What You Need to Know
- In November, 3% of U.S. workers resigned.
- Members of Generation Z now make up about 24% of the workforce.
- One way to move forward: Make sure benefits, and HR policies, make sense to Gen Z workers.
According to the latest Bureau of Labor and Statistics figures, 3% of the U.S. workforce resigned in November 2021, with job openings increasing to 10.6 million as of Nov. 30, 2021.
From California to the Carolinas, there are vacancies for nearly every position within every industry. The recent Forbes headline seems to put it perspective: “We’ve become a nation of quitters: 4.4 Million Americans left their jobs in September.”
Why So Many Jobs?
Everyone is looking blame someone or something. The reality is, there are so many factors to blame. Common reasons cited by employers include disruptions from COVID-19, unemployment and stimulus benefits, lack of skilled tradesman, and/or the entitlement expectations of millennials and members of Generation Z.
The hiring signs are visible up and down the street, posted on storefront windows, and in the online classifieds. The glut of both available jobs and available workers shows disconnect, including:
- Whether to vaccinate or not;
- Low-wage jobs;
- Customer service jobs that interact with, at times, an angry public who “attack”;
- Poor benefits, if any;
- Lack of positive culture; and
- Millennials and Gen Z’s prejudged as entitled.
With so many reasons, it is important to remember that in order to move forward industries as a whole need to stay focused on driving solution(s).
The generations are shifting, and as we may remember, each generation rebelled on some level against those who came before. Baby boomers were trendsetters railing against the traditionalist. The same was and is true with the Gen Xers and millennials, and with the newest generation entering the workforce, Gen Z.
But why should advisors care? From the outside, these issues do not appear to be about benefits at all. The reason to care: Health and welfare benefits is a human capital management component and is part of a total rewards system.
For the benefit advisor, using the total rewards concept as a strategic, holistic approach to managing the human capital within an organization is crucial to support the attraction and retention of an employee. This in turn expands the delivery of benefits to more than just traditional health, dental, vision, disability, and life plans. Operating within a total rewards strategic approach guides clients to a vision of holistically managing the workforce, which can lead to the stability and longevity of the organization.
Through Gen Z’s Eyes
In educating the industry to the human capital management concept, Gen Z’s also need to be taken into consideration.
Making up roughly 24% of the workforce in 2020 and being a generation that is larger than the millennials, Gen Z’s are willing to put in the effort at work, yet question inconsistencies in employer messaging.
Why is a company investing in new (fill in blank) but not willing to pay competitively or give out raises?
Why is one person chosen over another to do “easier” or “better” work?
If the answer is not provided or is not a reasonable response, Gen Z’s are leaving for another company with a culture which includes effective communication, and most importantly, inclusiveness.