Money is a powerful thing, and unfortunately, can be a leading cause of stress for many Americans. Willis Towers Watson released an infographic last year detailing the financial state of employees and the statistics might shock you. Here are a few of the highlights.

  • 48% of employees are worried about their current financial state, while 54% worry about the future of their finances.
  • 51% of employees experienced a significant financial event in the last year.
  • 29% of employees borrowed money from family or friends.

While you may think that employees with well-paying jobs and stable careers don’t worry about their financial status, the statistics couldn’t be further from the truth. Which begs the question.. Where do we, as employers, fit into this puzzle? How can we alleviate financial stress for our employees beyond compensation?

Educate Employees

“70% of employers think they should take an active role in encouraging their employees to manage their personal finances better.”

Unfortunately, there is a major gap in educating students on how to manage their finances. Even the most prestigious schools often neglect to discuss money management in the classroom. Which means, although Americans may be wealthy, they are uneducated when it comes to finances.

As the saying goes, better late than never, for employees living paycheck to paycheck. As employers, we can step in and help meet this need.  Offer programs that provide opportunities to learn how to manage their personal finances, invest wisely, and plan for their future. If your company isn’t already doing this, start now. However small, you can help alleviate the financial burden for your employees. If your company uses PerkSpot, employees can sign up for our weekly newsletter “theLOOP” where, in addition to health and wellness and career advice, they’ll also find tips for financial wellness.

Alleviate Anxieties

“Over a third of employees believe their financial problems are negatively impacting their lives.”

Help alleviate the stress that many employees are facing day to day by easing the burden of their everyday expenses. This is where PerkSpot finds its purpose in serving some of America’s top employers. By providing discounts on everything from monthly cell phone bills to mortgages to cars to electronics, we help employees save on the things that matter. Therefore, they can spend less time stressing and more time focusing on the job at hand.

Survey Satisfaction

“Only 35% of employees would say they are satisfied with their current financial situation.”

Do you know how your employees would view their current financial state?  sensitivity and privacy are essential when it comes to your employee’s finances.  However, you can ask general questions and take anonymous surveys to gauge their interest in financial assistance programs and education. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.

Financial wellness is not an easy topic and as employers, it would be easy to ignore and not claim responsibility. However, the impact we make on our employee’s happiness is crucial not only to their job satisfaction but on productivity, retention, and ROI. By educating employees, alleviating their stress and understanding their needs, you’ll be on your way to a better workforce. Need help getting started? Reach out to us!

It’s finally summer here in Chicago and we are so excited to see employees biking into work, enjoying lunches on the roof, and signing up for 5ks together.

Summer can be a great time to revamp your Health and Wellness initiatives at your workplace and we’ve got a few ideas to get you started.

Promote Healthy Eating

One of the great things about this season is that you don’t mind getting outside the office to grab something fresh and healthy. A small, but effective and practical way to help your employees stay healthy is to provide a list of healthy meal options close to your office. You can even create your own map on google maps and share it with the office.

Provide Meaningful Discounts

Gym memberships and healthy food options are often expensive. Lighten the load for your employees by offering these great initiatives at a discount. Enter PerkSpot. We’ve already done the negotiating so all you have to do is contact us to get started!

Coordinate Running (or Walking) Clubs

We have several people in our office who love hitting the pavement, especially in the summer. While others may need some extra incentive, walking or running clubs can be a great way to get everyone moving. Pick a day after work and promote the club around your office. You can even finish your run with a fun get-together after.

Hold a Healthy Potluck

Potlucks are a fun way to get everyone to mingle around the office and show off those cooking skills! Hold a potluck where everyone makes their favorite healthy recipe and brings it in to share. Employees will break out of the routine and maybe learn some new recipes while they’re at it.

What are your tips for keeping your office healthy? Share them with us in the comments!

There are a million articles written about employee engagement and ways to keep employees happy and passionate about their work.

But, there is one word that doesn’t usually come to mind when we think about employee engagement: vulnerability.
vulnerability impacts employee engagement, sense of belonging

Brene Brown, New York Times best-selling author and speaker of one of the most popular Ted Talks in history, defines vulnerability in her book Daring Greatly as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure… the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.”

