As Generation Z continues to enter the workforce, you might wonder what makes this latest influx of workers different. According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z comprises people born between 1997 and 2002, so they grew up with the internet and strong social values that inform their workplace demands.
To better understand the group, the Great Place to Work Institute polled 32,000 Gen Zers from more than 350 businesses. Let’s explore some of the survey’s key findings on what Gen Zers want from their employers.
The Great Place to Work study found five key elements that Gen Zers want from their employers.
According to the study, Gen Z workers expect better pay. Of the 32,000 respondents, 69% felt they received fair wages. Although this is a majority of the Gen Z respondents, it’s seven points lower than other generations’ pay satisfaction.
Great Place to Work notes that this demand could stem from COVID-era wage losses. The study cites an ADP statistic saying that Gen Z lost 11% of its jobs to the pandemic. This figure is 4.3% greater than the national average and the corresponding numbers for other generations.
Gen Z is at least 8% more racially diverse than any prior generation. According to the survey, 47% of Gen Zers identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), which is nearly twice the 25% rate for baby boomers. The researchers noted that this generational diversity might stem from a peak in immigration around 2005.
Gen Z is diverse in more ways than race – it’s also the generation with the most LGBTQ people. A February 2021 Gallup survey found that 15.9% of Gen Zers identify as LGBTQ. [Related article: How to Support an LGBTQ Employee Coming Out in the Workplace]
Unsurprisingly, Great Place to Work found that Gen Z demands diverse workplaces as a result.
Millennials might have largely brought the concept of “meaningful work” into the conversation, but Gen Zers seem even less satisfied with the meaning of their work. In the Great Place to Work survey, Gen Z employees said their work had “special meaning” 8% less than other generations did. Similarly, Gen Zers said they felt like they were making a difference at work 7% less than other generations did. [Related article: The New Role of Millennial Leaders]
According to the study, Gen Zers are 7% less likely than other generations to describe their work environments as psychologically or emotionally healthy. They were also 7% less likely to say that they could take enough time off from work. As Great Place to Work notes, the American Psychological Association has found Gen Z to be the most stressed generation. The APA believes this trend correlates with the many sociopolitical crises the generation may face.
Remote work rates hovered around 45% in the latter half of 2021. That means Gen Zers may enter the workforce without ever entering an office and making friends with co-workers in person. Great Place to Work notes that, based on its findings, Gen Zers need a “warm and thoughtful welcome” when they start new jobs. The researchers concluded that such actions are key to keeping Gen Z employees – and new hires of any age – engaged and motivated. [Follow this employee hiring checklist for a successful onboarding process.]
Alongside its findings, the Great Place to Work survey offers some actionable tips.
Regardless of age, these tips are good advice in general for keeping your employees happy. There may be some generational differences in priorities, but your whole team will appreciate your efforts to show you value them.