How can employers attract and retain Gen Z and Millennial talent?

The workforce's future has demands. Learn how HR can get an edge over competitors and adapt to the times

How can employers attract and retain Gen Z and Millennial talent?

A recent Millennial and Gen Z survey proved how challenging it is for the two generations to navigate work at turbulent and difficult times.

From cost-of-living concerns, their thoughts on “The Great Resignation,” retention issues, and even what a “healthy” workplace should look like, learn about the most recent data that employers could use and optimize to attract and retain the workforce’s future.

According to Deloitte, its latest global 2022 survey across 46 countries revealed a clear picture of how these generations redefine working behaviors and “strive to balance their desire to drive change with the challenges of their everyday lives.”

Cost of living and financial concerns

Based on Deloitte’s survey, 29% of Gen Zs and 36% of Millennials stated the cost of living, such as housing, transportation, and bills, as their most significant concern.

“Concerns about cost of living maybe a symptom of the times, given high levels of inflation, but they also speak to issues that these generations have been expressing for years: they don’t feel financially secure personally, and at a broader societal level, they are deeply concerned about wealth inequality,” the report revealed.

Struggles to keep up with the cost of living proves to be a central concern of Gen Zs and Millennials as the survey showed that 46% and 47% of Gen Zs and Millennials, respectively, live paycheck to paycheck and worry that they cannot cover their expenses.

Moreover, the survey showed that as many as 43% of Gen Zs and 33% of Millennials do a second part- or full-time paying job aside from their primary job amid financial unease.

The Great Resignation

Aside from financial concerns, the Deloitte survey also revealed that four in 10 Gen Zs and almost a quarter of Millennials like to leave their jobs within two years, and approximately a third would resign without having another job lined up, indicating “significant dissatisfaction levels.”

According to Deloitte, pay is the top reason for the two generations’ resignation within the last two years. It further said that a good balance between work/life and learning/development opportunities were also the main reasons Gen Zs and Millennials chose an employer.

Moreover, the survey showed that it is vital that employers have similar or aligned values with Gen Zs and Millennials.

“Nearly two in five say they have rejected a job or assignment because it did not align with their values,” Deloitte said.

“Meanwhile, those who are satisfied with their employers’ societal and environmental impact, and their efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture, are more likely to want to stay with their employer for more than five years,” the organization added.

The survey also showed an apparent demand from the two generations to allow more flexible working, with 49% and 45% of Gen Zs and Millennials respectively working at least some of the time remotely, and three quarters said this would be their preferred work setup.

Healthy workplace for employees

According to Deloitte, burnout in the workplace is rampant for Gen Zs and Millennials, indicating a primary retention issue for employers.

“46% of Gen Zs and 45% of millennials feel burned out due to the intensity/demands of their working environments,” the organization said, citing its research. “44% of Gen Zs and 43% of millennials say many people have recently left their organization due to workload pressure.”

Despite the concerns about workers’ mental health, the survey also showed employers’ increased prioritization of their employees’ mental well-being.

“More than half agree that workplace well-being and mental health has become more of a focus for the employers since the start of the pandemic,” Deloitte said. “However, there are mixed reviews on whether the increased focus is actually having a positive impact.”

Meanwhile, considering sustainable choices and environmental action, the survey showed that protecting the environment remains a top priority for Gen Zs and Millennials, with 90% of the two generations acting to reduce their environmental impact.

What should employers do?

As paycheck turned out as the number one reason for employees’ resignation, Deloitte proposed that employers and business leaders align employees’ benefits and compensation accordingly, such as having paid time off, health care, and retirement savings.

“Another key factor is focusing on closing the pay gap, which will include working to ensure that women and minorities are represented at all levels and that they have equal opportunities to grow, “the organization said.

Deloitte also noted that having a workplace with a definite societal purpose is a critical factor in attracting and retaining employees.

“Beyond better compensation, work/life balance, learning and development, and flexibility, they [Gen Zs and Millennials] want to derive a sense of meaning from their work, and to work for organizations that are having a positive societal impact,” the organization said.

Moreover, Deloitte said businesses should create hybrid work strategies offering flexibility and inclusive workplace culture where “everyone has equal opportunities to form connections, learn, grow, and advance in their careers.”

Gen Zs and Millennials also want businesses to do more on prioritizing climate action and empowering employees to help and drive change, according to Deloitte.

Lastly, the organization also said that it is essential that businesses commit to ensuring a stigma-free work environment where the well-being of employees is valued and they have a safe space to air their grievances.

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