The UK is facing a serious cost of living crisis, with Gen Z and millennials being affected the hardest. What does this mean for businesses and how can they help create better environments for their younger staff?
Citizens across the UK are seeing energy bills, rent prices and commute charges reach record levels, with a current rate of inflation of around 10%, and expected to increase to 11% this October🤯
And while everyone is feeling the effects of inflation, it appears the younger generation are taking on the worst of it. A 2022 survey by Deloitte found that the cost of living has become the leading concern among Gen Zs and millennials in the UK, with 31% of Gen Zs and 38% of Millennials citing this as their greatest concern, overtaking climate change from the top spot in last year’s findings.
Worryingly, it also found that half of UK Gen Zs and Millennials use all their monthly income on living costs, whilst two in five have taken on a side hustle to make ends meet. A study by the RSA also revealed that by the time they turn 22, 75% of young people will be in some form of debt😞
It’s no surprise that those living with financial precarity are far more likely to be concerned about their mental and physical health amongst many other stresses – affecting both their work and home lives.
So what can employers do to create a thriving and productive environment for their younger staff and future workforce? Here we lay down some important facts and figures that may help answer this very question.
Focus on staff work-life balance and good pay
The same Deloitte survey found that “a positive work-life balance and high salary were top attractions for those who recently joined an organisation, with nearly one in five people stating this would be the top reason to work for an organisation.”🌞
While young employees are in more demand of work and money than ever before, it does not mean they would not quit for a better place without the adequate environment. Nearly half of UK Gen Zs (48%) and a majority of UK millennials (57%) say they feel burned out due to their workloads, the highest recorded number in years (Deloitte).
With this in mind, employers need to be more sensitive than ever to the many challenges Gen Zs and Millennials presently face. Creating positive work environments and providing flexibility to the individual needs of employees are key to combating burn-out and creating a productive workforce. You could consider things like bonus incentives, regular staff socials, mental health related benefits, or increase in pay to boost morale during this tough time. You could also implement alternating weekend schedules, flexible work hours or, if possible, the ability to work from home on occasion to cater towards staff needs.
Sectors such as Hospitality may need to prioritise this to an even greater degree. According to a government survey on Hospitality and Tourism workers, almost half of the respondents working in the industry were younger than 35. The sector is heavily dominated by Gen Z and millennials – with this being even more so now given that many are taking on additional jobs as side-hustles. But above all, be sure not to just give perks for the sake of it – consider what your staff really want and what they would be genuinely interested in – if unsure, you could send out a staff survey to find out💡