4 things young employees want from work

If your company doesn’t take these factors seriously, good luck recruiting and retaining top-notch Gen Z talent.

What younger workers want

When you’re recruiting Millennial and Gen Z workers, how does your company stack up against the competition?

According to Gallup, there are four things these younger generation job candidates are looking for, but they all add up to being a company with heart. They want to work for decent people who recognize their outsize power to make life better — for their employees and the world around them.

1. A company that cares about their well-being.

The pandemic has brought an even stronger emphasis to this priority on holistic wellness. The Gallup piece mentions five aspects of well-being: career, social, financial, community and physical.

But what does that mean in concrete terms? Gen Z and Millennial talent will be looking for benefits that make them feel safe, secure and yes, cared for. It includes mental wellness as well as physical wellness. And it may include financial help like tuition reimbursement or programs that address repayment of student loans. Bu we’d also include the flexibility to have some employee choice in where they work, in terms of the office vs. remotely. That’s become an expectation for employees of all ages after the pandemic.

2. Ethical leadership and transparency.

Younger employees, like their older colleagues, want to work for companies led by people of integrity. Many of them will want to work for companies that stand on the side of social justice. Gen Z and Millennial job candidates will notice when companies take a stand on an issue, such as the CEO of Delta recently voicing concern about Georgia’s voting law that will make voting more restrictive, particularly for people of color.

And they may have a greater expectation of transparency than some of their older peers. Younger workers appreciate companies that are open and transparent, such as Patagonia‘s proactively transparent approach to their supply chain.

3. Inclusion and diversity.

Gen Z and Millennial employees expect more than just talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion. Companies that have not made this a focus will  not fare as well in a competitive job market.

If diversity and inclusion are brand-new priorities at a company, in response to recent societal pressures, that may also be obvious to job candidates. For instance, when they check out the company website to see the executive leadership, will they see a bunch of white guys and maybe a token woman running HR?

4. Meaningful work.

In addition to the four priorities that Gallup says Millennial and Gen Z employees will be looking for when making their choice in employers, I would add one more. The very most important factor in the decision to take a job or stay in a job is, in most cases, the opportunity to do meaningful work.

In the broadest sense, this means work that accelerates their career growth — taking on new responsibilities, gaining new skillsets, working with new technology or innovative approaches. But all four of Gallup’s listed priorities can also contribute to employees’ feelings that they work for a company that cares. That, in itself, can make work more meaningful.

Elizabeth Baskin is CEO of Tribe. Read more of her work on Tribe’s blog.


One Response to “4 things young employees want from work”

    Amanda Simmons says:

    As well as stability and a sense of valuing your contribution to the common cause. There are almost never perfect conditions. But the valuable thing is that employers strive for it.

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