Millennials and Gen Z include workers from the start of their careers to the age of 41. Given that this group makes up the vast majority of the workforce, every organization needs to know what these workers need in the workplace.
The pandemic, and the subsequent ‘Great Resignation‘, have seen employees reconsider what they want from work. In this climate, organizations are desperately trying to fill skill gaps and keep workers so that they can operate without disruption.
Deloitte spoke to 14,808 Gen Z and 8,412 millennial employees across the world to find out what concerns younger staff. The findings will trouble those struggling with staff retention.
The concerns of younger workers
If that wasn’t bad enough, nearly half of workers in this age range live paycheck to paycheck.
This poor income situation has led to 43% of Gen Z and 33% of millennials taking on an additional job on top of their primary job. Approximately three-quarters of these respondents also believe that wealth inequality is rising, with 62% not having faith that the situation will improve.
Although many organizations won’t want to increase wages, it has proved to be a viable option for the likes of Microsoft and Amazon as they battle the ‘Great Resignation’ and attempt to show employees that they are valued.
With this in mind, employers may not be able to afford to not give employees a wage that shifts with inflation.
If the financial woes of younger generations weren’t enough, many workers are also experiencing high levels of stress.
46% of Gen Z and 38% of millennials say that they are stressed most of the time, and almost half claim that they are experiencing burnout from heavy workloads.
Similarly, nearly 50% believe that their colleagues have recently left their business because of burnout.
Michele Parmelee, Deloitte’s global deputy CEO and chief people and purpose officer, discussed the stress issues of younger employees: “Stress and anxiety levels are unlikely to ease as global threats and ongoing disruption from the pandemic continue to affect Gen Zs’ and millennials’ daily lives and their long-term view of the world.
To address this: “Business leaders must play a role in supporting better mental health at work, and in mitigating the causes of stress and burnout. Better mental health resources, setting boundaries to protect work/life balance, creating stigma-free environments, and empowering their people to drive change are just a few of the ways leaders can support better workplace mental health”, according to Parmelee.
But stress and pay aren’t the only concerns of younger workers. Many want to feel a sense of purpose at work and to feel that their work has a positive impact amid a climate crisis, but very few believe their employers are taking effective climate action. As a result, employers need to reconsider what initiatives they offer staff and what achievements they celebrate internally.
Parmelee commented: “This year’s report shows that many Gen Z [employees] and millennials are reassessing what matters most to them as they grapple with the continual disruption and uncertainty of the last few years.
“This has led to a workplace reckoning which has empowered many to demand sustained changes, including higher compensation, more meaningful and flexible work, more action to address climate change, and an increased focus on well-being.
“There is an urgent need, and an opportunity, for business leaders to re-define the talent experience to better meet people’s needs.”
Of course, businesses can choose not to act on the struggles of younger employees at their peril. However. the ‘Great Resignation’ has shown the damage that can be caused by not being proactive in addressing the needs of employees.