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What Gen-Z Employees Want and Need From Their Bosses

Learning Opportunities

With a new generation comes a new set of expectations. Many people from Generation Z (Gen-Z) have been entering and staying in the workforce in recent years, and have come with all different sorts of wants and needs. In effect, there is then a call for employers to account for such needs and wants to prevent high turnover rates not only of employees, but also the fresh and unique potentialities and capabilities these new wave of employees have to offer.

They want stability.

A lot of Gen-Z employees would be the type to deviate from traditional rewards practices and are likely to ask for more; if not, they would implicitly have this mindset, manifesting in how they are motivated more through monetary and career incentives than other generations. In essence, these Gen-Z employees want stability, characterized by good growth opportunities compensated by just and fair wages. 

They need feedback

Feedback regulation has had a new face in the wake of the Gen-Z surge in the workforce. The youth now wants more straightforward feedback and are likely more interested in hearing honest ones than those of primarily positive nature. Apart from this straightforward and honest nature, feedback for Gen-Z employees also have to go on for a regular basis. They either want to be checked in a lot of times within the week, or even several times a day. In essence, critique and validation through proper communication are highly appreciated.

They want a more tech-advanced workplace.

As digital natives, workers from this demographic would want a more up-to-date workplace. They want to be surrounded by accessible tools and software applications that they are already familiar with and can do work most efficiently through. Undoubtedly, this is all the more relevant given the current pandemic setting, wherein the remote setting is more preferred due to the possible health consequences of working face-to-face.

They need acknowledgement.

A good way to make employees become more motivated is to make them feel as if they truly belong to the company, and are cared for. This is also related to how they want to feel validated and appreciated at work. This cultivates a culture of respect and honor for their work, and makes them feel like they are doing something meaningful and value-adding to the company. 

They want flexibility.

Flexibility can take place in different ways. For instance, it can be a flexible work schedule, or it could also be a flexible workload. A great practice to this is fostering an “unplugging” culture, wherein personal time of these Gen-Z employees is very much respected. It is imperative that bosses respect these employees and avoid deliberately calling for unnecessary meetings, delaying deliverables, or doing really anything that employees may take offense in with regard to their time. 

Above all else, what is central to these wants and needs is respect – this is not only what these Gen-Z employees want and need, but it’s also what they deserve. Career opportunities must be value-adding for them more than exploitative just because they are younger employees; communication with them must be meaningful and regular and not dramatically hands-off; workplaces must be up-to-date and not misaligned with their own capabilities; forms of acknowledgement and appreciation must be present and not lacking; and time must always be respected. Them being younger does not mean that they are less capable of both doing their job and knowing what they want; perhaps, instead of calling them out for wanting more than what is already there, it’s important to treat their new suggestions and unique comments with equal respect.