What Gen Z Wants from Employers

What Gen Z Wants from Employers

Feb. 13, 2024
Work/life balance, good pay and concern for the environment are most important to this group of workers.

Confusion about what the labor force wants has continued from 2023 right into 2024. The recent number of layoffs occurring at the same time many jobs go unfilled, again brings up the question of attraction and retention of younger workers.

Last May, Deloitte interviewed 22,000 Gen Z and millennials across 44 countires for their 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey. The report looks at at how the events occurring over the past three years have helped shaped their views on both life and work. 

“Gen Zs and millennials are striving for better work/life balance," says Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer, in a statement. "They are also values-driven, concerned about the environment, the state of the world, and the future they see developing ahead of them. They’re looking for employers who can help empower them to make a difference. Organizations that actively listen and help address their needs and concerns will improve business resiliency and implement actionable change in our world.”

Work/Life Balance

Approximately one-third of Gen Zs and millennials in full- or part-time work say they are very satisfied with their work/life balance, compared to only one in five in 2019. And that is good news considering the survey found that while their job is an important part of their identities, they still place a strong emphasis on work/life balance. In fact, this is a top concern when they choose an employer. 

Even with many working remotely, or having hybrid arrangements, these workers said they would like to see employers offer better career advancement opportunities for part-time employees, more part-time jobs overall, and the option for more flexible hours for full-time employees (e.g., condensed four-day work weeks)

Cost of Living

Almost six in 10 Gen Zs and two-thirds of millennials think the economy will worsen or stay the same in their country over the next year. This view leads them to feel that it will become harder to ask for a raise or promotion, get a new job, or seek greater flexibility at work.

Due to these factors, they are concerned about their ability to plan for their futures. They expressed the belief that it will be harder, or impossible to buy a home or start a family.

Gen Zs and millennials continue to cite the cost of living as their top societal concern, above unemployment and climate change. More than half of Gen Zs (51%) and millennials (52%) say they live paycheck to paycheck (up five percentage points from 2022).

Despite their desires for better work/life balance and the ability to reduce working hours, many Gen Zs (46%) and millennials (37%) have taken on either a part- or full-time paying job in addition to their primary job to make ends meet. 

Environmental Concerns

Ensuring that their employer is in tune with environmental concerns, more than half of respondents say they research a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job.

And they take action based on their beliefs as one in six say they have already changed jobs or sectors due to climate concerns and around a quarter of respondents say they plan to do so in the future. 

About half of Gen Zs and millennials say they are pressuring businesses to act on climate change, but less than one in six say they feel able to influence their organization’s sustainability efforts.

They are also looking ahead when it comes to the issue of sustainability. Gen Zs and millennials want their employers to help empower them and provide training and support to develop the skills needed for the transition to a low-carbon economy. More than half of Gen Zs say they already receive this training.

“It is crucial for employers to understand these generations and continue to drive progress on the challenges that matter most to them," siad Parmelee. "This will not only help boost productivity and retain talent—it will ultimately build trust and value for business in society more broadly.”

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