Gen Z Technologists Entering the Workforce Will Shape What’s Appropriate and Acceptable in Work Environments and Cultures
What You Need to Know
With so many different generations in the workforce today, it’s difficult to balance the wants and expectations of all employees effectively without getting more granular in your approach.
The lessening of average tenure with companies with each generation and expectations for investment and active participation in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are just two examples of factors we saw this year that are impacting employers’ success with retaining current employees. It will continue to be important to be in tune with employees across all generations to understand what they expect and want from their work environments and company cultures, including a prioritized focus on DEI initiatives and supportive, open-minded working environments.
As the workforce expands to welcome new generations of tech professionals, finding a balance of competing interests between generations of employees continues to grow more and more complex. Equipped with the latest data and trends, employers can anticipate the wants and expectations of each generation to retain talent and attract new talent.
After experiencing one of the greatest job shifts on record this year, it’s important to take a pulse on the sentiment around job longevity, especially when it comes to different generations of technologists. We’re finding that the length of time professionals stay at a job is decreasing with each generation that enters the workforce. According to research conducted by CareerBuilder, on average, Baby Boomers stay in a job for 8 years and 3 months, Gen X will stay in a job for 5.2 years, Millennials will spend 2 years and 9 months in a job; the newest generation of technologists, Gen Z, will spend 2 years and 3 months (6 months less than millennials).
Knowing these data points, employers could put timely check-ins with employees in place to mitigate the risk of employees beginning to look for other opportunities. A proactive approach of asking how existing employees are feeling about their roles and if there is anything the employer can do to enhance their work environment or experience could persuade a star technologist to pump the brakes on their job search.
A trend we are seeing across most generations in the workforce currently is growing demand from employees for a respectful, inclusive workplace. This is evident in the Dice Technologist Sentiment Report and Dice’s Equality in Tech Report (great resources for staying up-to-date on how technologists feel, and what they want and expect from the companies they choose to work for). For example, this year we learned from surveying more than 9,000 technologists that discrimination remains an issue for many different racial groups in the tech industry; when it comes to applying for jobs at certain companies, technologists from all racial groups care about an organization’s reputation for diversity, equity and inclusion. While the percentage of importance varies by group, nearly half of all respondents in each category indicated that an employer’s reputation regarding diversity, equity and inclusion is influential in their decision to work for that company.
Given the high percentage of technologists who have witnessed discrimination, managers will have to do all they can to build a supportive and inclusive culture, which could mean pushing back against years of bad corporate habits. It can prove costly to spin up education programs for all employees on the importance of recognizing and calling out discrimination, as well as equity initiatives designed to tackle racial and gender disparities in the workplace. Not fixing a company’s reputation, however, can translate into a loss of valuable talent as technologists head for companies with more inclusive cultures.
Nearly half of all technologists surveyed for our Equality in Tech Report indicated that an employer’s reputation regarding diversity, equity and inclusion factors into their decision to work for a company.
This focus on creating a respectful, inclusive workplace can also build trust with employees and candidates – something they do not feel is prioritized enough by employers. Showing trust in employees to do their jobs and valuing the work they produce has always been important but has risen to the top of employee wants and needs.
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