Global Events, Company Values Affect Work-Life Decisions of GenZ and Millennials

Previous workforce generations have significantly contributed to the Great Resignation. When COVID-19 hit the business realm, it led to several employees belonging to the Baby Boomer generation rethinking their priorities in the current circumstances.

Workers who are already close to retirement have found the opportunity to start their retirement sooner than expected. The Federal Reserve of St. Louis reports that an estimated more than half of the 4.2 million who retired in the first half of the Year 2021 were discovered to be early retirees due to the pandemic. 

The transition to a newer workforce generation will push businesses to assess whether they are best equipped to cater to this newer generation of workers, specifically Gen Zs and millennials. 

Luckily for businesses, Deloitte released its 11th edition of its 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey of respondents from these two generations around the globe to measure their views about work and the world that surrounds them. 

Current global events affect Gen Zs and millennials

Deloitte discovered that Gen Zs and millennials are greatly disturbed about the current global events that affect them. The two generations were determined to set a better post-pandemic world when the survey started early. However, many parts of the world face a decline in the economy and quality of life as the Year 2022 continues to unfold. 

In fact, Gen Zs and millennials were among the Americans whose savings took the hardest hit. Millennials, in particular, were the most likely generation to have more credit card debt than savings for a rainy day according to a Bankrate survey

Moreover, 46% of Zoomers mentioned that their emergency savings are currently less than what it was at the start of the pandemic.

To make matters worse, the Economic Policy Institute’s paper reports that Gen Zs in the USA are most likely to be unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic. The leap in the unemployment rate for Gen Zs from spring 2019 to spring 2020 caused a lot of distress – from 8.4% to 24.4%.

In another light, the disparity between unemployment rates of Caucasian and minority Gen Zs was noticeably problematic. 

Elise Gould, a senior economist from EPI, recognizes that millions of workers of all ages indeed have suffered job losses over the pandemic period, but she exclaims that young workers have suffered a greater degree from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers speak for themselves. Younger workers who are slowly replacing older generations of workers are experiencing trying times concerning work life. But just because unemployment rates are high doesn’t mean they don’t possess demands from potential employers.

While job loyalty is slightly higher compared to last year, one-fourth of Gen Zs and nearly a quarter of millennials expressed their plans on leaving their current job in the next two years. Furthermore, if another job opportunity arises, one-third will readily leave.

It’s a good thing these numbers have been reported. Now is the perfect time for businesses to re-evaluate their whole recruitment process to maintain quality levels of attraction and retention.

For a start, organizations should acknowledge that compensation is the top reason why Gen Zs and millennials leave their jobs. Understandably, with inflation rates going higher and unstable gas prices, any generation would find it reasonable to look for a job with better pay. 

But even with good compensation packages, employers need to create better work-life balance and development opportunities as these are top priorities as well.

Company values need to be aligned with younger generations

Another trend common within these generations is the importance of aligning company values to theirs. Around two in every five respondents have rejected a job or an assignment because they discovered the company values didn’t align with their values.

Deloitte also reported that workers who are satisfied with their employers’ societal and environmental efforts and their initiatives in diversity, inclusion, and equity are more likely to remain with their company for more than 5 years.

Organizations should also take the step to tackling mental wellness issues that have become more prevalent over the pandemic period. Financial instability is the cause of higher stress levels among these generations. 

It’s evident that organizations have integrated mental wellness as part of their benefits and packages to cater to the needs of their workforce. All they have to do is tap people organizers such as global mobility professionals and HR personnel to develop even better strategies derived from information that their workforces can provide.

With all that has been said, let’s take a look at how companies can attract and retain these two generations who are entering the workforce and eventually replace the older workforce generations.

Aquant, a firm whose aim is to provide service leaders, agents, and techs critical information when needed, discusses how organizations can attract and retain Gen Z and millennial employees.

Leverage up-to-date technology across the whole organization

It’s known that newer generations were subjected to the digital era. Most, if not many, are knowledgeable on how to navigate some form of technology and have little trouble understanding new digital tools when training is provided.

Gen Zs were discovered to have expectations that employers integrate the latest technology for their application process, according to a 2019 Yello survey. Moreover, a little over a quarter of Gen Zs consider rejecting a job offer if they observe the lack of use of technology in the hiring process. 

When technology is utilized to its maximum potential, Gen Zs and millennials recognize that they work their best as well.

Create a collaborative working environment

The demand for collaboration is evident in these two generations of the workforce. With the rise of collaborative technology, young and tech-savvy workers are at an advantage to be situated in the digital era. And unlike previous generations, Worldwide Business Research discovered that millennials are less likely to rely on expertise from a single source. They were found to exhaust all sources of information from the team before carrying out tasks assigned to them.

Collaborative workplaces are the way to go if organizations wish to entice millennials and Gen Z to stay.

Promote continuous learning

It doesn’t suit millennials and Gen Z workers when organizations leave them in the dark about their opportunities for advancement. Deloitte explains that the second most important factor of job dissatisfaction of employees from these two generations is the inability of organizations to provide substantial opportunities for career progression – followed by the lack of learning and development opportunities. 

These two generations are less interested in isolated knowledge management. They yearn for upskilling and career advancement.

Indeed, it’s time to evolve. Employers should recognize that the global talent pool predominantly comprises these two generations. It would do them a great service to re-evaluate their current offers and strategies to attract and retain younger workers.