Gen Z Values in the Workplace


Generation Z (Gen Z) is the term given to those born after 1997. They make up a large amount of our population. In 2020, it was estimated Gen Z made up 20% of the total workforce, which certainly would have increased by now. Gen Z grew up in a digital age and experienced fast-growing technological advances. Their values also differ from previous generations, particularly when it comes to the workplace. Examples such as companies being 'tech savvy', favouring a fair work-life balance and the importance of diversity. Here are 5 values to take into consideration when recruiting and retaining the Gen Z workforce.

1. Healthy work-life balance Being overworked and glamorising the ‘workaholic’ lifestyle does not appeal to the Gen Z crowd. They may prefer a 4 pm finish and free pizza every Friday. But there should also be benefits that make them feel a sense of community, support, and overall inclusive company culture. Encourage a healthy work-life balance by having a good amount of paid time off, staff discounts and lifestyle benefits like free therapy, medical insurance, and gym memberships. Some benefits may come in the form of opportunities for personal and professional development, whether that is training courses or team volunteering days. Being able to take holidays, engage in hobbies, and spend time with family and friends is vital for Gen Z, as it will allow a healthy, balanced lifestyle outside of work.

2. Embrace technology Gen Z grew up with all the advanced technology. They would expect this to be a part of the workplace and value companies that embrace it. Utilising software and tools that make daily tasks easier; for example, using digital copies of paper documents and storing them on databases such as Google Drive or SharePoint. A digital environment is natural to them, so using technology can make Gen Z feel more comfortable and productive.
3. Diversity is key Having an organisation that is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion is key for Gen Z. A study revealed that 83% of Gen Z candidates will want to work for a company that demonstrates their commitment and values to this. It could be through workplace strategies, policies and procedures, and fair representation across the board. A diverse workforce is imperative for Gen Z when deciding whether a company is right for them. They are open-minded and embrace a work environment where there are diverse racial, sexual orientation, educational and cultural backgrounds. Younger workers also view diversity as having a range of people who think have different perspectives, different skills and experiences, In a workplace, having a team that does not process tasks similarly, can lead to more creativity, innovation and better results. 4. Being flexible Offering various working patterns and options is a great way to entice the Gen Z workforce. A 2021 survey conducted by Deloitte had shown that for an organisation to succeed, Gen Z prioritised flexibility and adaptability. Being flexible in the workplace can come in many forms such as working from home, and having a ‘hybrid’ arrangement where you work in the office a few days per week. Flexible start and finish times. Even being able to work remotely in another city/country. By fostering these working practices, it can lead to more productivity, better job satisfaction and improved wellbeing. 5. Mental health awareness Prioritising mental health is very important for Gen Z, and most generations too. It was imperative before the pandemic, but COVID-19 further exacerbated feelings of anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Creating a workplace where the stigma does not exist and allowing employees to take a break is key. Some companies are vocal and strive to improve the awareness of mental health in the workplace. Be open to talking about mental health, promote self-care, and consider having days off specifically for this rather than having to use up annual leave. Gen Z (and I’m sure Millennials and Gen X too) would appreciate this.

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