Culture, Engagement, Branding, Hiring & Recruiting

What Does Gen-Z Want from Work?

A recent study from InsideOut Development took a look at what Gen Z expects of their jobs and their supervisors.

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Findings show that Gen Z workers have high expectations when it comes to earnings, promotions, and management opportunities, but still worry about making decisions, not being “good enough” and their ability to repay student loans.

The survey provides unique insights for employers who are now managing the next generation of employees. For instance, the majority of Generation Z (75%) workers say it’s important to have a boss who can coach employees. They also strongly value bosses who communicate company vision effectively, provide frequent feedback and are overall consistent in the way they deal with employees.

Additional findings include:

  • Gen Z has high expectations for pay and promotions.
    • 75% believe they should work in their first position for only a year before receiving a promotion, and 32% believe they will deserve a promotion within the first 6 months of working.
    • More than 40% believe they’ll make more than $100k per year at the height of their career, and half of those believe they’ll clear more than $150k per year.
  • Gen Z believes in Bachelor’s degrees.
    • 80% believe they need at least a Bachelor’s degree in order to land their dream job.
    • Nearly 70% believe they‘ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Gen Z is still concerned about student loans, career choices and being “good enough.”
    • Only 30% are confident they’ll be able to repay their student loans.
    • When it comes to getting their first job, Gen Z is most afraid of discovering they made the wrong career choice (26%) and not being good enough (26%).
  • Gen Z wants good managers and hopes to become managers.
    • 60% aspire to management positions of their own.
    • More than 75% say a boss’s ability to coach is important (almost one in four say it’s the most important attribute of a manager).
    • 25% would leave an organization because of a boss who manages through fear.

Commenting on the findings, InsideOut Development CEO Bill Bennet had this to say:

Though Gen Z may be one of the most driven generations we’ve seen, it is important not to use old paradigms when interpreting their interests and needs.  What we feel they are asking for are opportunities to develop and to make more money.  Employers can satisfy that desire by increasing project scopes and responsibilities.  Give them a chance to apply what they will be learningfastand improve the products and services you provide.   

Whether it’s wanting frequent feedback and communication or a safe place to be entrepreneurial, so many findings around what Gen Z wants at work align with coaching as well. Coaching is not constant training or teaching. In fact, it’s almost the opposite. Coaching is providing just enough information and boundaries so individuals come up with problems and solutions on their own. Good coaches are leading their teams by giving them accountability, support and freedom to thrive in the workplace. And the upside of creating a culture of coaching in the workplace is that it not only will meet the needs of Gen Z, but this methodology spans generations and works wonders for any organization. We see improved productivity, decreased turnover and overall better performance across the board for companies that coach.

Click here to read the full results.

This survey polled more than 1,000 respondents aged 18-23 across the United States. For the purposes of this survey, Generation Zalso referred to as post-Millennials, Gen Z or the iGenerationrefers to individuals born between 1996-2010.  Research shows that Gen Z will make up almost a quarter of the global workforce by 2020, making it the fastest-growing generation in the workforce.