80% of Gen Z workers have their eye on their next job, with nearly half on the hunt for more money

- June 12, 2022 3 MIN READ
Employment, interview, job
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Four out of five (78%) of Gen Z workers considered moving jobs post-pandemic, a survey by rewards platform Perkbox has found.

The survey of more than 1000 employee under 25 (born between 1997 and 2012) by data research firm Censuswide didn’t quite deliver a great resignation, although low unemployment and high competition for skilled workers driving up wages, but 78% of those asked saying they considered moving jobs in the past six months, with nearly half (43%) citing a higher salary as their primary motivator.

Those working in the Retail, Catering and Leisure sectors were the least satisfied with their role, with more than a quarter (27%) saying they were not happy with their job. Mental and financial wellbeing seemed to be particular pain points in this industry, being rated as ‘bad’ by 20% and 28% respectively.

Perkbox Australia Country Manager Ross McDonald said that in general, Gen Z employees want more support on this front, with the vast majority wanting their employer to do more for mental (77%) and financial (66%) wellbeing.

“This study should serve as a wake-up call to employers about Gen Z in the workforce. They are highly motivated, hard-working employees. But if they don’t feel properly supported, they won’t warn you, they will just look to leave,” he said.

“This is a generation of workers that will reward proactive employers. If you go above and beyond for them, they in turn will go above and beyond for you.”

Flexibility was most valued by Gen Z, with over a third (37%) even indicating that they would move to a lower-paid position to retain work-life balance.

Almost all (88%) said that it was important that benefits were tailored to them as an individual, yet more than a quarter (28%) said that everyone in their current workplace receives the same benefits, while 26% don’t even receive any benefits.

McDonald said those figures underscore the importance of employers talking to their team to find out what motivates each individual.

“Some employees may want more leave, others may be interested in insurance benefits instead. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it, especially with the younger workers,” he said.

“Choice and personalisation is a common aspect of their daily lives, so it makes sense for them to want this reflected in their benefits package.”

Managers rate themselves awesome

The Censuswide survey of Gen Z emerged at the same time another survey, this time by recruiter Robert Half found that Australian managers think they are really good at their jobs, with 81% rating their management skills between 8-10, where 10 is excellent, including 29% giving themselves perfect score.

Just 8% of respondents rank themselves a 6 or under, highlighting the high degree of self-confidence of Australian managers.

Australian leaders did see room for improvement, however, with 4-in-10 believing the needed to lift their game in fundamental areas such as driving motivation and engagement (42%), managing conflict and delivering bad news (42%), and supporting employee wellbeing (42%).

Robert Half Australia director Andrew Brushfield said the annual study and was conducted online in late 2021, surveying 300 hiring managers, including 100 CFOs and 100 CIOs, shows that Australia’s tight labour market created more opportunities for workers to fast track into management or leadership roles – even with skills considered ‘under-developed’ prior to the pandemic,

“This – coupled with the heightened strategic role management has taken on in the post-pandemic market – has put an increased emphasis on how employers are delivering internal leadership training opportunities. Equipping leaders to identify and tackle emerging trends, guiding agile decision making in uncertain situations, and structured people management expertise are essential skills in today’s market,” he said.

It is often said that employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers, and as the war for talent shows no signs of calming down, excellent management is a valuable retention lever. Creating a positive employee experience not only contributes to motivation and engagement but acts as a barrier to employee turnover.”

And despite believing they’re doing a great job, Brushfield said their focus for improvement was clear.

“In the post-pandemic market, the importance of strong and competent management is threefold:  re-establishing a sense of culture and stability amongst decentralised teams; cultivating a high-performing and productive team as organisations embark on ambitious growth initiatives; and driving change management to adapt workers to digital transformations efforts,” he said.