While it’s obvious that vulnerability plays a major role in our personal relationships, there is also significance to being vulnerable in the workplace. If being vulnerable opens the door to more belonging, courage, creativity, and empathy, imagine how this will affect our employees.

Here are few of the ways vulnerability impacts employee engagement.

Vulnerability Impacts Employee Engagement by Creating a Sense of Belonging

One of the most crucial aspects of employee engagement is helping employees find a sense of belonging in their workplace. They need to know their work is valued, and employees who develop meaningful friendships at work are said to be more productive and loyal to their company. In fact, according to a Gallup survey, 50% of employees who had a best friend at work also feel a strong connection to their company. Vulnerability creates a sense of belonging as it enables people to be true to themselves in the workplace. Unnecessary stress and tension disappear when people feel known and accepted for who they are. This includes acknowledging both victories and short-comings and pushing employees to be their true, and best selves.

Vulnerability Impacts Employee Engagement by Provoking Courage

In the same way that vulnerability enables employees to feel a sense of belonging, this also stirs up courage in the workplace. Vulnerability is not an easy task, and while we aren’t talking about spilling your deepest darkest secrets, there are elements of vulnerability that are crucial to a productive workplace.
Examples include:

  • Asking for help
  • Saying no
  • Speaking up in the face of resistance
  • Admitting ignorance or fear
  • Accountability for mistakes
  • Being able to walk away from projects or people that aren’t working out

Each of these aspects of vulnerability requires an act of courage. For some people, asking for help doesn’t come naturally, while others struggle to make their voice heard. By the same token, perhaps you’re a manager realizing an employee simply isn’t happy and needs to move on. Each of these examples pushes us to make the workplace a better place to be. Managers and executives should lead by example by pursuing these elements of vulnerability and in turn, create an open, judgment-free space for employees to do the same.

Vulnerability Impacts Employee Engagement by Stimulating Creativity

Finally, vulnerability can also do wonders for stimulating creativity. When you think about creatives, you may think about how raw and transparent they are with their emotions. Many creatives, including Graphic Designer Marina Willer, believe that vulnerability is essential to their creative process. “[Feeling vulnerable] makes you face the experience fully and almost embrace it,” she says. “Those moments can bring a lot of creativity and make ideas flourish.” Vulnerability can stimulate a part of our minds and emotions that we may not tap into on a daily basis. Imagine what your employees can accomplish if they aren’t afraid to speak their minds about what they really think; if their ideas are able to flourish, instead of being suppressed.

Thinking about offering an employee discount program but not sure if it’s worth it? In the world of endless perks, it’s overwhelming trying to pick and choose which offerings to make available to your employees.

From perks for pets to sabbaticals to remote work, it can be hard to keep up! Plus, what are the real benefits to offering all these perks anyway? Some of them leave people out, while others are costly and difficult to maintain for human resources.

why employee discount programs work

That’s why we wanted to take some time to focus on why employee discount programs work! But we know we might be a little biased, which is why we’re focusing on feedback from employees themselves who use PerkSpot and vouch for the benefits of discount programs.

We work with over 600+ employers all over the nation (Walgreens, Southwest, Starbucks and Chipotle to name a few) and are constantly hearing about how employees are using PerkSpot to improve their lives. It’s such good news we didn’t want to keep it to ourselves!

Here are a few of our favorite quotes and what they mean for the workplace:

It’s Money in Their Pockets

“After being with Starbucks for nearly 11 years, Perkspot has been super beneficial with helping me save money where it matters most. There are so many perks to being a Starbucks partner but I love PerkSpot because it offers such a wide variety of discounts to help a struggling barista get through life with a little less struggle.” – Starbucks Partner

“Date nights are forever changed and day-cations are much more common now! The savings and discounts make everything so much more affordable, the idea of going out doesn’t seem so bad on the wallet. Love the perks so much!” – DSW Employee

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 78% of U.S. employees live paycheck-to-paycheck, even those making $100,000 or more. There is only so much you can provide in terms of compensation for your employees. While you may not be able to give everyone a raise, you can help their money go a little farther. The most compelling reason employee discount programs work is because they help employees stretch their paycheck. No matter how great your office is, it is hard for employees to stay positive when they struggle to make ends meet. Provide ways for employees to save on the big things (like cars and insurance) and the small things (flowers for mom)! These savings will help their money go just a little bit further every month. Plus, they’ll have a new affection for their employer.  Put money in their pocket and smiles on their faces!

