WeSpire synthesized data from dozens of sources to explain how the newest generation to enter the workforce views purpose and impact in the context of their job and their company. Gen Z believes that one of the reasons business exists is to solve social problems. They want their own job to involve solving social problems, not just their volunteering time.
These trends bode well for businesses with a strong purpose, authenticity, and a culture of impact, but also mean those companies who are just beginning that journey will need to accelerate. Gen Z will be nearly 30% of the US workforce in the next four years. Our report, “15 Critical Insights into Gen Z, Purpose, and the Future of Work,” will share the latest on how to optimize for the next phase of workers coming in to the office.
We have a “Happiness Crisis” on our hands, especially here in the US. At a conference for 600+ human resources executives, the keynote speaker shared the latest World Happiness Report. The overall US rank has fallen to 19th and our happiness decline over 10 years is the 21st steepest in the world.
So what’s driving the decline? The biggest driver was a 16% plummet in trust in institutions. The second was a 6% drop in social cohesion: fewer people feeling like they have someone they can call with a problem. An entire chapter focused on how we now spend our time. People who spend more time on electronic devices are less happy, and overall psychological wellbeing is significantly worse in Gen Z.
Employer Trust, Pro-Social Behavior, and Gen Z
Thankfully, the Edelman Trust Barometer found that 75% of people still trust their employer. That makes the employer now the most trusted institution in most people’s lives. And we all know that pro-social behavior, like giving to a charity and volunteering in the community, is proven to increase happiness. So employer-based programs, focused on citizenship, health, inclusion and pro-social behavior, have a good shot at helping to improve workforce outcomes for Gen Z.