Low Pay is the #1 Reason for Job Dissatisfaction Among Gen Zers

Get ready for Gen Z! With 9 million Gen Z-ers already in the workforce, companies are looking at how they can attract the next generation of talent.

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What does Gen Z really want from a company? The results may be surprising.

The newest cohort to the workforce is Generation Z. Born in the mid-90s to the early 2000s, Gen Zers are just beginning to graduate and join the ranks of the employed.

A recent survey revealed about 15% of workers overall are not happy with their jobs. A number of factors may be at play, but for Gen Z workers, more than half cited low pay as their No. 1 reason for job dissatisfaction.

When it comes to attracting and retaining this demographic, SMBs may have to be creative in the face of fierce wage competition in the marketplace.

Job satisfaction is key to maintaining a productive workforce. When staffers are valued and challenged on the job, productivity and ownership rise as attrition falls.

Assuring workers are satisfied isn’t always an easy task. For SMBs, offering a variety of employee perks may be the solution.

Overall compensation isn’t just about pay for Gen Z

When it comes to job satisfaction, pay isn’t the only factor. Many workers look for flexible hours or shifts, the ability to work remotely, or other benefits when considering the pluses and minuses of a position.

A recent Workest survey found 24% of workers would be willing to take a pay cut for more paid time off. When putting together the most attractive and generous benefits package you can offer, look to non-traditional as well as tried-and-true perks to drive job seekers to your door.

A recent national survey found exactly what pushes Gen Z’s buttons, and what doesn’t. The data revealed the largest “won’t take a job without” categories weren’t about salary – they were about relationships.

Positive relationships at work and comfortable workspaces were the highest deal-breakers when it comes to accepting a job at 27% each. Coming in a close second were scheduling flexibility and a chance to learn real skills at 24% each. All of these Gen Z “must haves” are easily provided by SMBs. To attract these job seekers, let them know their priorities are yours.

Gen Z wants to make connections

When it comes to positive relationships at work, small to medium sized businesses have an advantage over larger organizations. Smaller, tight-knit companies build on personal connections as well as work.

Attracting and retaining Gen Z talent begins with communicating the community you’ve built at your company, through job postings, social media, and every message you send. When candidates see the relationships you’ve built, they’re better able to see themselves as a part of the group. For Gen Z talent that considers positive relationships on the job a deal-maker, boasting your group’s connections is an easy way to attract talent.

Gen Z wants to take it easy

Comfortable workspaces can also be easily communicated through messaging and when you interview. A casual work environment can mean significant cost-savings in wardrobe and dry cleaning costs: a big plus for those just entering the job market.

Company-provided uniforms (or T-shirts) can be a plus as well. But beyond the dress code, make sure to promote the other ways your organization prioritizes comfort. Do you have a company-stocked break room? Is the ability to bring your pup to work a big plus for staff? All the ways you can help keep it low-key and comfy may be a strong draw for Gen Z talent.

Flexing for Gen Z

Not having scheduling flexibility may be a deal-maker for one-fourth of Gen Z polled, but be honest, everyone wants it.

Whether it’s a chance to make a later, less congested, commute, or the ability to get the kids off to school with fewer tears, flex scheduling is becoming the new norm. If you can offer staggered start times, flex scheduling or the ability to work remotely even just one day a week, you’ll likely see more Gen Zers clamoring for an interview.

Taking a chance on Gen Z

Rounding out the top 4 of the survey’s “won’t take a job withouts” is the chance to learn real skills. This is another area where SMBs shine. The ability to learn from coworkers that are close at hand is just the beginning.

Cross-training to learn new skills and find out what goes on in other departments is common in smaller organizations. More than providing coverage for the business, it gives workers a chance to see where (or not) they might want to aspire. When it comes to attracting Gen Z, posting and promoting the fact that you have opportunities to learn may be just the ticket.

Competing for talent means more than offering the biggest salary. For small to medium sized businesses, the real work delights are in the details: a more congenial work environment, more flexibility, and a chance to stretch may be just the beginning of what you have to offer. When it comes time to recruit talent, make sure you boast all your company provides beyond salary to attract the right candidate for the job and your workplace.

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