It’s Meaningful

“It has made every family memory possible. I really value family time and great rates make it possible for our family of four to stay close.” – Chipotle Employee

“I had no idea that I can save money on family vacations because money is tight. Also, there are so many other categories like health, electronics, and household goods I can save on. Who doesn’t want to save money?” – Walgreens Employee

Pet perks aren’t meaningful if you don’t own a pet. Snacks in the breakroom aren’t useful if you are on a restrictive diet or have an allergy. One thing that’s great about an employee discount program is that it’s great for everyone! From discounts on electronics to travel to apparel, every employee can take advantage of this perk! When it comes to providing meaningful and personal perks, this is a great place to start!

It’s Motivating

“It’s helped me work harder, knowing I work for a company that appreciates their employees enough to have a discount program. Kind of awesome!!” – Columbia Bank Employee

When it comes to wellness, we are quick to think about diet and exercise but spend little time focusing on finances. A 2017 PWC survey on Employee Financial Wellness shed some light on the current state of employee financial health. The survey stated one in three employees say issues with personal finances have been a distraction at work. Another 46% say they spend three hours or more each week thinking about these issues. Imagine the amount of time and energy employees are spending worrying about everyday expenses. While there are many ways to motivate employees, a discount program is one of the best! Employees who are stressed about paying their bills can hardly focus on the job at hand. Employers who alleviate this stress can help motivate their employees and improve their view of their workplace.

From stretching their paycheck, providing meaningful perks, and alleviating financial stress for employees, discount programs just work! If you haven’t thought about providing a simple, easy program like PerkSpot, we hope these points will push you to take the leap. Contact us to get started!

Retaining employees seems to be a never-ending topic of discussion. In a survey of 614 HR leaders, 87% said improving retention is a high or critical priority. Not surprising considering over 3 million Americans quit their job every month.

perkspot culture four ways to improve employee retention

There is plenty of work to be done when it comes to improving retention rates among these employees, and it all starts with culture.
Here are four ways to improve retention rates that won’t cost a fortune.

Focus on Training and Development

According to a Gallup poll, 93% of Millennials left their job to seek a new role. It seems today’s job seekers feel they need to move on in order to move up. We face similar obstacles at PerkSpot given the small size of our company. One way of combating that was to provide sabbatical opportunities for employees with a small stipend where they can pursue additional training and development opportunities. Employees not only come back refreshed and recharged, but they also have a renewed sense of passion for the work at hand and a few new skills added to their toolbelt. This has been a win-win all around for employee retention and development.

Compensate Fairly

We’ve made another exciting change at PerkSpot this year to improve employee satisfaction and retention. After hearing various feedback from employees, our executive team got together to put a more thorough compensation plan, including individual goals for each employee. Quite possibly nothing is more important than consistently evaluating what and how you’re paying your employees, and including them in the process.

Another Gallup survey revealed “while just 30% of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in setting their goals at work, those who do… are 3.6 times more likely than other employees to be engaged.” While compensation may seem like a costly part of a retention strategy, bumping up a salary by a small percentage costs way less than hiring a new employee, where the dollar amount for replacing an employee might shock you.

Evaluate Often

While a great compensation plan will set employees up for success, it’s also important to hold consistent performance reviews. Sadly, only a mere 14% of employees feel inspired by their reviews. Remember to ask employees great questions and listen to their pain points. By finding ways to inspire them in their jobs, they’ll leave happier and be more productive in the long haul. Evaluating their compensation should be an obvious part of this conversation, as stated above.

