Workplace values are changing. We're seeing first-hand the impact of a multi-generational workforce across the business world. And as Baby Boomer and Gen X workers have begun to retire, we've seen a shift in company cultures that reflects the large number of Millennials now in senior roles - with Millennials now making up 35% of the workforce.
But Generation Z employees - those born in the late 90s and early 00s - are now thought to make up 24% of the workforce. And that means you need to review and evaluate your current workplace culture to reflect the changing values of your Gen Z workforce.
So, what elements of your business should you focus on? And what exactly are Gen Z employees looking for from your company?
Key ways to attract Gen Z talent
If you want to attract Gen Z talent to your business, you're going to need to offer a culture, mission and company values that reflect their ethics.
As a business owner, It's very easy to think that your own values are static and unchanging. But the reality is that our social norms, our ethics and our worldview change over time. And each generation brings with it a new outlook on society, and on the world of work.
Gen Z are more interested in equality, diversity, sustainability and enhanced career paths. So these elements need to be factored into your culture and talent strategy.
- Flexible and hybrid working - the old, pre-pandemic ways of working are gone. Gen Z employees don't want to be stuck with a 9-to-5 commute to the office five days per week. They want the flexibility of working from home on some days, but the social and team benefits of working from the office on other days. If you don't offer hybrid working, you're unlikely to attract young, ambitious talent to the business.
- Non-financial perks - Gen Z are sensible about money and want salaries that reflect their skills and hard work. But they want more than an annual bonus when it comes to perks and staff benefits. Everyday, non-financial perks such as free coffee in the office, gym memberships, mindfulness sessions, team social events and annual leave on your birthday all serve to broaden your culture and create a work environment that's not just focused on profit above all else.
- Green, eco-friendly policies - climate change is the key worry of most Gen Z employees, so they want to see your company doing it's bit when it comes to greening the business. Reducing unnecessary travel, cutting out single-use plastics, using sustainable, green suppliers and focusing on real change will be key areas to focus on. Gen Z workers will want to see you doing your utmost to cut your company's carbon footprint, invest in green technologies and support a climate-change strategy.
- A positive community to be part of - Gen Z employees may be on board with growing your business and achieving your business mission, but they also want to feel like they are part of a wider community. A company that takes an interest in its staff, its local stakeholders and it's wider network will create a far greater sense of community, purpose and belonging. Make your employees feel that they're part of a bigger family, and allow them time to take part in team-building and community-based activities. This creates a community feel that's a far more attractive proposition to younger talent.
- Greater responsibility and autonomy - the career outlook of the average Gen Z is very different to, say, an older Gen X employee. Gen Z employees want to learn, grow and move quickly up the corporate ladder, with a desire for extra responsibility and greater autonomy in how they work. The 'job for life' is no longer an option for most, so Gen Z talent will see their future career path as including multiple employers, where they stay for only short periods. And they want the space and flexibility to work in their own way - without micro-management and inflexible traditional structures holding them back.
Review and update your company culture
If your current company culture is not attracting Gen Z talent, it might be time to make a change. Your people strategy is an important part of your main business model, so it's important to stay current and to build a culture that's geared for success across all generations.