As Gen Z is set to comprise 31% of the U.S. workforce, by 2025, the Conference Board is offering some advice. In an article, they noted that " understanding the intrinsic motivations of Gen Z employees and how to win their loyalty comes down to identifying what drives them and what influences them."
Research from authors Robin Erickson, vice president of human capital and Barbara Lombardo, a program director at the Conference Board found that Gen Zers want companies to do the following:
- Respect us with adequate compensation. Many Gen Zers expressed concerns about adequate compensation. They are starting their careers at a time of high inflation, exacerbated by a lack of proportional entry-level wage growth, burdensome student loan debt, and a slowing economy. Gen Zers readily share salary information with one another both via social media and in person, and for them, adequate compensation is a matter of both respect and equity. Many are concerned about their ability to afford the basic necessities of rent, food, and transportation, and worry that they will never be able to afford to buy a house.
Conference Board Advice: To best attract, engage, and retain Gen Zers, reevaluate starting salaries and increase pay transparency.
- Give us more control. While control can mean different things to knowledge workers and hourly workers, both types of employees seek increased control over where or when they work. For knowledge workers, this can mean the opportunity to work remotely at least some of the time. For hourly workers, it can mean having some say in the shifts assigned to them and knowing their shifts well in advance so that they can plan for personal commitments.
Conference Board advice: To best attract, engage, and retain Gen Zers, give them as much control as possible over where and when they work.
- Help keep us safe and well. It is not surprising that a generation coming of age during a global pandemic is especially concerned about safety and wellness. For workers in customer-facing roles, this can mean support when faced with customer hostility, which has increased significantly since the onset of the pandemic.6 Gen Zers want their employers to help support their physical and psychological safety and their pursuit of mental and physical wellness.
Conference Board Advice: To best attract, engage, and retain Gen Zers, develop a culture of safety and wellness that genuinely supports employees while on the job, and respects and honors their boundaries and needs beyond the workplace.
- Provide us opportunities to grow and recognize we have something to offer. Growth opportunities are high on the list of what Gen Zers are looking for from employers, and many noted that a lack of growth opportunities would be a reason to leave a job. They also are eager to share with others their knowledge and skills, such as their facility with technology.
Conference Board Advice: To best attract, engage, and retain Gen Zers, focus on talent mobility by creating and communicating career paths with internal and external development opportunities.
- Don’t just talk about your purpose and values, live them. Organizational mission, values, and purpose are high priorities when choosing an employer for many Gen Zers, and many said they would leave a job if their own values did not align with those of their employer. Many are seeking purpose at the task level as well, wanting to understand the purpose of the tasks they are asked to perform.
Conference Board Advice: To best attract, engage, and retain Gen Zers, ensure leaders are living your organization’s values in how they communicate with and treat their employees.