Recognize and Reward

We’d be remiss not to mention rewards and recognition as part of a successful retention plan. Clive Schlee, CEO of restaurants Pret a Manger, discusses with Harvard Business Review the importance of recognition in this short video: “Each employee makes about 5-10,000 decisions a day… how to squeeze a lemon, how to lay the chicken on the sandwich,… these are all decisions that can be done well or can be done badly and how they feel about the company is absolutely critical.”

Meanwhile, only one in three employees say they have received recognition in the past seven days. A critical misstep for companies hoping to retain their high performers. The same report states that 28% of employees feel that the most meaningful recognition comes from their manager, which is why the PerkSpot Rewards and Recognition platform is setup to do just that. Managers recognize their employees in real time, right when they perform an action that aligns with company values.

There are many things you can do to start reducing your turnover and improve your employee retention. Where will you start?

We are fortunate to have an amazing team here at PerkSpot. But, it’s not by accident. A great teams needs a great leader, and our executive team is no exception.

We decided to pick their brains to discover all the traits they think make up a great leader. Here’s what they had to say.

whitney perkspot culture humility great leader

Whitney Sattel, Head of Marketing

“Being a great leader means knowing that your own growth never stops and that you can learn just as much from your team as what you can teach them.”

Humility

What better place to start when discussing leadership than with humility? We’re not talking about the self-deprecating type of humility that never acknowledges accomplishments or speaks up. True humility, however, pushes your team to be the best they can be for the sake of the team and the business, not for selfish gain.

Leaders who exemplify this quality…

  • Aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. There is no work too big or too small for them.
  • Acknowledge your value. “When I talk to a manager, I get the feeling that they are important. When I talk to a leader, I get the feeling that I am important.”
  • Acknowledge their mistakes. Nothing is more frustrating than having a boss who shifts blame and refuses to take responsibility for their errors. True leaders use their mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, sharing these mistakes with their team as teachable moments for everyone involved.

jace perkspot culture vision great leader

Jace Mouse, CEO

“Great leaders always point the way to something bigger than ourselves.”

Vision

As CEO, it’s not surprising that Jace would focus on casting vision, arguably the most important thing a CEO can do! As the leader of PerkSpot, it’s of the utmost importance that Jace uses his leadership to lead us towards bigger and better goals, without getting caught up in the muck.

Here’s how great leaders cast vision:

  • They make the vision relevant. Take a moment to think about your team and the problems their facing. How does this vision or goal help them to solve problems and reach this goal? Make it relevant to their day-to-day.
  • They make the vision actionable. A great vision is nothing without a great plan to push it along. Vision-casting isn’t just a head-in-the-clouds, aspirational story. Great leaders know how to cast vision, while making it actionable for their teams by laying out a clear plan for getting there.
  • They make the vision personal. When dealing with a change or working toward a goal, most people will be thinking “what’s in it for me?”. Great leaders know how to address that question for each member of their team, dealing with the emotions they may be experiencing and answering doubts or fears that may arise.

taylor team players great leader perkspot culture

Taylor Somach, Senior Director of Merchant Relations

“A great leader is similar to a great football coach- Surround yourself with quality players, develop the best game plan possible with their input, and most importantly enable your team to have the confidence and skills to achieve their goals.”

Team Players

As head of our sales team, it’s not surprising that Taylor would use a competitive analogy. Taylor knows that in order to get ahead and be successful, he needs each and every part of his team to work effectively. They share a common goal and work together to accomplish it.

So why is it important for leaders to be team players?

  • No man is an island. Going back to our first point, humility is of the utmost importance. Being a team player means that you’re working towards something together, not just individually. If you only focus on what your two hands can accomplish, that’s as far as you’ll ever get.
  • Each voice needs to be heard. Taylor mentioned building a game plan with everyone’s input. Building a great team means making decisions together. This breeds trust as you move forward toward achieving your goals.
  • Every member has their role. No team is made up of the same type of player. You have many personalities and responsibilities. While you may not treat each team member exactly the same, you should treat them all with the same respect. A team player, or better yet, a great coach, will do just that.

justin perkspot culture great leader mentorship

Justin Cardillo, VP of Sales

“A great leader should be a few things: A good listener, an effective communicator, and an awesome motivator. If you do those things well, the rest will fall into place.”

