They care more about flexibility, values, and diversity.

Work as we know it will end with Generation Z

The workforce of the future will depend on Gen Z. This is the all-digital, one-click generation that is growing up in a world without borders. And by 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of the work force in OECD countries.

Gen Z, or people born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, cares less about salary than any other generation and wants to work from home more than anything else. The Census Bureau thinks that by 2026, this generation will be mostly made up of people who are not white.

How can companies compete for this talent and create cultures that meet their needs?

Most people in Gen Z aren’t against working in a corporate setting. They’re just less likely than other generations to work in a place that doesn’t match their values.

This generation cares a lot about being independent and having a good balance between work and life. Almost two-thirds of Gen Z would rather work for themselves in a start-up. About half say they would quit their job if it got in the way of balancing work and life.

Business leaders need to be committed to working with this new generation of workers while still taking care of the older workers.

Moving Markets

To bring in the next generation of workers, business leaders should use a style of leadership that shows empathy and includes five key elements:

1) Foster intra-preneurism

Business leaders need to create an environment where people are free to be creative and where the culture is similar to that of a start-up.

For employees, this creates a structure that is similar to a group of startups, each of which has the help and resources of the mega corporation.

2) Gen Z needs to be able to change.

Gen Z is very aware of how work and life fit together. A recent study that looked at 35,000 workers in 34 different markets found that almost two-fourths of Gen Z workers would rather be unemployed than stuck in a job they don’t like.

After the pandemic, 73 percent of employees want permanent flexible work options, and 67 percent want more face-to-face work and collaboration. In the end, what every employee wants is the best of both worlds. Especially for younger people, it’s important to be able to change.

3) Help people be different

Business leaders need to keep their promises about diversity, equity, and inclusion if they want to meet the new standard that Gen Z employees are coming to expect.

Diversity, not just in terms of race and gender, but also in terms of identity and sexual orientation, is important to Gen Z. Once the job of HR, practising and promoting diversity now needs to come from the top of an organisation to make sure that these values are truly shown.

Different fields are taking steps to address diversity and inclusion issues. 

4) Commit to values that are shared around the world

Even though companies are reducing their global supply chains and moving toward reshoring, employees are pushing for leadership to take a stand on important issues in a way that broadens the global view of the companies.

Many multinational businesses stopped selling and doing business in Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine. Employees, investors, and customers put pressure on them to do so.

Climate change is also making Gen Z feel very worried about the environment. Climate-related jobs that fit with their sense of purpose to help the environment are in high demand. A recent study found that 64 percent of 18- to 22-year-olds think it’s important for their employers to do something about environmental problems.

5) Teach them skills for the future

Training and reskilling programmes can benefit employees of all ages and help keep more of them on board. Business leaders should think about how they can use these programmes to change the way they hire people in ways that aren’t traditional.

More than 100 U.S. companies, have promised to make it easier for people without bachelor’s degrees to get higher-paying jobs with stable career paths.

Nearly two-thirds of workers in the U.S. do not have a four-year college degree, and degree screenings are especially hard on minority communities. If this standard were lowered, people without college degrees could get 1.4 million more jobs in the next five years.

When business leaders try to hire the best people, it’s important that they don’t forget that Gen Z is different from every other generation and should be treated as such.


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