Generation Z is already proving to be highly different from their Millennial counterparts in the workplace. This group, born from 1996-2010, are notorious for their tech savviness, desire for diversity and inclusion, and push for work-life balance. As a business owner, you may have already witnessed Generation Z at work and wonder, “How can I retain this group of workers?” This blog dives into three facts businesses need to know in order to retain the Generation Z workforce in 2024.
#1 Generation Z are simultaneously tech savvy and digitally fatigued
Yes, it’s true that Generation Z never leaves the house without their smartphone. They were raised on digital devices just like Millennials; however, their reliance on these devices is more prevalent as technology at the time advanced from the GameBoy to the Nintendo Wii. You might be surprised to learn that Generation Z, though tech savvy and quick to adapt, are increasingly fatigued by digital screens compared to Millennials. This is likely due to the fact that the earlier generation witnessed technologies unveiled at a slower rate than Generation Z who are dealing with artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and the Metaverse. While previous generations learned how to manage their screen time as technology rolled out, Generation Z continues to use screens as a gateway to connect with family, friends, and coworkers. Businesses can incentivize Generation Z by hosting online and in-person events that fulfill their need for connectivity in both formats. This allows for Generation Z workers to choose where they are most comfortable and have a break from constant technology use in the workplace.
#2 Generation Z value traditional benefits over office perks
Growing up in multiple economic downturns, Generation Z are concerned about job security, retirement, and work-life balance. They place more emphasis on traditional job benefits (i.e. pay, health insurance, retirement plans, work arrangements, and career development) than free coffee, sponsored events, and other in-office perks. Likewise, this tech reliant age group advocates for remote work, flexible schedules, and extended paid leave for medical and family events. Their desire for human connection still matters, but benefits are non-negotiable. As a result, businesses need to include these traditional benefits in job postings and keep their eyes open to competitive benefits from other businesses. This doesn’t mean that your business must cater to every need among Generation Z, but instead, your business is far more likely to attract this age group when the necessary terms are properly disclosed in the job posting.
#3 Generation Z are not afraid to job hop for better benefits
You may have heard viral stories on the internet or witnessed it yourself. Generation Z aren’t afraid to switch jobs every two or three years for better benefits. This shift contrasts Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers who were promised financial security during retirement in exchange for their loyalty to employers. Generation Z, however, lack trust with employers, believing that many businesses do not genuinely care about their well-being. Contracting and working in the gig economy are recent trends among the emerging Generation Z workforce. These attitudes about employment are perhaps the most challenging to handle in retaining this age group. There’s no single right solution or strategy; however, businesses can start by taking proactive steps to show that they do, in fact, care about employees. It all starts with effective communication, in-person and online.
Clearly, Generation Z has a different work ethic than Millennials and other previous generations. They are technologically reliant and fatigued, less optimistic about job security, and consistently looking for better opportunities. Your business will likely, if not already, encounter the Generation Z workforce who are the next disruption in the labor market. Retaining them can be especially challenging for businesses that do not understand their work ethic. In 2024, businesses can capitalize on this age group’s desire for connectivity, job security, and genuine care to remain competitive and relevant among employers. This blog post sought to provide three facts about the Generation Z work ethic that your business should know to develop retention strategies specifically for this emerging group of workers in 2024.