Mentorship

Justin listed three great qualities that can all be summed up in one word: Mentorship. Mentorship is a popular trend among many great leaders: Steve Jobs had Bill Campbell, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates was mentored by Warren Buffet.

Great mentors, and in turn, great leaders, follow these trends:

  • They listen well. Too often leaders treat their one-on-ones as an item on their to-do list versus a chance to deepen their relationship with their employees. Great mentors put the relationship first, asking great questions and even more importantly, listening to the answers!
  • They speak honestly. Great mentors are honest, not just with criticisms, but with praises as well. As Justin mentioned, they know how to communicate effectively to produce strong results from their employees.
  • They push harder. Motivating others is the most contagious quality of a great mentor and leader. Mentors push others to be the best version of themselves, beyond just company goals and metrics. They focus on character and quality of work.

As Human Resources seeks to make the workplace a healthier and happier place, a new phenomenon has popped onto the scene in the past few years: The Standing Desk. What once started as a cardboard box, has now become a specialized piece of equipment that many offices are beginning to invest in. That’s why we wanted to know what it’s like to use a standing desk.

what it's like to use a standing desk

We all know it’s not good to sit still all day. In fact, standing for three hours a day is the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year and can burn 50 more calories an hour than sitting.

That’s why, I decided to give the standing desk a spin to see how beneficial it really is. Here’s my breakdown of using a standing desk every day for an hour during a work week.

Day One:

Using a standing desk is awkward at first. Do I bring a notebook with me? Will I be able to take notes? What work should I select for this hour? For starters, I felt very fidgety. I was very aware that I was standing on my feet and had a hard time getting started. Finally, after a few minutes I was in the zone and able to focus on my task at hand. I was amazed at how quickly the hour flew by! As soon as I sat back down in my chair, I started yawning again… I didn’t even realize I was tired before as being on my feet helped me stay alert.

Lesson Learned: Set it up correctly. I found that less is more when it came to setting up the standing desk. We have a screen attached to the desk, but the first day I chose to simply type on my laptop using the existing screen. Big mistake. Looking down at the screen was actually worse for me so the other four days I decided to hook up to the monitor and found that I was much more productive and felt better, too!

Day Two:

I decided to approach the desk with the bare essentials. With my laptop and a notebook in hand, I  started to work on a blog post. Immediately, I was super focused and stayed longer than my allotted time. My only regret was that I was wearing pretty uncomfortable shoes. After I finished my article, I physically took a step back from the screen to read over my writing. I really enjoyed being able to actually physically move my body to reflect on my work.

Lesson Learned: Use a mat and wear comfortable shoes. If you can, try to be as comfortable as possible while standing. Maybe don’t choose to work standing if you’re dressed up in heels or dress shoes for a meeting. This can cause more harm than good.

Day Three:

I decided to use this time to brainstorm. I had a few projects I needed to break ground on and something about being able to walk back and forth helped me feel more mobile and focused on the task at hand. Plus, I was able to take periodic breaks from my screen, which are always nice. I wore more comfortable shoes this time and stayed for a little over an hour.

Lesson Learned: Don’t be a statue. Using a standing desk can be awkward, but don’t be afraid to embrace the freedom you have with so much mobility. During my brainstorming, I chose to pace or twist my body back and forth to help me stay alert and focus my mind.

Day Four:

My time got cut short this day to go into a meeting. I was also working on a more heads-down task and noticed it was harder for me to accomplish this work while standing. The location of our standing desk makes it more prone for distraction, which is a negative. Brainstorming and writing seem to be better tasks suited for standing.

Lesson Learned: Start slow. Don’t stay longer than necessary. Maybe chose a task and stay standing until you complete it. That’s how I chose to start and the time flew by, but had I been switching back and forth from job to job, it might have been more distracting than productive.

Day Five:

It’s funny how in a few short days I no longer feel awkward approaching the desk. I know exactly what to bring, which shoes to wear, and what tasks to accomplish. Plus, I’ve hit my stand goal every single day this week – always a bonus.

