Experts Think It Means for the Future”, Yahoo Finance.