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What Does the Next Generation of Workers Care About?

By Alex Shubat, CEO, Espresa

As the leader of a growing company, you know that attracting and retaining top talent is the most important part of consistently staying ahead of your competitors. 

You already ask for feedback on your managerial style, you’ve tried to put together a competitive benefits package, and you do everything you can to foster an atmosphere of open communication. 

Now, you need to shift your focus to preparing for the next generation of workers. 

While millennials will certainly remain a large part of your workforce, perhaps you’ve already started hiring team members from GenZ (people born between 1995 and 2010.) 

You understand that millennials value flexibility, feedback from managers, and even a social work environment. But what does the new generation of workers want?

Read on to find out!

Recognition and Rewards

Here’s the thing: many managers and CEOs think that employees leave their current jobs because they’re in search of a higher salary and a step up in their job titles. 

Yes, these things are important — but you might be surprised that pay and titles aren’t the real reason why you may struggle with employee retention. 

Close to 80% of employees say that they left their old jobs because they did not receive credit or recognition for their hard work and achievements. 

The next generation of workers doesn’t just want recognition from their bosses. They also want it from their fellow employees and peers. 

Consider implementing employee-nominated brags and awards to allow team members to recognize and nominate one another. This helps to create a stronger sense of community in your office — and makes it easy for you to recognize your true leaders. 

Having a mini office awards ceremony, offering tenure, or even just celebrating a birthday can go a long way towards making an employee feel appreciated. With the new generation – experiential rewards are much more meaningful – like a designated parking spot for super start of the month, trips to wine country or spa with a spouse, tickets to sporting events, concerts, etc. 

Employer Support in Achieving Career Goals

If millennials are more interested in “perks,” then GenZ workers are more interested in companies that are willing to invest in their futures — and even support their professional development. 

Whether it’s through creating in-house education programs, including financial support and reimbursements for education in your benefits plan, or even having employees or experts host workshops in your office, GenZ workers want to feel that it’s possible to grow with your brand. By the way, they also care about what your company stands for, philosophically. 

The good news is that investing in growing your employees will only help you reap the rewards of having a motivated, intelligent workforce who is in touch with current industry trends and your company initiatives and strategies.  

Diversity and Clear Policies

The next generation of workers especially values companies with a commitment to diversity, clear sexual harassment policies, and strong values as a whole. 

GenZ workers want to commit to a company they feel shares their own values and even one that hires people who look like them. Diversity and inclusion groups are the new normal in the next generation’s workforce. 

Plus, it always strengthens a workforce to get input and learn from the experience of team members from a variety of different platforms.

Expectations about behavior that are clearly talked about openly, and are enforced are also a huge priority among GenZ employees. Host frequent team meetings, including Video Screen Share (Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts, Skype) with dispersed work teams where you review policies about appropriate behavior, your reporting, and monitoring process. 

Even consider developing a safety plan for newer workplace threats, such as workplace violence and shootings. 

This will help everyone feel safe and respected in your office.  

The Chance to Cultivate Their Own Workplace Culture

Perhaps the most important thing of all to keep in mind as you study up on the characteristics of future workers is that GenZ wants their ideas to be taken seriously. 

They want to work for a company that listens to them and takes their opinions and ideas into account when developing employee programs, positions at your company, and even the kinds of technology and marketing tactics you use. 

GenZ workers are truly invested in your business — perhaps more so than millennials, who are known for job-hopping.

GenZ workers want to advance, with 65% saying they want to make it to the top of their chosen fields. They’re willing to work hard (even working weekends and after-hours) to make it happen and believe that staying loyal to a singular company makes advancement to the top more likely. 

What Does This Mean for You? 

It means that the new workforce will tell you what they want and need from you as an employer — and they expect you to listen in exchange for their commitment and loyalty. 

Need Help Preparing for the Next Generation of Workers?

The next generation of workers does expect a lot from the companies they invest their time and energy into — but in return, you’ll be rewarded with loyal employees who are always willing to go the extra mile, and who consider the company they work for to be a reflection of who they are as individuals. 

Do you need help developing employee-led resource programs, making a rewards and recognition strategy, finding a fitness solution, or overhauling your workplace programs as a whole? 

We’re here to help your people teams thrive!

Espresa enables all your Culture Benefits, including rewards + recognition, employee resource groups, inclusion and diversity, wellbeing + fitness, reimbursements, and corporate events management – all on a single and simple-to-use platform that people love.

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