What Malaysian Gen Z employees want from their work

Personal development, cause advocacy and work-life balance among motivating factors for new workforce

DIFFERENT generations, from baby boomers and Generation X to millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z), have different job expectations.

A study entitled Laws of Attraction, done in 2020 by JobStreet Malaysia, found that Gen Z is concerned with having a modern work environment that emphasises personal development at the start of their working lives.

ALSO READ: Why money isn’t everything for Gen Z workers in Malaysia

They are also a group that places environmental issues as a top priority, according to Deloitte’s 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey.

University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) Careers Advisory Service head Alicia Ch’ng said her team has observed that Gen Z is drawn to being part of a cause that is bigger than themselves.

ALSO READ: Fresh grads reveal employer of choice

“A cause that they can contribute to or be part of,” she told StarEdu.

Gen Z is generally defined as those born between 1997 and 2012. Given that the people born towards the start of this generation are now in their 20s, many are beginning their entry into the workplace.

However, this same group had the beginning of their working lives and studies interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Universities and other higher education institutions play a part in ensuring they are ready to enter the workforce.

Ch’ng said it is important for universities to work closely with industry when it comes to curriculum development.

“This is to ensure the students’ knowledge and learning experience both meet current industry requirements and consider the dynamic future of business and social development in the country,” she added.

UNM interim provost and chief executive officer Prof Sarah Metcalfe believes that a university’s role is to prepare its graduates with the attitudes and skills that make them both global citizens and attractive to employers across a range of sectors.

This will enable them to go on to bring value to the employers they work with and bring innovation to their future workplaces.

“Being an institution that nurtures the newest generation joining the workforce, we are conscious that the key motivating factors for Gen Z are work-life balance, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.

“In the same vein, my advice to graduates is to have a positive attitude and show initiative. As the saying goes, ‘You only get out what you put in.’ Great places to work have both good leadership and the support of a cohesive team,” she said in a press release on Aug 5. — By REBECCA RAJAENDRAM

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