With more baby boomers hitting retirement age, an influx of Gen Zers is entering the workforce for the first time. As one of the latest generations, it consists of people born between 1997 and 2012, many of whom are now between the ages of 18 and 25. With a large portion of the older generation leaving the workforce for good and a much younger group of people taking over, most are wondering what kind of change these individuals will bring. Although some may have doubts, the future looks bright for a generation of people known to advocate for change.
Better Work-Life Balance
While most baby boomers accepted a job for what it is, even if that meant working long hours throughout the week without getting much of a break for anything else in between, Gen Z continues to push for a better work-life balance. The younger generation is willing to work but wants to do so on their terms, with greater flexibility and more opportunities to do what they love, such as spending time with family and friends. Although this doesn't mean they're against following a schedule, it does mean that they don't want to spend every waking hour of their day focusing on work because, if we're being honest, it's not a good way to live life and it can take a negative toll on an individual’s mental health.
Gone are the days of missing meal time with the family or not having an opportunity to go to events with friends because of work. As Gen Z continues to push for better work-life balance, more companies are willing to offer the flexibility they want, need, and deserve.
More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace Environments
Diversity and inclusivity are a big deal for most people, and Gen Z is no exception. If anything, the younger generation is pushing for a change in hiring practices to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at getting hired based on their skills, experience, knowledge, and education instead of their gender, sexual preference, race, and religion. Because this generation is more values-driven than others, organizations will need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, asking themselves what they can do to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment that welcomes people from all walks of life.
In the past, it was quite common for people to settle with jobs that lacked diversity, believing there was nothing they could do to change that while experiencing the fear of being reprimanded for taking a stand. However, if there's one thing that Gen Z is doing to make a difference, it's proving that they won't settle for less. The younger generation is willing to stand up for what's right, encouraging business owners to foster inclusive environments where microaggressions and discriminatory practices are no longer acceptable.
Gen Z will bring plenty of change to the workforce, prioritizing mental health, better work-life balance, and inclusivity for all. If your organization isn't already focusing on ways to offer flexibility and facilitate a more accepting and diverse environment, now is the time to make much-needed changes.