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Gen Z in the Workplace Part II: Tips to Successfully Attract and Retain Gen Z Workers

While still the top priority when searching for a job, Gen Z values salary less than every other generation. But 63 percent of young professionals say that an increased salary, bonus, or promotion would entice them to stay at their current company longer. Less than one-third of employees ages 25 and younger participate in their company’s 401(k) plan. Young workers want a variety of benefits that are tailored to their specific priorities and needs. However, 57 percent of employees want benefits that their employer doesn’t currently offer. What does your organization need to do to attract and retain these young workers?

  • Prioritize professional development and flexible career paths: A common trait among members of Gen Z is that they are very intuitive and observant and have a desire to learn new things and acquire new skills. Gen Z prefers a self-directed and independent approach to learning with content delivered in small, focused chunks of information. To attract young employees and help them to find a home within your company, it’s important to offer them opportunities to enhance their skills. A Gen Z worker will not be satisfied with a one-size-fits-all career path. They are seeking a flexible career path with the ability to move from department to department within your organization, company to company, and even career to career if it benefits them.
  • Offer tuition reimbursement: Tuition reimbursement offers your employees money for taking college courses while they work for your company. Typically the worker pays for their classes up front and then the employer reimburses the cost once a course is completed successfully. Consider offering a tuition reimbursement plan to retain your young employees. Up to $5,250 per year per employee of tuition reimbursement is tax deductible making it cost-effective for companies.
  • Cover citizenship costs for workers and their families: The H-1B Visa provisions program can be utilized to help companies that are not able to obtain the business skills and abilities that they need in operate, from the U.S. workforce, for specific specialty occupations. An organization sponsors an individual for a visa that is valid for up to three years and is renewable for an additional three years. The employer pays the fees—between $1,250 to $4,500—associated with filing Form I-129 for a nonimmigrant worker. In addition, attorney fees to facilitate the process may be required. Check out SHRM’s how-to-guide for information on How to Sponsor an Individual for an H-1B Visa.
  • Provide flexibility and work-life balance: Young workers want fulfillment from work and life and they want the ability to choose the best path to each.
    • 75 percent believe that workplace flexibility is the number one benefit they are seeking in an employer.
    • 56 percent would leave their job if it interfered with their personal life.
    • 42 percent make work-life balance—working from home and flexible vacation time—a top priority when looking for a job.
    • 26 percent feel they are most productive working 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

To meet Gen Z’s wishes, it may be time to rethink 9-5. These young employees want the ability to manage their workloads in a way that best showcases their skills and abilities. Consider offering remote and hybrid work options, four-day work weeks, alternative work schedules, and unlimited PTO.

  • Access to the latest technologies: 70 percent of Gen Z workers would switch jobs for access to better tools that give them the ability to work more efficiently and productively. While 91 percent say that technology would influence their choice among similar job offers. For these young workers, productivity is directly related to access to technology. When it comes to better tools that provide their employees with work-life balance, companies are turning to scheduling platforms that give workers the ability to access their schedule anywhere and anytime and switch shifts with coworkers. This gives workers the ability to balance personal time with professional commitments and reduce availability conflicts using their cell phones.
  • Offer mental health and wellness benefits: Younger workers still value healthcare benefits but don’t necessarily need traditional employer-provided group health insurance and the same benefits as older employees. They want to use their smartphone to pay bills and schedule appointments. They are looking for mobile-friendly apps and digital healthcare for mood tracking, symptom assessment, and text notifications for upcoming doctor visits. Gen Z workers are looking for a more personalized set of benefits with the option to choose resources and benefits that best meet their individual needs.

By 2025, Gen Z will make up almost 30 percent of the global workforce. Organizations that are willing and able to work to meet Gen Z employees where they are physically, emotionally, and mentally will win out over their competitors in attracting and retaining these young workers.

This blog was written by Broadleaf’s Vice President, Client Delivery Joseph O’Shea.