Gen Z in the Workplace: What Do They Value?

by Tanya September 23, 2022

With the current ‘quiet quitting’ trend driven by Gen Z, the work is changing for all of us.

The idea of slowly withdrawing from overworking has gone viral on TikTok. The idea of quiet quitting is not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond.

41% UK and 40% of US Gen Z are not willing to work beyond their regular working hours if there is an important deadline and are comfortable doing above the bare minimum at work.

Gen Z makes it loud and clear:

“Work is not life and, I’m not going to do things I’m not compensated for any more.”

If you want your company to appeal to the youngest generation, below are some points to consider.

So … apart from setting boundaries and abandoning the hustle culture, let’s look at what Gen Z value in the workplace.

1. Focus on sustainability and a bigger purpose

Ethics are important for Gen Z.

Millennials strive for a bigger purpose. Your company should have a bigger purpose than just making money.

Gen Z acknowledges the planet is bigger than their single existence and expects others to feel that way too.

Gen Z values having a clear sustainable vision for the future. Gen Z is more likely than older generations to look to the government to solve big societal and environmental problems.

Big societal problems are more political than personal for Gen Z. This suggests that for Gen Z real change requires top-down action.

This means organizations need to think carefully about how they can make their operations eco-friendlier and more sustainable.

A good option is to start with fleet management technology. The business fleet is often a source of massive emissions and expenses. However, with the right technology, entrepreneurs can cut down on both. With a fleet management tool, companies can track fuel efficiency, and keep an eye out for abnormal activity, such as idling, to keep issues to a minimum.

The right fleet management tools can also help business leaders to plan and create more efficient routes for their employees, to keep wasted time and fuel low.

2. Have a flatter business structure and access to leadership

Young adults have sent HR into turbulence with their complaints and demanded a flatter business structure.

Gen Z  don’t view managers as experts, instead, they view managers more as coaches and mentors and we want to be able to speak to them without barriers.

Gen Z and Millennials now want open, fun, and inclusive leadership styles; and they thrive on fairness and performance-based appraisals, not tenure and seniority.

Gen Z would prefer to have access to several other leaders, rather than be limited to working with one leader or manager.

3. Invest in a healthy company culture

Company culture makes up a set of unwritten rules that all people of the company live by.

Culture gives us a sense of belonging and understanding about what is normal, appropriate, and expected, but also what is inappropriate and unaccepted.

Understanding the culture is what sets “us” (the insiders) apart from “them” (outsiders). When others don’t meet our expectations, it is often a cue that our cultures don’t fit.

Sadly, the cultural norms of the majority of companies today actually work against our natural biological inclination of cooperation and belonging.

Gen Z expects business leaders to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, to ensure everyone in a team feels like an important part of the network.

Gen Z is prioritising more empathetic work structures, with better work/life balance.

Truly healthy leadership protects an organisation from the internal rivalries that can shatter a culture.

In fact, the primary role of a business leader in Gen Z-friendly workplace is to look out for those inside the culture, so that those in the group can focus on the actual problems and drive the business forward.

Is the “culture” at your company tangible?  Do employees, customers, and other stakeholders share a common idea for what your company’s real mission is?  And is this culture owned by management, or by the employees themselves?

4. Always be innovating

Gen Z wants to be where the action is.

This means they are looking to join dynamic, and forward-thinking companies.

Gone are the days when people do the same job for a decade – Gen Z won’t wait for longer than 2 years for a promotion.

Once a job is learned inside out, it’s time to move on.

To appeal to a younger audience, business leaders will need to think about how they offer progression opportunities to their best employees.

Staying tuned into the latest innovations in the business/consumer space should ensure you can take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge.

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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