Workplaces are experiencing four different generations working together. While this brings opportunities for important diverse thinking, different generations – particularly Generation Z – are being impacted by The Workplace Wave in different ways. This creates an additional challenge for organisations looking to address their employees’ needs.
Our research shows that Generation Z employees surveyed are most unsatisfied by the proportion of the time they spend working (35%). This contrasts to Millennial employees surveyed, who are most satisfied by the proportion of the time they spend working (72%). Both Generation X and Baby Boomer employees surveyed are equally satisfied by the proportion of time they spend working (71%).
Half (50%) of Generation Z employees surveyed identified fatigue and burnout, including increased pressure on productivity and workload, or mental health issues as having the most negative impacts on their job satisfaction. This contrasts to the oldest generation, with Baby Boomers saying that staff shortages due to low talent acquisition (34%) have the greatest negative impact on their job satisfaction.
Generation Z employees are also the least likely generation surveyed to be very engaged in their current role at their organisation (28% compared to 46% for Millennials, 42% for Generation X, and 42% for Baby Boomers). When voicing concerns about what might occur in their workplace in the next 12 months, Generation Z employees surveyed said they’re most concerned about being unable to secure a promotion or a pay rise (33%). Employees surveyed from the older generations said they’re most concerned about contracting COVID-19 or long COVID in the workplace.
When asked how organisations should improve workplace mental health, each generation surveyed responded differently. Generation Z employees surveyed called for specialist mental health leave days in addition to sick leave (40%). Millennial employees surveyed called for empathic and emotionally intelligent environments to drive a better workplace culture and create better working relationships, e.g. mental health awareness training, private spaces to conduct discussions or mentorship or guidance (44%). Conversely, both Generation X and Baby Boomer employees surveyed called for adequate remuneration in line with the market/inflation (41%).
The differing views reported by the different generations surveyed suggest that organisations should consider the unique make up of each workplace and how this may be influencing their employees’ immediate needs and demands.