In business, older generations are retiring and being replaced by younger talent. In your own office, you may have noticed an influx of Millennials and Gen Z. This is a natural cycle in business, but it leaves leaders wondering if their policies and workplace culture are tailored to the needs of these younger employees.
While Millennials and Gen Z are often grouped into the same category, there are wants and needs specific to each age group.
Over the last few years, there has been a great deal of research aiming to discover how to engage Millennials (also known as Generation Y) in the workplace and turn them into long-term employees. In fact, companies of all sizes have begun “jumping through hoops” to accommodate their needs. For example, Millennials would prefer a flexible job schedule instead of being tied to their desk from 9-5 on weekdays, assuming they can still get their work done. They also want big responsibilities and quick promotions, and this generation isn’t afraid to ask for it.
Millennials are accustomed to having choices and being in control of their situations, and this thinking has extended to the workplace. They tend to favor a more casual environment where jeans and “me time” is allowed on the clock.
Gen Z is equally as passionate about their careers as their Millennial predecessors. According to one study by Adecco Staffing USA, 32 percent of Generation Z aspire to be in their dream job 10 years from now. This means employers have a unique opportunity to make their office the home of that dream job.
Although they may be young, this isn’t a naive generation. More than half of current students consider their ability to pay off student loan debt when making decisions about their schooling and careers. However, they understand that the opportunity for growth is sometimes more important than a high starting salary when it comes to their first job. In fact, the opportunity for career growth is more important than flexible schedules, stability or friendly work environments. To attract the right talent, leaders will have to show Gen Z how their company can help with professional development.
One major concern for leaders hiring Gen Z employees is that most believe 3 years or less is an appropriate amount of time to stay at your first job. To prevent employees from job hopping, companies will have to learn which policy changes are needed to make Gen Z want to stay and grow with one company.
While businesses should look to the future and consider the needs of younger generations, it’s also important to focus on retaining the existing employees who may have been a staple in your office for decades.