According to Gallup, Gen Z and millennials make up nearly half (46%) of the full-time workforce in the U.S. Every employer needs to be asking themselves what younger workers want from the workforce, if they want to develop the next generation of organizational leaders.
There are four key themes that Gen Z and millennials are looking for most in an employer. They are as follows:
- Employers who care about their wellbeing
- Ethical leaders
- Open and transparent leaders
- Diverse and inclusive workplaces
What this tells us, is that Gen Z and millennials want environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures. While measurements for socially responsible organizations have been around for decades, the desire for their existence has increased. It is proven that these measures have a direct impact on financial performance, but a benchmarking standard does not yet exist for the people side of ESG.
If you, as an employer, are struggling to inspire Gen Z and millennials, here are some actions you can take. First, it would be worth the start of a conversation with your leadership team around addressing the four factors mentioned above. These aren’t just “young people” topics; each topic is also relevant for older generations. Second, coach managers to communicate and deliver on your organization’s promises. According to Gallup, “employees experience your organization through their manager.” All to say, if your managers aren’t doing it, it is not your culture. Lastly, integrate the four factors into every stage of the employee life cycle.
Just remember, all these factors cannot be addressed in one day; they require full integration into the culture of your company, and employees must experience them through real-life situations within the organization.