New data from global leadership experts Right Management reveals that Generation Z employees, aged 16-26, are proving to be the most loyal cohort in the United Kingdom workforce.
The study, conducted among 2,000 employees and leaders, sheds light on the career aspirations, trust dynamics, and sentiments of different generations in the workplace.
According to the findings, a notable 53 percent of Gen Z employees expressed their intention to remain in their current job for a duration ranging from one to five years. This contrasts sharply with 25 percent of Millennials (27-42 years old), 16 percent of Gen X (43-58 years old), and 22 percent of Baby Boomers (59-77 years old). Moreover, 36 percent of Gen Z workers plan to stay in their current roles for more than one year and up to three years.
The data also points to a high level of trust within the Gen Z workforce, with an impressive 85% expressing confidence in their line managers when discussing career aspirations. This surpasses the trust levels among Millennials (80%), Gen X (76%), and Baby Boomers (74%).
However, the study also highlights a unique challenge faced by Gen Z employees, as 20% of them feel a sense of duty and loyalty to their employer that makes them feel trapped in their current role. This sentiment is less prevalent among Millennials (14%), Gen X (11%), and Baby Boomers (13%).
What does the future look like?
Lorraine Mills, Principal Consultant at Right Management, commented on the findings, saying, “Intergenerational workplace differences are often subject to healthy debate, especially today as we see more Gen Z individuals joining the workforce, having been the first age-group to grow up exclusively in our online, globally connected and digital era.”
She continued, “Leaders and decision-makers must take all of this into account when making plans around the development of their teams and how they work with different generations. It can be all too easy to lean into lazy stereotypes and assumptions without realizing; unintentionally reinforcing negative perspectives that can become a subtle and unhelpful part of a company’s culture. This is obviously damaging to the full potential of any individual affected, as well as to the prospects of an organization as a whole.”
The data challenges preconceived notions about Gen Z, dispelling stereotypes of them being job-hoppers, disengaged, or lacking motivation. Instead, it portrays them as a generation with a strong sense of loyalty, a long-term focus on their careers, and a willingness to engage in discussions about their aspirations with their line managers. The findings emphasise the need for a nuanced approach to managing and fostering a diverse and multigenerational workforce.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.