How to hang onto generations Y and Z

January 23, 2023

When it comes to the younger generations, employers have their work cut out for them.

Why? Companies have an average of just over two years to keep gen Y (millennials) and gen Z satisfied before they seek greener pastures.

Broken down, millennials last two years and nine months, while gen Z lasts two years and three months, according to a 2021 survey by CareerBuilder.

This is a noticeable gap from gen X staying an average of five years and two months in a job, while baby boomers are very comfortable lasting an average of eight years and three months.

Focused on flexibility

Crowd Media Group has made changes in recognition of the generational differences, according to Judy Sahay, CEO and managing director of the Melbourne firm.

“Gen Y and Z prefer flexibility in the workplace the most,” she said. “They want to be able to have the option to work at home, in the office, remote, at a client’s workplace, to choose their own hours and workload.

The company found this was a major driving force in keeping this generation at work, according to Sahay.

“The moment we had put in place stricter working conditions, we saw a drop. We learned our lesson and changed our business model and they became an asset. It’s all about finding the balance.”

Crowd Media Group offer a range of incentives to keep employees happy including: flexible working conditions; four-day work weeks for those who want them; work from home two days a week — with more days depending on their roles — monthly movie nights; a half yearly weekend away with the team; unlimited drinks and food in the kitchen; free parking at the office; and fortnightly Uber eats sent to employees’ homes.

“Gen Y and Z are highly motivated by variety of work,” Sahay said. “They don’t want to do the same thing every day. They want to be able to work where they want. They also want to work for a business that has a focus on society and the greater good — one that’s giving back to the community, making an impact, as well as being a socially responsible company.

“They also want to be recognised for their work, this is really important for them.”

Gen Z workers are most likely to quit if they’re unsatisfied at work, according to Pavel Bahu, global human resources director at travel firm Trevolution Group.

“This is why today, more than ever before, such benefits as modern office space or snacks in the office aren’t enough,” she said.

“Employees are looking for a great culture at work – both the workplace and the employee must share the same values. It’s also becoming more important for companies to get involved in corporate social responsibility activities in order to show that the goal of business isn’t only about revenue, but also about giving back to society. Gen Z workers want to be part of a business that does good.”

Bahu believes that companies will need to think long and hard as to how to keep gen Z engaged and it will have to involve ideas and incentives that companies have not explored before.

“To attract and retain top gen Z talent, businesses will need to create workplaces that cater to their needs,” Bahu added. “This will likely involve a mix of traditional office spaces and individualized work areas, as well as a range of on-site amenities such as gyms and potentially kindergartens.”

It will also be important for businesses to provide opportunities for social learning, “through both in-person and virtual interactions, which is one key factor that will drive the success of the Gen Z workplace,” she said.

“For employees to grow and develop, they need to be able to communicate and interact with one another. This can be achieved through a combination of in-person and virtual interactions and will be crucial for businesses looking to foster a culture of continuous learning and development.”

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