Posted: 17 Jun. 2022 4 min.

Generation Z turns their back on performance culture

Topic: Talent

The past two years have put us all through a hectic and trying time. The level of concern is tangible in Deloitte’s 2022 Millennial and Generation Z Survey. Let’s look at how the youngest adult generations expect and experience work life today.

A competitive wage, large responsibilities, job security, and a progressive career path. All these perks are being used as bait for recruiters to get new talent on board. But if you ask the youngest generation on the job market, the 19–27-year-olds in Generation Z, these assets are not necessarily their top priority. They want empathic leaders with skills to handle mental health on the team. 

Sadly, mental health is still stigmatized in workplaces. Every third respondent would not feel comfortable speaking openly about feeling stressed or anxious with their direct manager.

Meanwhile, nearly half of Generation Z and every third Millennial respondent has taken time off work due to feeling stressed or anxious. But less than half of those reported the true reason for their absence. 41 per cent of Generation Z feel stressed most of the time, and almost 4 out of 10 are feeling burned out.

More balance and flexibility
To me, these numbers are quite alarming, but I am hopeful because I see that change is already underway. The younger generations are in the front of a general movement in society – a movement where balance, flexibility and wellbeing at work are in the centre. The pandemic lockdown was an eye opener to a lot of people, stepping out of the rat race for a while, and when they returned, they continued to work in a hybrid and flexible way.

Leaders are starting to lead with trust rather than control. And more game changers to the old-fashioned performance culture are being implemented: Equal parental leave for all parents, zero tolerance towards harassment, shorter and more flexible work weeks – with more to come.

There are plenty of learnings to take away from the survey results, and I think that we all share a great responsibility to listen and take action where we can.

My guess is that the challenges ahead will likely be just as difficult, if not harder. Therefore, we must invest time and resources in preparing for what lies ahead. Part of that is learning how we can support the younger generations so that they can create meaningful lives and impact that matters. They are, after all, the future.

Read the full survey here.

Forfatter spotlight

Camilla Kruse

Camilla Kruse

People and Purpose leader

Camilla er talentleder i Deloitte Danmark med ansvar for Deloittes samlede talentagenda, der omfatter tiltrækning, ansættelse, fastholdelse og videreudvikling af medarbejdere og ledere i Deloitte. Endvidere er Camilla ansvarlig for diversitet og inklusion, herunder udvikling og implementering af tiltag til forbedring af kønsligestilling, work agility og fastholdelse af medarbejdere med børn.

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