As your organisation looks to the future, and more specifically, the future of its workforce, it would be foolish to ignore the trends being displayed by the Gen Z workforce. These are the people who, soon enough, will be taking up the mantle and continuing the legacy you have tirelessly built.
Indeed, when looking at the trends displayed locally, a recent survey reported that 42.2 per cent of respondents, who are exclusively made up of Malta’s Gen Z workforce, would ditch their current job for lower pay, if it meant finding more fulfilment elsewhere.
This statistic puts a spotlight on today’s youngest workers’ quest for purpose and priorities beyond the paycheck. It’s also a clear indication that employer branding matters! Why? Because it’s the vehicle for organisations to convey and showcase their purpose and who they really are as an employer.
Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z are the first generation to have grown up with the internet woven into everyday life. While often labelled as entitled, Gen Z are pragmatic go-getters, laser-focused on finding meaning in their work and advancing their careers.
And with Gen Z soon-enough becoming the world’s largest generation, organisations simply cannot ignore their needs and expectations around purpose, flexibility, development, work-life balance – and fair remuneration.
Getting your facts right about the Gen Z talent landscape
It’s very easy to ignore, and possibly ‘reject’, the realities around the Gen Z talent landscape because their workplace needs and expectations are so different to what we’ve known so far. Many leaders may struggle to digest such ‘demands’ that in our eyes are not merited. But ignoring the voice of this generation is a massive business risk.
Here are some ‘harsh’ facts reflected in Maltese and European Gen Zs:
Responding to the Gen Z talent landscape for a business of the future
Adopting the same people management practices you’ve adopted for the past five, 10 and 15 years is going to restrict your growth and profitability. It’s a very simple formula: no employees, equals no opportunity for business growth. Unfulfilled employees, equals less sales.
So, the question becomes, how can you up your game as an employer? How can you start moving into a direction to become ‘Gen Z-friendly’?
Here are a couple of aspects to reflect upon
Shifting into a new way of people management with the assumed risk of ‘less profit’ can be scary, and uncomfortable – for small or large organisations alike. Yet time and time again research shows that organisations who put people before profit end up with more profit.
It’s easy to shut off the Gen Z workplace conversation assuming it’s all about more salary and better benefits, but when you look at the facts and dig deeper the reality there’s more to this conversation. Gen Z workplace needs and expectations are challenging us in adapting our ways of doing business and leading people. And changing behaviours is much harder than throwing money at an issue!
Gen Z’s want to contribute to an organisation that has a bigger purpose than making money, they want to have a voice to share their views with their manager, while learning and progressing as fast as possible with the help of continuous feedback. They also want to ensure their workload enables them to peruse interests outside of work.
Understanding and adapting your people management practices to Gen Z work needs and expectations, cannot be perceived as a luxury if you truly want to have an organisation of the future.
*Employment trends among young people in Malta – FreeHour 2023
**Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey
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