As the ‘war for talent’ intensifies, today’s companies are kept on their toes as regards their employer brand offering. In the past, providing an adequate salary and benefits coupled with a comfortable working environment was broadly sufficient to make one’s workforce happy.

In return, employees dedicated years of their lives working for the same company. In some cases, this lasted a lifetime. But new generations mean new types of personalities and the profile of today’s human capital has evolved.

The longevity of a millennial’s involvement with a company has substantially shrunk when compared to that of a baby boomer. Often restless and feeling unsettled at work, the generation we are leading today has a tendency of constantly being on the lookout for a new adventure.

A younger applicant’s curriculum vitae tends to list far more changes in jobs than that of their more senior counterparts. By no means should this be seen as a negative trait. On the contrary, it serves companies to continuously renew their image and practices, thus ensuring that their current and future workforces remain engaged and happy to be at work.

As the cliché goes, we spend more time with our colleagues than with our family and friends. This is added responsibility for today’s employers who have to make sure that the time at work is worth their employees’ while.

Since our accession to the EU, our workforce has become more cosmopolitan – new work attitudes from the global employment sphere fused with the local ones.

Expectations steadily rose to meet international standards. In the past, an ergonomically-designed desk and chair, together with the basic equipment required to do one’s job effectively, were a good base for a productive workforce. But just like car extras, what was once considered to be a luxury has today become a standard.

Being our most valuable resource, we must see to their [our employees’] comfort and evaluate what they are getting from us

Companies recognised the importance of strategically designing work spaces with the employees’ well-being in mind. We once needed to make sure there was sufficient instant coffee for all; today supplying a barista level coffee machine that is capable of making multiple flavoured espressos is the rule.

Being our most valuable resource, we must see to their comfort and evaluate what they are getting from us as their employers. There is a pronounced difference in the demands from today’s team members in contrast to those of 20 years ago.

Nowadays, there is a desire by workers to contribute, protect and nurture the planet and the global society in which they live. This altruistic drive does not only manifest itself in their personal lives away from work. As we have ourselves encountered many times, they proactively add meaning and purpose to their life at work as well.

Companies learned by looking at their personnel’s requirements that besides the design of an attractive interior work space, consideration must also be given to the space outside of it.

A vibrant office building that combines the use of natural lighting and employs energy-saving practices, while embracing a solid recycling and upcycling culture, has more value in the mind of today’s workforce.

Our employees want to roll up their sleeves and actively combat the threats the world is facing such as global warming, equality, the environment, sustainability, fair trade and animal welfare among others.

Through experience and observation, I have learned that what is necessary to keep it all together lies in providing a meaningful and purposeful work environment. We would like our employees to wake up in the morning feeling that the forthcoming eight hours of their day at work mean much more than the value of their remuneration. 

Having a shared ideology provides a sense of belonging, especially when these values and beliefs lead to making our planet a healthier, happier place to live in for us all and for future generations.

A strategy that relies on a fancy-looking PowerPoint presentation is valueless if the company doesn’t really believe in it. A complete and honest drive to add an altruistic value to the employees’ working lives is what is expected from us.

I feel obliged to thank today’s generation for teaching us how to be better citizens, more purpose-driven employers and stronger contributors to a more sustainable future. I am excited to discover what Generation Z has in store for us and the planet.  

Fabio Zuccaro is the chief operations officer of QuickLets and Zanzi Homes.

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