From AI anxiety to wage worries: Major concerns for employees in 2023

New report sheds light on varying challenges of the multigenerational workforce

From AI anxiety to wage worries: Major concerns for employees in 2023

If the social and economic upheaval of the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that the key to survival is adaptation. From new ways of working, to the dramatic rise of AI to a shunning of the “in-person” office – there’s a myriad of new challenges and disruptions HR leaders have to get their heads around.

Salary as a deciding factor for Gen Z

Research released this week from Robert Half shed light on the top priorities and concerns of today’s multigenerational workforce – and their stressed out managers. The most surprising findings was the rising importance of money in making job-related decisions for younger employees. The research found that a competitive salary combined with regular merit increases has the biggest impact on job satisfaction rates. Gen X workers are 35% more likely to feel underpaid, with Baby Boomers more concerned about team dynamic than pay.

“For Baby Boomers, a positive work culture and team dynamic do more to motivate them, with salary coming in second,” adds Deborah Bottineau, District Director at Robert Half.

“On a similar note, our research shows that Gen X professionals are most likely to feel underpaid, with 35% saying they aren’t fairly compensated for their work, while only 17% of Gen Z professionals feel that way.”

The rise of generative AI

As tools like ChatGPT gain popularity, employees are eying the new developments with both awe and anxiety. Despite being digitally savvy, 73% of younger employees are concerned that AI may be coming for their jobs – something that’s fueling the rush towards reskilling.

“Regarding the hot topic of AI, we are seeing that despite the potential effect of automation and AI on their jobs, nearly 7 in 10 Baby Boomers say they’re not at all concerned about it, compared to only 23% of Gen Z professionals, for whom the worry is much greater despite being considered digitally savvy,” adds Bottineau.

“Millennials and Gen X also have concerns about AI on their jobs, yet while Baby Boomers, Gen Z and Gen X all say they would reskill to move into different roles within their company, Millennials say they would rather look for a new job elsewhere if automation threatened their role.”

Traditional ways of working are declining

Robert Half’s report reveals that there are some deal-breakers and makers that are consistent among people from all the generations – something that can be seen in alignments when it comes to flexibility, communication, team dynamics, and recognition.

“Three years after the traditional work model was turned upside down, flexibility is now a firm expectation among professionals, and the freedom to decide where and when to work is among the top considerations for job candidates,” says Bottineau.

“In addition, better pay, benefits and perks are among the top reasons all survey respondents said they might leave a job. Though not in the same order, all generations rank a lack of salary transparency, unclear or unreasonable job responsibilities, and poor communication with a hiring manager among the top reasons to withdraw from consideration for an open role. ”

Solid relationships with colleagues top the list of motivators in the workplace. For roughly 40% of professionals across the generations, being on good terms with their team members is a main factor for increased motivation. Finally, the report demonstrated appreciation of their contributions is important to all – regardless of gender or generation.

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