The lost generation of talent: how do businesses connect with Gen Z?
Despite the end of coronavirus restrictions and work from home orders, the world of work is a long way from the way it looked pre-pandemic. Now, staff shortages and demands for continued work from home structures have added further complications to what was already a career ladder laden with challenges. This is no more apparent than in the youngest generation of workers, who are currently unemployed at a rate of 13.3% while data from Future Strategy Club has revealed that 57% of 18-24 years olds are now extremely concerned about securing a job post-pandemic.
This comes after Future Strategy Club reported that 58% of UK workers now want flexibility in their current role, with 43% agreeing that they would consider leaving their job if not given a hybrid work option. This means firms must respond to this request and proactively develop their employee retention strategies to ensure longevity, and to attract a generation more concerned than ever with purpose, flexibility and work-life balance.
Businesses are also now beginning to see an entire generation of graduates who don’t consider the corporate ladder as the only means with which to create a progressive career, with data by Future Strategy Club revealing that 25% of graduates are now considering freelancing as a permanent career option.
As Justin Small, CEO of FSC states, Covid has fundamentally changed the power structure between employee and employer. As such, firms must now restructure how they think about their culture and ways of working, switching to a hybrid model to meet employee demands and build a team based on trust – the new currency in building teams that can help organisations work in disrupted times.
Justin Small, CEO of Future Strategy Club – a network of the UK’s tier 1 consultancy talent – discusses:
“Employers need to understand that Covid has fundamentally changed the power structure between employee and employer. The diktat that working from home is less productive has been proved completely false – in fact, Covid has proven that working from home is more productive. Therefore, the talent is now dictating hybrid working terms to potential employers, and employers need to restructure how they think about their culture and ways of working.
Any large organisations that don’t trust their employees, and believe that if their employees are not at their desks they are not working, will struggle in this new post-pandemic world. The top-down command & control organisations have ignored the push for more horizontal hubs and bespoke organisational designs (where teams have more ground level decision making power) – but the chickens are coming home to roost as they find themselves with a distributed workforce due to Covid – and it’s horizontal or bust!
What is now key is hiring strategies and processes – these need to be recalibrated to hire employees that are more self-directed and independent thinkers – that can be trusted to make decisions. And line managers need to be retrained to enable talent to successfully deliver, rather than dictate how they work and what they should do. Trust is the new currency in building teams that can help organisations work in disrupted times.”