Young employees demand greater choice, flexibility, and autonomy from their employers.
By Marta Chmielowicz
Millennials and Generation Z workers, aged between 18 and 40, currently make up most of the global workforce. By 2035, these digital natives will be at the helm of many leadership teams, so understanding and investing in this cohort is critical to future business success.
However, Work 2035: The Born Digital Effect, a Fieldwork by Citrix study, reveals that today’s business leaders are disconnected from how young employees really want to work. The survey revealed several inconsistencies between young employees and business leaders.
- Only a third (30%) of digital natives would leave a role if they felt the organisation lacked purpose, but 69% of business leaders believe young employees are committed to work with purpose.
- 29% of young employees prefer to work from home full-time versus only 5% of leaders.
- 60% of Gen Z and millennial workers say that working from home is good for their well-being, compared to 24% of leaders.
Further, many business leaders believe that technology and development opportunities are critical to engaging young talent, when the reality is that job satisfaction (88%), career stability (87%), and work-life balance (87%) are what this segment of the talent pool craves the most.
These trends also impact talent acquisition. The research reveals that globally, the most important aspects of company culture that factor into young people’s employment decisions include:
- work that enables autonomy (83%);
- a culture that recognises performance through remuneration (81%); and
- strong and visible leadership (79%).
These priorities are slightly different between countries. For example, the top factors in India are greater autonomy, innovation, and learning and development opportunities, whilst China prioritises learning and development first and foremost.
In general, the majority of young workers (82%) believe that their employers should offer the opportunity for flexible working hours, with China showing the highest need for flexibility at 91%. Further, 74% of young employees globally believe that employers should have a better understanding of family commitments—a number that is highest in India (90%).
Companies that effectively cater to this talent segment will see massive business results: Employers based in countries with above-average populations of young employees enjoy an extra US$1.9 trillion in corporate profits.