THE ‘WORK TO LIVE’ GENERATION: 5 REASONS WE SHOULD ADOPT GEN Z’S ATTITUDE TOWARD WORK

Work-life balance, mental health support, and a sense of purpose in their jobs are all important to Gen Z — dubbed the “Work to Live” generation. They aren’t all about grinding away all day everyday, for a paycheck.

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“I’ve observed firsthand the seismic shift in work attitudes driven by Gen Z’s entry into the workforce,” said Jeff Mains, founder of Champion Leadership Group. “Their work-to-live philosophy isn’t just a trend; it’s a profound evolution in defining what work means in our lives.”

Below, experts explain the top reasons we should all adopt Gen Z’s attitude toward work.

They Prioritize Values Over Perks

Gen Z’s approach reshapes workplace expectations, pushing companies towards a culture where work-life balance is paramount. 

“This generation values flexibility, meaningful engagement, and a clear delineation between work and personal life,” Mains said. 

To attract and retain this dynamic cohort, he explained that companies must rethink their strategies–adopting more flexible work arrangements, enhancing mental health support, and providing robust career development opportunities. 

“This isn’t merely about offering perks but embedding these values into the corporate DNA,” noted Mains.

According to Stephen Greet, CEO and co-founder of BeamJobs, companies can create an environment that fits the values of Gen Z by offering flexible work hours, full wellness programs, and chances for personal and professional growth. 

“This will lead to a more engaged and productive workforce,” said Greet.

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They Believe Purpose-Driven Work Is Essential 

Gen Z wants to work for companies that have a clear mission and make a positive impact on society. 

“Communicating your company’s values and demonstrating social responsibility can help attract this generation,” said Max Shak, founder and HRO at NerdDigital. “At [my company], we ensure our projects align with our commitment to sustainability and social good, which resonates with our younger employees.”

They Crave Continuous Learning and Development

According to experts, this generation values growth and development opportunities. It’s equally important to make sure that Gen Z employees have personalized plans for career growth. 

Providing continuous learning programs, mentorship, and clear career progression paths can help retain Gen Z employees. 

“We offer regular training sessions, access to online courses, and a mentorship program that connects junior staff with experienced professionals,” said Shak.

Check-ins and feedback sessions should also happen on a regular basis to help employees stay on track and make any changes to their development plans that are needed. This will ensure that they are always learning and growing.

“These plans should be in line with their own career goals and aspirations, showing them clear ways to move up, showing them where they can improve their skills, and giving them chances for job rotations, extra work, or special projects,” said Greet.

They Value Transparent and Fair Compensation

Transparency in compensation and opportunities for financial growth are critical. 

“Implementing fair pay practices and providing performance-based bonuses or profit-sharing can motivate and engage Gen Z employees,” said Shak.

They Prefer Flexible Work Arrangements

“Companies can choose to disagree with Gen Z’s work habits and goals or they can evolve to provide what Gen Z desires while taking advantage of the strengths they can bring to a business,” said Melanie Musson, finance expert with Clearsurance.

As Gen Z wants to live life to the fullest, spending 40+ hours a week in an office isn’t their idea of living. 

“Some businesses can operate completely remotely, while others are more profitable when employees are in-person,” Musson explained.

“Even if in-person employees are best for your company, you should have a remote option that employees can take advantage of on occasion.”

Here’s Why Companies Who Fail to Adapt Risk Losing Talent

Ignoring these evolving attitudes can have long-term repercussions. 

“As Baby Boomers retire, companies that can’t find and keep Gen Z workers may have a hard time planning for their replacements and making sure that knowledge and skills are passed on smoothly,” said Greet.

This could have big effects on the company’s ability to stay in business, develop its leaders, and last for a long time.

“Companies may find it hard to fill key leadership positions and keep a strong leadership pipeline if they don’t have a steady stream of talented and interested Gen Z workers,” Greet added.

The unique ideas, skills and values of this generation could be very helpful in deciding the company’s future and how it makes decisions. That being said, businesses that can’t find and keep Gen Z workers may have leadership gaps because they won’t have the right people to move the business forward.

“Companies that fail to adapt risk losing talent to more progressive competitors,” Mains said, “potentially leading to a less motivated workforce and, ultimately, a dip in innovation and productivity.” 

That’s why embracing Gen Z’s mindset could mean the difference between a company that thrives and one that struggles to keep up with the pace of change.

“This shift towards a work-to-live ethos is not just about making life easier for employees,” Mains added. “It’s about making businesses more human-centric, which can lead to higher productivity and profitability.”

Looking forward, integrating these values will likely become a benchmark that defines the most desirable workplaces and drives business success.

Why It’s Vital To Foster a Culture That Values Employees

As Gen Z continues to enter the workforce, their values and expectations will shape the future of work. 

“Companies that proactively adapt to these changes will be better positioned to thrive in a rapidly evolving business landscape,” said Shak. “By fostering a culture that values employee well-being and aligns with the aspirations of Gen Z, businesses can build a loyal, motivated, and high-performing workforce.”

Understanding and adapting to the needs of Gen Z is not just beneficial but essential for the future success of any organization. 

“At [my company], we’ve embraced these changes and have seen positive results in employee satisfaction and productivity,” Shak added. “Companies that follow suit will be well-equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the future workplace.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The ‘Work To Live’ Generation: 5 Reasons We Should Adopt Gen Z’s Attitude Toward Work

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