Why the younger generations are feeling disconnected

#3 Having better performance conversations series

Post-pandemic trends are telling us that the younger generations (Gen Z and the older group of millennials born between 1980 and 1988) are feeling less detached from their workplaces than ever before. But the baby boomers are as happy as they have always been. Interesting, huh?!

When we look into Gallup’s ‘The New Challenge of Engaging Younger Workers’ it shows us that employee engagement is in a rut. The lowest it’s been for 11 years. The areas that concern me where the younger generation’s needs are not being met are:

  • Feeling cared about by someone at work
  • Having opportunities to learn and grow
  • Having progress discussions with managers
  • Feeling like their opinions count

These seem like pretty basic asks in the workplace. I remember when I was leading People Stuff for Nous and was interviewing a potential graduate. I asked him if he had any questions and he said; “Yeah I do. Why should I join you?”. Now he probably didn’t say it that directly but that’s how I remember it. It threw me. I was a child of a baby boomer who told me ‘I was lucky to have a job’ and that ‘loyalty is everything’. Now I have no doubt that was true for my parents but times change. And so I needed to also. To make sure I was in touch with the next generation.

If you are a baby boomer the data is telling us that this ‘being connected to your manager and helping them grow’ is not as important to you. Not all of you. Just half are less interested. If you don’t care what is important to the younger generations then you could be part of the problem.

As leaders, we need to stay ahead of the curve and listen to our people. Otherwise, they will opt out. Then we lose out. As leaders of people and culture, we still have to fight the good fight and educate and more importantly inspire our leaders in to seeing the value of showing we care and developing our people. Especially the younger generations. They want it. They need it.

Come along to my upcoming free online session on ‘Embedding a feedback culture’ to discover how we can create connections with our people. Check it out and register here.