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As a new decade begins the current workforce is loaded with multiple generations of workers, including baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (millennials) and Generation Z. Different generations in the workforce can have many potential benefits and challenges. One of those challenges is keeping up with employee needs and giving them the tools they need to be successful.

A recent survey took a look at what Generation Z (born 1997-2010) workers value from their jobs and compared it to what millennials (born 1981-1996) entering the workforce in 2010 valued from their jobs. The differences are mostly subtle, but there are a few things that stand out.


The survey was conducted by an employer branding specialist from Universum and focused on tens of thousands of current college students (Generation Z), asking what they are looking for from their future employers. That data was then compared to the 2010 survey results from college students at that time (millennials).

What Generation Z Is Looking For In The Workplace

Generation Z is looking for more flexibility in the workplace.

According to the survey, current college students showed a strong interest in the following job attributes:

  • Professional training and development
  • Prospects for high future earnings
  • Clear path for advancement
  • Flexible working conditions

Meanwhile, these four job attributes that were in demand with millennials in 2010 but saw the greatest decrease in interest from Generation Z:

  • Challenging work
  • Sponsorship of future education
  • Good possibilities for rapid promotion
  • Performance-related bonuses

Flexibility Is Key

via GIPHY

While it's difficult to draw any concrete conclusions from these survey results (we can only speculate), the fact that Generation Z favors flexible working conditions is probably the least surprising of the survey results.

More and more workplaces are starting to offer work-from-home opportunities and flexible schedules, Many companies have built strong reputations based off their flexibility. There are many reasons why an employee may need to work from home or away from the office, including family commitments, cutting down on commute time, traveling for work, or to promote a better work-life balance.

Whatever the reason, it's apparent that many employers are going to have to embrace broader flexibility moving forward to retain their current workforce, and to attract new talent.

Other Possible Conclusions From The Survey Results

As stated previously, it's hard to draw concrete conclusions on some of these results, but we can speculate on some of the reasons why Generation Z is interested in these job attributes.

Professional training and development - If you're not growing in your career, you're dying. Being open to professional training and development not only makes you a more well-rounded employee, but it could help you advance within your company or open you up to other career opportunities.

Prospects for high future earnings - This isn't surprising! Most people want to advance in their careers and make more money along the way.

Clear path for advancement - A job can get pretty boring if you don't have an opportunity to advance your skills or position. Once again, if you're not growing in your career, you're dying.

As for some of the job attributes that saw a decrease over the last 10 years, here are a few potential reasons why:
Sponsorship of future education - Even with employer assistant, there's usually still some sort of financial commitment that goes with continuing education and no guarantees. Many employees opt for on-the-job training whenever possible.
Performance-related bonuses - Employees will still take performance bonuses when they can get them, but bonuses are no longer the only options. Some employers may offer enhanced benefits instead of bonuses, such as increased flexibility. Employees are now more open to all options.


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