Recent studies show the most common value different generations want to see reflected in their company’s culture is purpose.
Millennials aren’t just focused on just making ends meet; they want to know that they are making an impact on the world. Gen Z, although it has not been studied as much given that those in that age group are just barely entering the workforce, holds similar values.
Business and leadership coach John Spence has narrowed down a list of values that represent the needs of all generations that might be working with you: stability, dignity and purpose.
Here’s how each one might look in the workplace:
The employee mindset of today is less about making tons of money and more about making consistent income. And consistency comes with stability.
A company that resorts to layoffs at the first sign of struggle is not going to be very attractive for employees. Employees want some security in knowing that their jobs won’t disappear or become obsolete in the face of changing technology. And while financial stability can sometimes be out of your control, you can make efforts with your budgeting practices to ensure that salaries and jobs aren’t the first thing to go in times of crisis.
No one wants to feel undervalued or that their work is “beneath” them. But dignity is not something you can provide.
What you can give to your employees is empowerment, trust, respect and autonomy — all things that play into the feeling of dignity. When people feel there is dignity in their work, it creates a ripple effect that permeates your company culture, and makes it a welcoming place to work.
When you have trust and respect, you are able to allow your employees the autonomy to work independently without micromanaging. Having the freedom to work independently builds employee confidence, which also contributes to the feeling of dignity.
People want to know that their work matters. Employees will be looking to your core values [link to core ideology blog] and sizing them up to see how they align with their own values.
They’ll be looking at your giving programs, the way you respond to current events, your employee benefits, environmental policies and how you handle diversity and inclusion.
For example, if an employee values the environment, they’ll want to see that you have eco-friendly practices in place. If they value wellness, they might want an employer with a robust health and fitness program for employees.
The employees of today and the future don’t want to be cogs in the wheel. They want their work to have meaning and tangible, positive impacts on people and the planet. If your association can give people stability, dignity, and purpose in the work that they do, you’ll be able to attract and retain talented individuals who can drive change and make major strides within the company.
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