Lesson Learned: Figure out which tasks work for you. This was probably the biggest lesson I learned in this week. Not all tasks are suitable for standing. Experiment with different goals to figure out which ones work best for you. You’ll be amazed the effects it can have on your productivity!

Working at a standing desk is a unique situation and a small amount of preparation before you switch up your workflow will help you make the most of it.

Over the years, Human Resources has taken on a completely different face. HR no longer means just payroll and workplace conduct. Gone are the days of cheesy corporate videos warning employees informing them of workplace policies. From training and development, HR analytics, strategic planning, and talent acquisition, the roles HR plays are varied.

time for hr and recruitment to take a break perkspot culture

Which begs the question, where do we draw the line? Should HR really be involved in recruitment and interviewing? Is this their responsibility, and if not, whose is it?

We think it might be time for HR and recruitment to take a break. Here’s why.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

HR may not be to blame for drifting apart. Just as human resources has evolved, so has the talent acquisition field. You won’t find any help wanted ads in the paper. Technology has completely transformed the role of recruitment today. What once functioned under hiring managers and senior leaders, taking orders on which candidate to hire and reaching out to close the deal, now has morphed into a role all on its own. With data and analytics to drive the recruitment process, this has opened the door to a new way of recruiting and created an entity all its own. In other words, it’s not HR’s fault, Talent Acquisition has needs to be fulfilled.

We Should See Other People

Because recruitment isn’t the same as it used to be, it might be time for this department to spread its wings. From building the employer brand to improving the candidate experience, recruitment no longer requires a simple one and done interview process. Which leads us to question where this role should fall within an organization. Should marketing be responsible in order to control the employer brand? Historically, recruitment has fallen under HR simply due to compliance issues, and in light of the #MeToo movement, this may not be changing tomorrow. On the other hand, acquiring talent is a special skill and many argue should not fall under the branch of Human Resources as there is simply too much involved. Perhaps the next stage in the recruitment evolution is moving out from under HR.

I Need to Be Alone for a While

For this reason, many organizations are beginning to create a talent acquisition department that stands on its own. Perhaps the best solution, as the department can collaborate with others but still function as its own entity. Talent acquisition today no longer depends on the human resource department or hiring manager to provide insights into their needs, although still valuable. Instead, these recruiters or TA specialists are experts on the job market and industry trends. As Recruiting Intelligence blog, ERE, states “Although there is merit in partnering with HR and marketing among other key stakeholders, as talent acquisition professionals we provide a unique and invaluable service to our hiring managers, senior leaders, and CEOs…. The emergence of “big data” and metrics helps to identify critical talent, enables us to source more strategically, and provide intelligence on how the competition is performing in efforts to hire talent. “

Do you think Recruiting should break up with HR or are they meant to be together forever? Leave us a comment!

The frenzy of March Madness is alive and well in our office and it’s got us thinking about the dynamics that make these teams thrive. From recruiting top talent to honing players’ skills, there are a lot of factors that go into building a championship team.

developing great teams from march madness

In the spirit of the season, here are our favorite ways for developing great teams from March Madness.

Selecting Your Players Well

You know what they say – “You’re only as strong as your weakest link”. Selecting and recruiting the right candidates is essential to building a strong team. While it may take more work up-front, all the research and time invested will pay off as you build a solid foundation to support what lies ahead. Start off by investing in recruitment and make sure you’re adding people who will complement your culture, not just blend in. Determine your weaknesses and find players who will fill in the gaps.

Play to Their Strengths

According to Gallup, employees who use their strengths are SIX TIMES more engaged than those who don’t. Once you’ve attracted the star talent, now you have to keep them! Start by defining your employees’ strengths. A strength should be defined as “consistent near perfect performance in an activity.” Strengths should be invigorating, not draining and produce clear, effective results. You may find that one employee produces several great results but are on the edge of burnouts while another employee is bored. Developing your employees helps them stay passionate and forward-thinking, while creating a balance on your team.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

It’s a lot easier for basketball teams to stay focused on the goals ahead of them – win the game, win the championship, don’t get injured! In the office, however, it’s not so cut and dry. As a leader, it’s important to help lead your team to success by keeping them focused on your goal. Whether it’s a short term goal to accomplish for the week or a long-term goal for the year, find ways to track and measure progress towards your goals to keep employees motivated and united.

