The generation born between 1997 and 2012, also known as Gen Z, has no gripes with being called ‘job-hoppers’ unlike their predecessors, according to a recent study conducted by management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, which analysed responses from 10,000 Gen Zers from the USA and the UK.

In fact, 70 per cent of Gen Zers are either actively or passively looking for a new job. They’re willing to quit unfulfilling jobs for one which provides the perks they are looking for, so they’re always on the lookout for something better.

What Business Needs To Know About
The Generation Changing Everything
Oliver Wyman

The study explains why Gen Z stands out from all of their predecessors: “while many generations ‘become their parents’ as they pass through life’s many stages, the evidence suggests Gen Z will be different. Given the economic, social, and political trauma they have faced in their short lives, many of their values, behaviours, and lifestyle choices are now etched into their DNA.”

As the first digitally native generation, Gen Z is often labelled as the ‘most disruptive generation’ in the workplace, and is expected to re-imagine long-held business practices. The study found that Gen Z workers want a sustainable work-life balance and are not prepared to sacrifice leisure time in exchange for advancing the corporate ladder.

Compared to other generations, Gen Z is much more prepared to quit a job without a back-up plan if they’re unsatisfied. They are also more likely to view work in a “transactional manner.” That means they do not necessarily look at a job as a way of joining a community, or a ‘family’, but a place where they simply provide their time and skills in exchange for the agreed upon compensation and benefits.

When it comes to in-work benefits, Gen Z workers come with a “lengthy list” of demands. This includes, but is not limited to, mental health support, flexibility, and also expectation of institutional transparency.

This may in part be due to being acutely aware of ongoing labour shortages, and the rising cost of living.

When it came to work settings, 85 per cent of Gen Z workers prefer hybrid or remote work and are ready to quit if they don’t get it. This, researchers say, is due to their coming of age during the COVID-19 pandemic, entering the workforce at a time when remote work was the norm. Employers seeking to hire and retain Gen Z workers need to allow their employees to work from home and have more time off, according to the study.

Failure to do so can lead to ‘quiet quitting’, a term which means doing the minimum requirements of one’s job, which was born out of Gen Z. According to the study, it is the workers’ understanding that they are working for what their wages are worth.If businesses don’t meet their expectations, they’re more than ready to ‘job hop’ or quit outright.

The study found that, the main reasons why Gen Z workers change jobs is due to compensation, work-life balance, personal fulfilment and career advancement. There was also a noticeable difference in attitudes observed between genders.

Similar to the USA and UK, Gen Z in Malta came of age during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also faces comparable challenges such as a rising cost of living, and a tight labour market. This means that local businesses could already be in the process of being disrupted, or will be in the near future.


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