Skip to Main Content

Gen Z at Work: 3 Values You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Bonny Calfy | September 2, 2022

With baby boomers retiring, Generation X moves into the C-suite while millennials establish themselves as veteran employees.

All that means it’s time to welcome members of Generation Z to the workplace.

Generation Z — or Gen Z — refers to those born between 1997 and 2012. This demographic is a growing part of the modern workforce and presents attitudes and preferences markedly different from previous generations.

For starters, a digital upbringing gives Gen Z a unique outlook on the world. As individualists emboldened by social media, Gen Zers are known for not being shy about making their voices and opinions heard.

However, according to Deloitte, the internet isn’t the only force shaping Gen Z at work. Challenges brought by the pandemic have forged resilience and fostered an interest in holding people accountable for their beliefs and actions.

So what does Gen Z value in the workplace? Here’s a hint: It goes far beyond casual Fridays and pizza parties.

Here’s more than a hint: In fact, here are three values employers need to understand as they recruit, engage and retain this new workforce demographic.

1. Socially conscious

According to a five-year study from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, organizations with the least progress toward diversity and inclusion were 27% more likely to underperform on profitability than all other companies. On the other hand, businesses focusing on these strategies were 35% more likely to achieve above-average returns, and overall performance increased by 31%.

What does this have to do with Gen Z? In a word, plenty.

Issues of social justice and equity are paramount to Gen Z; in fact, Deloitte found the generation is the most likely to reject corporations and employers whose actions differ from their values. However, those companies focused on nurturing inclusive environments can expect to see advantages from a diverse workforce and the improved trust of this new generation of workers.

Along with diversity efforts, protecting the environment and addressing climate change are top priorities for Gen Z and millennials. Deloitte estimates approximately 60% of these workers fear corporations’ commitment to reversing climate change will be less of a priority as businesses continue to navigate the aftermath of the pandemic.

Creating measurable goals and commitments to environmental sustainability and diversity helps not only attract Gen Z members to your workplace, but improve company culture as well.

Paycom supports inclusion, diversity and equity because making people a priority equates to engaged employees who provide a better experience for our clients.

2. Mental health and wellness

As Gen Z takes its place in the workforce, the importance of mental and physical health has become crucial in all areas of life. More than ever, this younger generation desires employers who take interest in them as a whole person and support their well-being.

According to the American Psychological Association, Gen Z is the least likely generation to report having “very good” or “excellent” mental health, yet more likely than boomers or Gen X to report receiving professional mental health services.

To help attract and support Gen Z in the workplace, innovative organizations should understand the importance of incorporating wellness into their employee benefits. Ways to do this could include:

  • offering mental wellness programs and on-site counselors
  • providing mental wellness-related medical benefits
  • creating programs around physical activity and healthy living
  • encouraging employees to take mental health days

Paycom’s commitment to the well-being of its workforce is setting the standard for supportive workplaces. With initiatives like on-site exercise facilities, well-being advisors and innovative benefits encouraging work-life integration, we give our employees even more tools to help them move their careers and lives forward.

3. Learning and development opportunities

Having grown up online, Gen Zers operate as lifelong students who constantly take in information and enjoy learning new things, and this attitude extends into their work life.

According to LinkedIn research, 76% of Gen Zers recognize learning as essential to their professional advancement. And they aren’t just admitting that learning is something they need, but something they want. Furthermore, 83% actively want to acquire new skills to level up performance.

In addition to using training to create a competent, confident workforce prepared for future challenges, investing in Gen Z at work is an opportunity for employers to demonstrate a long-term commitment to members of this growing workforce demographic and their place in the future of the organization.

Paycom prioritizes the professional development of its workforce by providing ample opportunities for development. On-site training and virtual learning platforms are just a few of the ways we help our employees enhance their skills and put their career on an upward trajectory.

If you’re part of Gen Z and want to learn about how Paycom’s culture champions inclusion, mental wellness, learning and development, visit paycom.com/careers and apply today!

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s recruitment marketing supervisor, Bonny Calfy writes about human capital management, company culture, talent acquisition, career advice and more. Her brand awareness efforts at Paycom have included launching the Paycom Careers blog and social media channels and producing several recruiting videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside of work, Bonny enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with her family.