Look out! The first wave of Gen Z has graduated college this year and is entering the workforce. As digital natives born between the years 1997 and 2012, Gen Z grew up with the internet and the ability to monetize an online presence. This generation is made up of tech experts and natural entrepreneurs. They are bringing new forms of creativity and innovation to companies, which will prove as vital in the upcoming years.
In today’s social media and technology-driven culture, Gen Z offers vital traits and skills that companies need to stay relevant. Here are a few things companies can offer in order to appeal to this rising generation.
1. Inclusive Workplaces
Feeling accepted in the workplace should be of the utmost importance for any generation. Gen Z demands an environment that’s consistently inclusive and supportive of all identities. Work spaces that foster feelings of otherness for marginalized groups are not tolerated by most people from younger generations.
Companies can show commitment to inclusion by:
training employees on diversity
holding employees accountable to an equitable work culture
partnering with organizations that support marginalized groups
publicly supporting policies of acceptance
ensuring workplace accessibility for those with disabilities
showing well-informed core-values beyond the workplace through employee team-building experiences for a cause, like those found on Visit.org.
Beyond inclusion, companies can help make employees feel safe by caring for their employees’ physical and mental health.
For physical safety, companies can improve security with: trained lobby attendants, or requiring a badge to access office premises.
To support mental health, companies have numerous options, including offering office experiences that will benefit their employees’ well-being. Through Visit.org, companies can host a mindful meditation, throw an office puppy party, or learn about self-care at a personal and professional well-being workshop. By doing so, companies can help to eliminate the negative stigma around therapy and mental illness, and make the office a safe space.
3. Competitive Salaries
Gen Z is graduating with an average of $28,650 in student loan debt. Now more than ever, young people need access to competitive salaries to live normal, financially healthy lives. Gen Z learned from Millennials the importance of keeping debt low, paying loans off as quickly as possible, and even saving for their future children’s college tuition. There is a widespread need to pay off student loan debt, and Gen Z is going to seek high-paying jobs to do it. To attract the youngest generation of workers, companies can offer substantial pay, financial advisers, and bonuses to their employees.
4. Job Security
Without job security, a high salary is virtually meaningless. This is reflected in a study conducted by Universum, which surveyed 49,000 members of Gen Z across 47 countries. The study found that job security and work-life balance were top concerns across the board. These concerns were most likely shaped by the 2008 recession and student debt. It’s important to this generation that they can depend on their job for the long-term.
Finding happiness in one’s work is crucial to Gen Z. In fact, they are the first generation to prioritize it over salary when looking for a job.
While finding meaning at work can come from many different avenues, one of the most important ways to ensure that Gen Z employees are happy is by creating an environment where they feel like they can make an impact through their work. This is especially true for causes they care about, including issues regarding human rights, race, and sexual orientation.
Having an inspiring mission, being open to new ideas, and being happy to change for the better can give employees a sense of greater purpose and satisfaction with what they do. Companies have many options to increase health, happiness, and productivity at work. If they invest in their corporate purpose culture, they will attract and retain Gen Z workers.
With a new generation entering the workforce this year, companies will have to find ways to appeal to a new audience of prospective employees. By offering safe and inclusive workplaces, competitive salaries and security, and a greater purpose, companies are likely to attract Gen Z candidates.