Spend Time Together Off the Court

David DeBusschere, named one of the greatest players in NBA history, once said “The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal glory for the common goal.” The same is true in our workplaces. The best teams are the ones who spend time getting to know each other. Spending time outside the office can create a stronger, loyal, and happier team. When they have each others’ backs, they become unstoppable.

Celebrate Your Wins

No team leaves a championship game with a quick high five. They celebrate with loud cheers and celebrations. The same should be true of our wins in the workplace. When your team accomplishes a milestone, remember to take time to celebrate and acknowledge their achievements. After all, this is what all the work is for!

What are some ways you’re building strong team cultures in your workplace this year?

What Gen Z Wants

Out with the old and in with the new! Generation Z is entering the workforce, and it is time for organizations to be prepared for their many needs compared to millennials. The next group of young adults is a tech-savvy and inquisitive group of talent, born in a time when political and socioeconomic polarities impacted society (think: economic crash, Sandy Hook, etc.).

generation z in the workforce

If you’re looking to redefine your employee appreciation language for the next generation of workers, consider this.

Who Are Gen Z

Generation Z are born after 1995 and have major respect for personal engagement at work and technology to balance work productivity. These employees will travel the world in order to pursue the career of their dreams. Most are highly intelligent and curious, asking questions on the job to develop ideas for operational improvement initiatives. Unlike millennials, they have realistic expectations for their employers and are vocal in presenting their ideas, despite their lack of work experience.

What Gen Z Wants

As you review a student resume, it is important to search for the skills of your ideal employee that can add value to the team. Try searching for action words such as “invented”, “developed”, “organized”, and “achieved” when creating a shortlist of candidates. Generation Z’s experience will primarily be in committee work on campus, volunteering, internships, and classroom projects, which offer transferable skills that can be used in the workplace. Their lack of experience is an advantage because their perspective of the outside world and discussions with their parents can result in unconventional ideas that can potentially help a company grow.

Salary Expectations

Generation Z grew up when the economy started to recover in North America. If the economic downfall didn’t impact their parents, someone in their circle of friends has a story. This age group, unlike millennials, does not expect to be guaranteed a high salary after graduation. Most realize that the starting salary can start at less than $36,000. According to Fast Company, “Among young college graduates, average wages are $19.18 per hour—only 1.4% higher than in 2000.” Nonetheless, there is an expectation that with experience and time also comes an increase in income before retirement.

Open Discussions with Management

Technology is second nature to Generation Z, but a face-to-face connection with their manager is still vital for career development. It is important to foster open communication. When employee’s feel heard, this adds value to their work experience. These professionals aim to work at organizations that will guide their career with regular performance evaluations.

Workplace Cultures

Flexible workplaces are here to stay for Gen Z with an emphasis on an area for employees to relieve stress and focus on work-life balance. The CEO should project this type of culture down to management.  This helps the group flourish in a company that genuinely practices these initiatives.

Here is a list of flexible work options to consider:

  • A gym in the building
  • Room for employees to destress (i.e., game room, TV room, sleep room)
  • Options to work from home (i.e., once a month)

In addition, well-being programs and personalized healthcare benefits for employees are additional examples worth implementing at your company.

Acknowledged and Taken Seriously

There are many common misconceptions about Generation Z. They do not respect authority, are glued to their phones, lack social skills, and do not want to work hard.  The truth is, Gen Z has an entrepreneurial spirit. However, this also comes with its own advantages. Gen Z isn’t afraid to work longer hours and benefits from how their work positively impacts a company. This group values the opinions of their superiors and working alongside seasoned professionals in their department. They have the confidence to socialize with executives in meetings and share their ideas about customer experience improvements.

As you begin hiring Generation Z at your business, consider what these employees want, the strengths of this generation, and the desired benefits in your decision-making process.