Today, I believe the American workplace culture seems to change as rapidly as TikTok videos. More than one-third of today’s workforce is comprised of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996), and by 2030, the number of Generation Z workers (those born from 1997 onward) is expected to triple. Maintaining relevance in recruiting the best-in-class workers from these demographics requires a different approach.
Another factor that’s affecting workplace culture is the pandemic and its connection to the mass exodus of the American workforce. Known as the Great Resignation, more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, CNBC reported. According to McKinsey, the top reasons employees quit were that they didn’t feel valued, or they didn’t feel like they belonged. Many employees were also concerned about the potential for advancement and having caring and trusting teammates.
I believe we can extrapolate from this data that much of today’s workforce is engaging in traditional jobs, remote or in-person, and seeking connection with others. Today’s workers are also looking for employers with a purpose. This is where recruiters and human resource leaders need to adjust to maintain organizational business demands.
Below are a few of my suggestions on how organizations can get started:
Create a thriving, nurturing corporate culture.
From my perspective, the days of clock-watching, corporate cubicles and over-the-shoulder micromanaging are over. I’m finding that employees are more concerned with engaging in a community environment fueled by unique corporate cultures. As such, strive to create an environment that celebrates each person, their outside interests and their particular contribution to overall business objectives. Take the time to learn and use your employees’ most impressive skill sets.
Some corporate work cultures create a community feeling through employee cafes, nontraditional workspaces, more frequent team-building exercises and group outings. I’ve observed others that look for office buildings in unique urban and cultural centers that offer many amenities within short walking distance from the office with which employees can engage. Some companies have even adopted unlimited personal time off as part of their benefits packages, which creates an environment of accountability and work-life balance. These are a few options you could consider to begin attracting talented individuals to your team.
Revisit the benefits you offer.
Employee benefits can be a big factor when applying for jobs or accepting offers. While raises and bonuses can be valuable recruitment tools, keep in mind that flexibility is important to workers today as well. As such, you can consider offering a hybrid work-from-home option for employees. Furthermore, younger generations have concerns surrounding retirement and health care. For this reason, you can also consider offering health care and retirement packages as part of your benefits so they have competitive options to consider.
To attract young professionals today, you can also provide mentoring opportunities. Having a work mentor further engages young professionals to develop their interests and skill sets while filling the need for relationship building. The idea of mentorship programs isn’t new, but I believe it has been redefined by this generation of the workforce. Traditionally, a mentor is significantly older and acts as a teacher or guru. This format is typically one-sided, but leaders today should make mentorships a two-way street. Give feedback, and allow team members to offer feedback to a peer or direct report as well. Growth, both personal and professional, must be symbiotic.
Enterprise and corporate structure dictated by C-suite level executives is a past process. Today’s workforce wants more from how they spend their time, and this includes how they choose to earn a living. Motivations previously viewed as outliers are much stronger now than just simply receiving a paycheck, and companies must continue to evolve and adjust when applicable to recruit and retain talent.