The Workplace Word: Recruiting Gen Z, the Need for Purpose and the Value of Recognition

Every month, we’re highlighting stories, trends and tips related to employee engagement and workplace culture that organizations should be keeping top-of-mind in order to engage, retain and recruit top talent.

1. More Gen Zs are entering the workforce – and changing recruiting and retention strategies. It’s June, and that means thousands of Gen Z students around the country have just graduated from college and are applying to or starting new jobs. Do you know what they’re looking for in an employer or how to keep them engaged? For example, one study found that more than 60% of Gen Z are only willing to spend 15 minutes or less on a job application. And, according to this study, once hired, 76% of 2019 graduates expect to earn a promotion one-to-two years after their start date. Key takeaway: Companies need to invest time in understanding the expectations and preferences of this generation, and adapt their recruiting and engagement strategies accordingly. These articles from Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes provide some helpful tips.

2. Employees want to feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. This may seem like a no brainer, but a survey by The Energy Project found that 50% of employees lack a level of meaning and significance at work. That meaning is so desired, in fact, that nine out of 10 people would be willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work, according to a study by BetterUp. When you spend 8+ hours a day, five days a week somewhere, you want to feel like you’re providing value. Ideally, you want to find fulfillment from your work. Key takeaway: Employees who don’t feel a sense of purpose at work aren’t likely to stick around for very long – and managers need to lead the charge in helping their employees understand the value they provide. Here are some ways to help your employees find more meaning at work.

3. Recognition goes a long way for employees. According to Gallup, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely as those who do feel adequately recognized to say they’ll quit in the next year. And remember that stuff above about value and fulfillment? Another study found that 80% of employees who were recognized within the past month reported feeling fulfilled at work. Key takeaway: Recognition and rewards can have a direct impact on employee engagement; however, it’s important to remember that recognition and rewards aren’t one-size-fits-all. Preferences can vary by career stage, age and individual – and managers should make an effort to recognize and reward each employee based on what’s most meaningful to them.

What are some trends that you’re seeing in the workplace? We’d love to share them in a future post! Check back next month for more.

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