- Workplaces that prioritize employee mental health, foster "authenticity," encourage employees to share their opinions and have a clear, stated purpose will have a leg up in recruiting Generation Z employees, according to results from a May 6 survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the International Federation of Accountants.
- The survey also found that Gen Z employees are ambitious and expect to be promoted quickly; that they worry about job security and lack of career opportunities; and that they are skeptical of the role of business, among other insights. Fewer than 50% agree that "business leaders have integrity and do what they say," and fewer than 40% agree "businesses contribute to fighting climate change," according to the report.
- The survey includes feedback from more than 9,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 25. Participants came from across the globe, with the highest percentage coming from the Asia-Pacific region (44%), South Asia (21%), Western Europe (13%) and Africa (10%). The majority (72%) were either employed in finance/accounting or studying for a finance/accounting qualification.
As more members of Generation Z — generally defined as those born after 1996 or 1997 — enter the workforce, researchers have grown increasingly interested in how the generation differs from its predecessors in its perspectives on and expectations for the workplace. Deloitte, Gallup, and RippleMatch are a few of the other organizations that have released reports on Gen Z in the workplace in recent years.
Major themes that have emerged from these surveys support the findings of the ACCA/IFAC report: Gen Z is strongly tech savvy and more likely to use social media, more interested in a company's D&I policies and social impact, and more likely to prefer independent, outcome-focused work.
Gen Zers are apt to stay at their first full-time jobs longer than millennials, Casey Welch, co-founder and CEO of Tallo, a virtual scholarship platform and collector of Gen Z data, previously told HR Dive. The Gen Z commitment to workplace loyalty makes them more closely related in attitude to the Baby Boomers than millennials in some ways, Welch said, although their focus on workplace diversity and mental health is specific to their generation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a big impact on Gen Z's attitude about work, much like the 2008 recession influenced that of millennials, though it may take a while for that impact to become clear. One early study found that members of Gen Z had changed their career expectations as a result of the pandemic, while another found that Gen Z members were still optimistic about their ability to find work and their skills. Even if young people are confident, some hiring managers are worried about how the pandemic is affecting their ability to develop certain workplace skills.
Update: This story has been updated to include additional details.