Gen Z – employees born between 1995-2012 – are going to make up around 27% of the global workforce by 2025. That is why, in the face of challenges related to employee retention and great resignation, it is now more important than ever to explore, understand, and implement factors important for Gen Z in the workplace. One of the most crucial factors to Gen Z employees is the company’s sustainability efforts – why is it so important and how to satisfy the need for green initiatives and benefits in your company?
Gen Z has increased expectations from employers when it comes to their outlook and actions towards solving societal challenges. It is reported that Gen Z employees value their core beliefs as much as their financial security. A recent US report revealed that 51% of surveyed students would take a lower salary if the workplace would be environmentally responsible.
Why do GenZ’ers care so much about sustainability?
Whilst the globally disruptive pandemic is not what started the sustainability craze, it has accelerated with youth activists taking it to the next level and changing the economy as we speak. The lockdown taught us how to consume less and showed us that changing our travel and buying habits can work in replenishing Earth’s resources.
Now, activists like Greta Thumberg or Jamie Margolin fight for facing societal issues and leading a huge movement among digital natives and beyond. Gen Zers say that global warming is their top concern and 71% of Gen Z are anxious about their future in terms of the environment.
How does this context relate to GenZ employment?
> 77% of Gen Z candidates say it is important to work in a company with values that match theirs.
> 59% of candidates aged 18 to 22 say they would be willing to stay longer with an environmentally responsible organization.
> 83% of Gen Z candidates consider the commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion as an important factor when choosing a place to work in.
With GenZ changing jobs at a 134% higher rate than before the pandemic and struggling with engagement at the workplace more than other generations, here are some suggestions to consider to please GenZers in relation to green initiatives and benefits:
> Ensure remote working options to increase work-life balance and avoid unnecessary carbon footprint. 70% of Gen Zers say they would change jobs if their work requires working from the office full-time.
> Tackle climate change one step at a time (literally) by encouraging walking and cycling initiatives. This will lower your carbon emissions and increase the fitness and creativity levels of your employees.
> Provide regular opportunities for green volunteering to build eco-friendly habits. Beyond paid volunteering hours, consider a green budget to help employees make environmentally friendly choices without financial strain.
> Make green changes around the office. Small actions like complimentary reusable water bottles and lunch boxes, reconsidering the need for water coolers, introducing more convenient recycling and educating your employees about sustainability topics can go a long way.
> Looking for a new company car? It’s time to go electric and set an example to your employees and beyond. You can do it with smaller purchases as well – choose ethical and sustainable suppliers for employees’ home office creation, all the necessary electronic gadgets, and office supplies.
Extra tip – listen to the concerns of your employees and provide them with solutions to increase their engagement and satisfaction.