SmartBrief: What does Gen Z want from work?

By: Cord Himelstein, vice president of marketing and communications at HALO Recognition

The millennial generation changed almost everything about how we define the employee experience and how we approach employee rewards and recognition. It was the first generation to fully embrace the social media revolution, shaping how people communicate, celebrate, collaborate and serve their communities.

We have dubbed the generation after millennials “Gen Z” for the purposes of this article, but the folks in the business of naming generations have yet to decide what to call them. Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Plurals, Centennials, the Homeland Generation, and iGeneration have all been suggested at some point, and they are all valid. The important thing to remember is they refer to the generation born between 1997 and 2012, meaning many of them are just now entering the workforce.

So what does Gen Z want to get out of work? Several studies have been published that tell us some interesting facts. In short, the attributes and associations that defined millennials have carried over to their successors and are even more prevalent. Here are some highlights:

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CNBC: 5 of the biggest workplace trends to watch in 2019

Every year brings unique and sometimes wacky new workplace initiatives. 2018 brought us examples such as such as implanting RFID microchips in employees or only allowing them to expense vegetarian food, but there are also important trends that you might see arriving in your workplace in 2019. Some of the more creative initiatives we have seen are Vermont offering a $10,000 incentive for remote workers to move there, and an insurance firm in New Zealand conducting an academically rigorous trial of a 4-day work week with great success.

From welcoming a new generation into the workforce to understanding how your company collects data about you, these are the 5 biggest workplace trends that you’ll see as we move into 2019:

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The Wharton School: Why Retaining Older Women in the Workforce Will Help the U.S. Economy

In this opinion piece, researchers Amy Lui Abel and Diane Lim of The Conference Board explain why demographic and economic trends provide an opportunity for older women to expand their role in the labor market. Several female-dominated occupations — especially in health care services — face shortages that will only grow. But given the unique needs and circumstances of older women, realizing their full economic contribution will hinge on employers providing them with more flexible work environments. If companies do this, the greying of America could become an opportunity rather than a threat.

Over the next decade America’s tight labor market will continue making headlines. The fundamental reason stems from retiring Baby Boomers outpacing the number of younger workers entering the workforce.

To help the country’s labor supply better meet demand, keeping the present workforce engaged in work would go a long way. Retaining every cohort matters. But U.S. businesses should put particular focus on retaining older women. Now and even more so in the future, increasing their participation would create substantial economic opportunity. To realize that opportunity, more companies should consider making flexible work arrangements a staple of their employee recruitment and engagement strategy.

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