Friday, 24 May 2024 04:43

Younger workers are rejecting assignments. Here's why

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If you want to attract – and retain – younger workers, pay attention to their values.  

Fifty percent of Gen Zers and 43 percent of Millennials say they've rejected an assignment "based on their personal ethics or beliefs," according to Deloitte's 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey of 22,841 respondents from across the globe. That's up from 44 percent and 37 percent, respectively, in last year's survey. 

Forty-four percent of surveyed Gen Zers and 40 percent of Millennials say they've even rejected a job offer due to their ethics or beliefs – also up from last year.  

Purpose has long been a priority for younger workers – and, for the most part, employers are meeting expectations on that front: 81 percent of Gen Zers and 82 percent of Millennials say that their "current job does give them a sense of purpose." Approximately 7 in 10 in both generations say their employers' values "align with their own."  

But, when there is a mismatch, employees are now more likely to act on it. For instance, last year's survey found that factors like "negative environmental impact" or "contributing to inequality through non-inclusive practices" could lead to these kinds of rejections from young employees.  

Thus, the Deloitte report includes, it's important for organizations "to not only set and communicate a clear purpose, but to actively listen and respond to its people to ensure employer and employee values remain aligned."  

When and if an employee rejects an assignment that they say doesn't align with their values, how leaders handle the situation matters. Employees who "experienced a negative outcome when they rejected an assignment" were less likely to say that they planned to stay at the organization for more than five years than employees whose employers "reacted affirmatively" – demonstrating the potential impact on retention.  

The latter approach, according to the report, will therefore "likely foster a workforce which is more engaged, motivated and loyal."  



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