A report published by Gallup in November 2022 highlights that 54% of millennials and Gen Z are not engaged at work.
The question is—is it entirely their fault? This 2022 survey from Deloitte shows that Gen Z and millennial workers feel increasingly burnt out, are more anxious than ever, are regularly taking up second or third jobs (just to be able to survive), and prefer jobs that provide them with flexibility. These findings point out one thing: employers aren’t really providing employees with the work environment they need.
The Deloitte report further adds that millennials and Gen Z want a good work-life balance, they want learning opportunities, they want higher salaries, a positive work culture and derive a sense of meaning from work. But they report feeling stressed out all the time.
Compensation can help to an extent, but providing employees with adequate time off and wellbeing resources could be better solutions to the burnout they’re experiencing. Working from home is more productive, according to 77% of employees—another point worth noting.
So here’s what you can do to engage millennial and Gen Z employees in your workplace.
invest in generous health & wellness programmes
Organisations that prioritise employee experience, say activities and wellness programs can increase employee engagement numbers from 20% to over 70%.
The pandemic drove home the fact that the mental and physical well-being of employees is important. If they’re not healthy, the organisation isn’t healthy either. Employees from up to a few years ago didn’t appreciate an employer poking into aspects of their mental health. But that’s quickly changing.
Most organisations are now providing health benefits and have wellness programs. But it isn’t always physical problems that affect us most. Social isolation can also hurt productivity. A low-paid entry worker or part-time worker at your company may face acute financial problems, translating into anxiety, and the list goes on. That’s why addressing all five aspects of well-being: physical, community, career, financial, and social is important.
Let’s look at the example set by Salesforce. The company offers a Wellness Reimbursement Program under which employees get $100 every month for any wellness activity such as nutrition therapy, psychotherapy, or attending yoga classes. The company doesn’t emphasise on paying for one kind of therapy—the choice is entirely up to the employees.
Invest in Fairer pay for wellbeing & job satisfaction
Millennials want to understand how they fit inside their jobs and companies. They want jobs that make them feel purposeful. They strongly know and identify with what the company stands for.
According to the Gallup Business Journal, employees who thrive physically and mentally are 13% more likely to do better work and 41% less likely to have higher healthcare-related expenses.
If pay and purpose don’t match they are easily likely to consider job hopping. Millennials are four times more likely to leave their jobs than baby boomers and 11 times more likely to do so than Gen X.
To do this right start paying employees based on performance. A Havard Review article reported that performance-related pay improved overall job satisfaction and made employers feel more respected. Professor Kevin Daniels in his report for the Human Resource Management journal stated that performance pay improves job satisfaction, loyalty, and trust in management. Also, as an employer keep track of competitive salaries in your industry.
Consider the ethical aspects
Ethical scandals can spell ruin for organisations. It’s not just about compliance or public relations. It’s something employees actively demand.
About 32% of employees say that their loyalty to a company depends on how much they can trust their boss. People collaborate better when they know that everyone else on the team is equally honest.
Here’s an example: Mulhall’s is an Omaha-based company. They’re a business that care deeply about their team members just like a real family would.
They push each other with the ambition and care required of a family and that’s one of the reasons behind the Infants at Work Program they run.
Mulhall’s started the program when two women on staff announced their pregnancies. The company created new policies and procedures in place to smoothen their transition back to work with babies.
Promote an inclusive workplace
Gen Z and millennial generations are in a world that’s more diverse than previous generations. They’re more aware of people from different countries, religions, and diverse lived experiences and backgrounds.
That’s why today’s workforce demands inclusion and equity in all areas of life. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report shows that the importance of diversity and inclusion has increased by 74% in the last three years. 25% of employees say comfort is the biggest aspect of belonging to a workplace.
Comfort here relates to the focus on flexible jobs, gender equity and equality, better working spaces anywhere, and hoslistic health. With the popularity of online jobs, young employees also know about the importance of cybersecurity and they are anxious about it in their workplaces.
If there are opportunities for learning and coaching, employees want easy access to such resources. Employers need to live by a strict code that doesn’t discriminate against employees when the time comes for promotion on the basis of their gender, color, ethnicity or nationality.
Employees of today feel increasingly burnt out. Employees are regularly accused of slacking off – but that’s an expression of the problem and not the problem itself. Employee health and wellness programs, a workplace culture that fosters open communication, workplace inclusivity, non-discriminatory promotions, and providing all employees equal opportunities to progress in their careers can help them feel more comfortable and at home.
Today’s workplace should be increasingly and genuinely friendly to employees, pay attention to their wellbeing, provide a psychologically safe space to be seen and heard, and foster inclusiveness as part of an organisation’s purpose and delivery.
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