With millions of new Generation Z college graduates ready to enter the workforce this summer, many employers are grappling with how to evolve their corporate culture and total rewards practices to keep up with the changing expectations of this new generation.
To understand which strategies can best recruit and retain this new generation of workers (one that is estimated to make up about 25% of the global workforce), beqom conducted a survey of 1,200 actively employed adults in the U.S to hear their thoughts.
While we found that over a quarter of U.S workers were planning to get a new job within the next year because they’re unhappy with their compensation, this number shoots up to 39% of Gen Z workers. Unlike previous generations, younger workers are willing to leave their employers to find a company they feel aligns with their values and overall goals.
Younger workers are also more than twice as likely to share salary information than older workers, and this same transparency around pay also applies to benefits in their overall rewards packages.
Younger workers value flexibility – It’s time to rethink the 9–5
Born between 1998 and 2016, Gen Z marks the first generation that is truly digitally native. A hungry attitude and intense work ethic, paired with all of the modern tech tools have enabled a lot of freedom in their education, and they want to mirror that in the workplace. Flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in their decision to take or leave a job. In fact, almost half of Gen Z workers (42%) rate this as the most important benefit of the workplace, preferring private workplaces that counter open office design and fit.
Forget about the pool tables and free snacks, this generation has a career-oriented outlook, and they want their workplace to invest their focus on them, not objects. More than their predecessors, 62% of our respondents are happy to sit down with management to discuss their work performance, and 83% feel that they understand the value of their total rewards packages, including salary, bonuses, benefits, and other rewards.
Technology has made it possible to implement new policies in a way that does not affect workers role in their organization or their teammates. Whether a worker is sitting at a desk in their home or a desk two floors away will likely not make a difference in the team’s work, but could make an enormous difference for the employee when it comes to work-life balance. If the work gets done and a company provides the tools necessary to achieve employee goals, it all works.
The entrance of Generation Z to the workforce creates an opportunity for companies to start an open dialogue with employees around pay from the onboarding stage, working to not only improve employees’ perceptions of their employers’ transparent pay practices, but to help HR and managers create personalized packages that extend beyond salary.
Get the tips you need to develop programs to effectively attract and retain talent for years to come with our eGuide: How The Next Generation of Workers is Changing the Culture of Total Rewards.
Editor's note: This article has been updated from the original published in 2019.