In the past few years, workplaces have shifted significantly. And while the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the labor market, it was also the catalyst for change, propelling existing trends forward at an accelerated pace.
According to NPR, work isn’t just about paying the bills anymore–it’s about finding meaning and purpose, and doing so with flexibility. And that’s something that today’s workers are increasingly looking for.
But this doesn’t mean that the workplace is unrecognizable. Rather, it has morphed to meet the needs of a new generation of workers, who have different expectations regarding their work environment.
The workplace is changing to meet the needs of a new generation of workers who have different expectations regarding their careers and work/life balance. Businesses are adopting new technologies and strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
What Workers Want From Employers
Finding the ideal role is important to workers of all ages, but it’s especially important to millennials and Gen Zers.
A recent Gallup report showed millennials to be the most likely to switch jobs, with only 29% actively engaged in their role. For younger generations, the job market is more competitive, which means they can be pickier about their choice of employer.
So, what is it that they’re looking for?
Flexibility is key and culture plays a new role in the workforce for flex workers and office workers alike. Let’s examine some of the most essential things that millennials and Gen Zers are looking for from their employers:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
One in four African-American and Hispanic workers face some form of discrimination in the workplace, and other groups of workers are also affected.
The younger generation of workers is conscientious of this and is looking for employers who are equally as committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
From ensuring a diverse talent pipeline to implementing anti-discrimination policies, businesses must be intentional about DEI if they want to attract and retain top talent.
We can largely attribute the rise of the gig economy to the popularity of flexible, employee-led scheduling.
Platforms like Uber and Airbnb have disrupted traditional businesses by allowing workers to choose when and where they work, as have freelancer platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. And as organizations compete for their workers’ time, this model is now being adopted by various industries.
Workers now have more control over their schedules than ever before, and they’re looking for employers who can provide them with the flexibility they need.
Learning and Growth Opportunities
Whether your employees stay with you for the long haul or take their skills elsewhere, you want them to grow while they’re with you. Employee engagement is crucial for your workforce and investing in their growth is one of the best ways to improve it.
Businesses must offer learning and growth opportunities to attract and retain top talent. From offering courses and certification programs to providing mentorship and coaching opportunities, there are many ways to invest in your employees’ growth.
How Companies Have Changed In Recent Years
The workforce has never been as diverse and varied as it is today. Freelance, gig, and crowdsourced workers work alongside part-time and full-time workers in a variety of settings, from bars and restaurants to co-working spaces and home offices.
And this trend was happening before the pandemic. Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report showed that just 42% of organizations were comprised mostly of salaried employees.
Here are a few critical ways that companies have changed in recent years to meet the needs of this new generation of workers:
Businesses are increasingly adopting flexible work arrangements.
Like we mentioned earlier, a flexible culture is no longer a “nice-to-have” for employees – it’s a necessity.
Flexible work arrangements can take many forms, from remote work and job sharing to compressed workweeks and part-time schedules.
Throughout the hospitality industry, employee-led scheduling is easing the strain of labor shortages and giving workers more control over their schedules.
And in the flex workforce, app-based companies are making it easier than ever for workers to find gigs that fit their skillset and schedule.
Technology makes it easier for businesses to build and maintain new, more efficient operational models.
Software has always been a key driver of business efficiency. It enables businesses to automate many tasks, from customer service to accounting. This means that businesses can operate with leaner staffing levels, fewer overhead costs, and higher employee productivity.
With the help of AI-powered scheduling and time tracking, cross-platform messaging, and real-time notifications, workforce management software enables businesses to manage their employees more effectively.
Workforce management tools also give employees more visibility into their work, helping them to better understand their role in the organization and how their individual efforts contribute to the company’s success.
The culmination of these changes is a workforce that is more diverse, more distributed, and more engaged than ever before.
Businesses are investing in their employees’ growth and development.
As businesses recognize employees as the most important asset to an organization, they are doubling down on investments in their growth and development.
Through programs like tuition reimbursement, mentorship and coaching programs, and on-the-job training, businesses are giving their employees the tools they need to succeed.
The result is a workforce that is more engaged, more productive, and more loyal to their employer.
DEI initiatives are becoming increasingly important to businesses.
As a part of hiring and employer branding strategies, DEI initiatives are placed at the forefront of many businesses’ agendas.
By implementing DEI initiatives, businesses have been able to tap into new talent pools, build stronger relationships with their stakeholders, and create a more positive work environment.
And with the help of technology like talent management software, businesses are able to track the impact of their DEI initiatives and ensure that they are making progress towards their goals.
What Does the Future of Work Look Like?
Right now, we’re creating the future of work–one that is more flexible, engaging, and inclusive.
And with the help of technology, we will continue to push the envelope on what’s possible in the world of work.
As labor market changes continue to push in the direction of greater flexibility, businesses will need to adapt to meet the needs of their employees.
Nowsta offers tools to hire, schedule, pay, and deploy your workforce.
Not only does Nowsta help you locate and retain good employees, but it also offers them convenient tools to make their lives easier. With Nowsta, they can manage their schedules and plan better from their mobile phones.
Nowsta provides employees with instant wage availability and digital paychecks – features that promote job satisfaction and, in turn, increase productivity and lower turnover rates.