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Young workers would take a pay cut for better employee experience

Nearly half (48%) of Generation Z employees (ages 18-24) said they would switch jobs for a better employee experience, even if it meant taking a pay cut. A similar proportion (44%) of millennials (24-34) said they would do the same.

A report by digital workspace company LiveTiles found younger workers feel increasingly undervalued, ill-equipped, and disconnected from their workplace.

Of 24-34 year olds, 80% said they were dissatisfied with their connection to their company’s organisational culture, and 76% felt they lacked the right tools for the job, indicating the presence of a skills gap even within employment.

More on employee experience and the generation gap:

Watch on demand: How to build a successful employee experience programme

Employees missed out on benefits during coronavirus pandemic due to 'perception gap'

The Generation Gap: Why millennials are leaving the office on time, yet leaders still feel the need to work late

Paul Conneally, head of global communications at LiveTiles, told HR Magazine that the younger generations’ disenchantment is due to the decreasing opportunity for human connection.

“Young people often have tech thrown at them because young people love tech, right? 

“Wrong. Young people love technology that removes complexity, streamlines the overall work experience, and enables them to connect and collaborate and create with real humans. This is why TikTok is so successful.”

This frustration with technological barriers is most evident in often deskless roles, such as hospitality and healthcare, where 74% reported themselves dissatisfied with the tech tools they were provided with.

Conneally said: “Technology needs to improve experience, not make it worse. 

“Instead of using tech for its own sake, businesses need to ensure their 'digital workplace' lessens employee frustration, drives efficiency and reduces the number of systems employees have to access.”

Equally important to the employee experience, however, was flexible working. Eight in ten (82%) said they wanted their employers to consider flexible work arrangements.

Conneally said: “Young people now value flexibility more than salary.

“This is not just about office versus home working models, but a culture that is focused more on performance than productivity, on outcomes rather than outputs. 

“This requires a real culture of trust and empowerment and this is the crux of the issue for younger workers.”

Steve Herbert, head of employee benefits at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, told HR magazine that trusting employees simply want to be given the right tools and trusted to get on with the job.

“I suspect that many employers have found it increasingly difficult to stay truly connected to the needs and aspirations of their workforce during this period. 

“Employees of all ages often feel that they should now be trusted to work remotely, and that they have demonstrated that they can work effectively without any overt supervision.”

Once the pandemic subsides, he added, employers will have to recognise the value that employees place in flexible working arrangements, and the trust inherent in them.

“Employers need to accept the new reality of work or employees will look elsewhere.”