As the UK workforce continues to adapt to modern-day trends and comply with the younger generation’s employee-centricity, employers should prepare for shifts in workplace culture and adapt to a new way of working.
Gen Z are now looking for employers to support them from the start of their hiring journey; from application to onboarding and ultimately the final employment stages. Covid-19 has been said to play a dramatic role in this shift of employee needs, with 24% of women and 20% of men being less happy now than before the pandemic.
Covid-19 has also prompted employees to recognise the importance of their emotional wellbeing, with data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that around 1 in 6 adults experienced anxiety or depression during the latter half of 2021 – almost double the rate before the pandemic (1 in 10).
These changes make for the Gen Z workplace to shift fiercely, hence these are some ways prepare for a new workforce generation.
Gen Z workers want to be recognised for their strengths and compensated in turn, so businesses that keep them motivated through rewards based on merit are most likely to retain them. Financial goals are set to be the biggest motivator for Gen Z employees; 70% think high salaries are a priority and are willing to work harder to achieve these financial targets.
Subsequently, large organisations and SMEs should consider developing a positive work culture and reward structure that enable employees to work harder to achieve their enhanced financial goals. Additional support and care however should be introduced to protect workers from becoming overworked or experiencing burnout/work fatigue.
Gen Z is a pioneering digitally focused generation, so they often have a unique set of skills to offer, hence employers should be open-minded and willing to undergo a digital transformation if they want to attract Gen Z workers. Creating a digital-first work environment and making digital a central role in the direction and activity of the company, will give Gen Zs a chance to shine and add a greater sense of purpose to their work.
Much like their financially stable mindset, Gen Zs will start to increasingly seek companies that are willing to offer customisable career paths that suit their needs. With many valuing flexibility over being tied down long term, businesses should accommodate this by empowering them to choose a direction that is suitable to their skills and interests. In fact, three quarters feel “responsible for driving their own career”, meaning they do not want to follow the conventional entry-level to middle management promotional path.
Employers need to provide them with the opportunity to explore and influence the direction of their career, exposing them to different tasks and roles and leveraging their strengths.