A younger, more motivated workforce that inspires employers to advocate for change

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Prioritizing work/life balance, learning and development, and sustained workplace change will be key for employers looking to attract and retain employees, according to a new survey. Generation Z and Millennials.

According to Deloitte’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennials survey, these generations are worried about the cost of living, climate change, wealth inequality, geopolitical conflict and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And while they are determined to drive change, they also struggle with financial anxiety, lack of work/life balance, and persistently high stress levels.

“It has led to a wake-up call in the workplace, which has led many people to demand lasting change, including higher pay, more meaningful and flexible work, more action to fight change and a heightened focus on well-being,” Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Michele Parmelee, Chief People and Purpose Officer, said in a press release. “There is an urgent need and opportunity for business leaders to redefine the talent experience to better meet people’s needs.”

money talks

In this year’s survey, 29% of Gen Z respondents and 36% of Millennials cited the cost of living as a top personal concern, ranking it just above climate change. Only 25% of Gen Zers and 21% of Millennials said they could comfortably afford their monthly living expenses, and nearly half said they lived paycheck to paycheck. More than a quarter of Gen Z (26%) and Millennials (31%) said they weren’t confident they could retire comfortably.

Some survey participants said they were taking on second jobs and redefining their work habits to alleviate their financial problems; 43% of Gen Zers and 33% of Millennials have taken part-time or full-time jobs in addition to their main jobs. They are also capitalizing on the financial benefits of remote working, with a small but growing percentage — 15% of Gen Z and 13% of Millennials — who would move to cheaper cities, the survey found.

The “big resignation” could go on for some time, Deloitte said. Employee loyalty is up from last year’s survey, but 40% of Gen Z and 24% of Millennials said they plan to leave their jobs in the next two years – and about a third said they would do so without another job. In healthcare/life sciences, 41% of Gen Z and 29% of millennials said they plan to leave their job within two years.

This result signals significant levels of dissatisfaction, Deloitte said, adding that companies can learn from the results and implement workplace changes to attract and retain workers.

Older people’s perspective

Lynne Katzmann, CEO of Bloomfield, New Jersey, Juniper Communities, said she sees Gen Z and Millennials from two perspectives — as an invested mother of a younger generation worker in industry and as an employer. With a mission to “do well by doing good,” Juniper has built purpose into its culture from day one, she said.

“We strive to recruit and attract young people who will become the next generation of leaders at Juniper,” Katzmann said. McKnight Senior Residence. “Our responsibility as companies and as actors within a community to do more has been an integral part of our culture for 35 years.”

Debbie Penn, National Recruitment Director of Watermark Retirement Communities, said McKnight Senior Residence that these two generations favor development opportunities and the feeling that their profession has meaning.

“What we see with these two particular generations in their work with us at Watermark is that they have a very strong focus on work-life balance,” Penn said. “Salary is important, but an uplifting culture and positive environment will tend to determine how long someone in this group will stick around.

“They value positive feedback and affirmations more than just the typical annual review.”

Search for balance, sustained change

Salary, mental health issues at work and burnout were the top reasons cited by respondents who left their jobs in the past two years. When choosing a new job, work/life balance, learning and development were top priorities, they said.

Flexibility is also important for work-life balance, according to the survey; 49% of Gen Z and 45% of Gen Y work remotely at least some of the time, while 75% said they would prefer remote work.

According to the survey results, purpose continues to be critical for recruitment and retention. Nearly two in five respondents said they turned down a job because it didn’t match their values. Workers satisfied with the societal and environmental impact of their employers, as well as the company’s efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive culture, said they were more likely to stay with their employer long-term.

Juniper embraced a dual bottom line business model from the start, which includes budget performance as well as positive social impact, Katzmann said. The company built one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) prototype buildings in the 1990s, adopted the tiny house model to change the way people with memory problems lived, promoted a living wage in 2016 and has maintained a gender-balanced board throughout its history.

Katzmann said Juniper is now looking to take it to the next level with an interdisciplinary diversity, equity and inclusion working group and a career paths program that includes internships and “stretch” assignments, which extend skills or duties of an employee beyond the usual duties. the level of employment. The goal, she said, is to help employees fulfill their need to help make the world a better place.

“Young people want to make a difference, they want to contribute in a meaningful way. They want to grow and be recognized for their efforts,” she said.

The burn is real

Although employers are placing more emphasis on mental health, the survey indicates that levels of stress and burnout remain high.

Nearly half (46%) of Gen Z and 38% of Millennials said they were stressed all or most of the time. And nearly half of those surveyed said they suffered from workload pressure burnout – around the same percentage of respondents said many of their colleagues had recently left their organization due to burnout. professional.

“This signals a retention problem for employers, but about one in five Gen Z and Millennials don’t think their employers take it seriously or take action to prevent it,” the report said.

Respondents said employers have placed more emphasis on wellness and mental health since the start of the pandemic, but less than half said this effort had had a significant effect on employees.

“Stress and anxiety levels are unlikely to decline as the global threats and ongoing disruptions of the pandemic continue to affect the daily lives of Gen Z and Millennials and their long-term view of the world” , said Parmelee. “Better mental health resources, setting boundaries to protect work/life balance, creating stigma-free environments, and empowering their employees to drive change are just a few of the ways leaders can support better mental health at work.”

The 11th annual survey was conducted from November to January among 14,808 Gen Z and 8,412 millennials in 46 countries.

Michael A. Bynum