With new technologies emerging and the disruption of traditional work structures, the working landscape has changed significantly in recent years.
For Gen Zs or the “digital natives” – adolescents and young adults born between 1997 and 2012 – these generational changes are an opportunity for them to seek improvements as they enter the workforce.
As they grapple with the impact of the last few years (COVID-19 pandemic and the inflation among others), these Gen Z employees are not afraid to assert their expectations when it comes to their careers.
Here’s what our Gen Z readers consider as the top priorities when they’re looking for a job:
Livable wage, better benefits
Compared to other generations, Gen Z employees are significantly less willing to work for minimum wage. And rightfully so, given the rising cost of living and high inflation rate.
It’s high time that employers should learn to provide competitive salaries and great benefits packages to their employees – Gen Zs or not. Admit it: that P16,000 entry-level monthly salary 10 years ago is no longer enough for the circumstances today.
Most older employees might call these younger ones “entitled” for trying to negotiate better pay, but this practice is proof that Gen Z employees prioritize their financial security. Many of them would prefer to have a paycheck that could cover their basic necessities and fit their lifestyle, as well as help them retire in financial comfort.
Aside from the salaries, benefits like paid leaves and health insurance are also important for Gen Z employees. While these are the basic benefits, organizations could also offer other perks such as allowances, stock options, or resources that could not only attract but also retain talents.
For most Gen Zs, it’s a sign to be cautious when companies don’t want their employees to discuss their salaries and benefits with each other, or won’t provide metrics or reasons for why employees are not getting promoted or salary raises. Aside from the pay transparency, Gen Zs also consider whether there’s a pay gap within the company. For them, it’s important that minorities should have equal opportunities to grow.
Gen Z employees also actively explore other opportunities to widen their income, and would appreciate it if employers would allow them to pursue these side hustles.
Most Gen Z employees prefer flexibility in when and how they work. For them, it’s a way to enable a better work-life balance.
Since the pandemic has aided the shift to hybrid arrangements, most employees would prefer having to report back to their office full-time and have the option to split their schedule between working on-site and from their home. Not only does this save on expenses like commuting and office meals, it also gives employees ample time to do other things such as spending time with their family or doing chores.
It’s not also limited to flexibility on where they work; Gen Z employees would also prefer to have more control over their work schedule. In fact, most of them would prefer doing output-based work, than having strict working hours.
Employers should understand that employees hit peak productivity at different times, and pushing them to adhere to rigid work hours, requirements, and locations can greatly affect their overall performance. It would be beneficial if employers give their employees autonomy with their own working style.
Opportunities for guidance and development
Contrary to assumptions of being the “job-hopping generation,” Gen Z employees are on the lookout for a working environment that fosters a culture of learnability and advancement.
Consistent feedback helps motivate Gen Z employees. They’d prefer bosses who are available to guide and coach them and opportunities that could help them advance their career professionally. They’re open to receiving evaluation and feedback on where they can improve, and engage in activities that would hone new skills and expand their experiences.
Since job mobility is one of their top priorities, the employers should give them a clear path on how they can move upward. While promotions can be difficult, especially if there are only limited roles, the employers could opt for salary raises or bonuses, too.
If Gen Z employees feel like they’re no longer growing in a certain working environment or there’s no chance for career progression, they won’t hesitate to explore other opportunities elsewhere.
Sense of community
Gen Z employees value an inclusive workplace where everyone has equal opportunities to learn and advance their careers.
Employers should cultivate that sense of culture and community – even in hybrid set-ups – by having strong communication programs that could establish strong peer relationships within the company.
These young talents are also hungry for collaborating and networking, and would prefer to feel connected to the people they’re working with. Employers can facilitate team-wide activities that would fit their company values and schedule check-ins to learn more about their employees. By doing so, they could learn to understand their employees’ priorities.
Once a bond is formed, it would be easier for employees to reach out to their employees when they have their concerns. For most Gen Zs, it’s important for them that their bosses would listen to their work-related worries and help them fix it, instead of invalidating them.
Having mental health resources for employees is also a sign of a good working environment. Employers could provide trained leaders, educational resources, and company-sponsored therapies or counselings as a way to support their talents. The company should also be vocal and consistent in making their employers feel comfortable in accessing these resources without the fear of being judged.
Employees shouldn’t be reprimanded if they choose to log off for the day once their shift ends, or don’t answer emails or messages if they’re not onboard, because this shows that employers respect work boundaries.
Beyond better compensation, Gen Z employees value the mission of the places they work. They’d like to get a sense of purpose from their work and would prefer to do something with societal impact.
These young talents are also more outspoken and guided strongly by their moral standards, so they make sure that the company they work for also aligns with their own values. If there are cases of discrimination or injustice in their workplace, most of them won’t hesitate to fight back or leave their employers.
Moving forward, companies should learn to adapt and step up their game to fit the values adhered by this young talent pool if they want to attract and retain new talent. – Rappler.com
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