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Gen Z talent

3 Strategies to Retain Gen Z Talents: Prioritising Employee Experience

Retaining talented employees is a critical component of effective human resources management. Not only can talented individuals bring higher productivity to companies, but they also prevent the loss of valuable assets.

As Generation Z (Gen Z) begins to enter the workforce, which is estimated to comprise approximately 30% of the working population by 2030, employers must develop a deeper understanding of this cohort’s unique expectations and values towards work to retain Gen Z talents.

This article proposes three strategies for organisations to prioritise employee experience, aiming at effectively retaining Gen Z talents.

Gen Z talent

1. Maintain a harmonious working environment

Facilitating harmonious working relationships between employees is an effective strategy for retaining Gen Z talent. Researchers have found that the experience of satisfactory quality relationships with co-workers is one of the most prevalent motivational factors for this demographic. Gen Z employees value building genuine connections with their colleagues, and these relationships can serve to enhance their engagement and commitment within the organisation.

According to Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, maintaining constructive interpersonal relationships in the workplace is a key “hygiene factor” that can prevent employees from feeling dissatisfied with their jobs. This, in turn, can help organisations retain their valuable talent and minimise unwanted turnover.

There are some companies already realising the importance of building good relationships between employees. For example, not only does Airbnb hold social gathering events (e.g., birthday and anniversary parties), but it also innovatively establishes online social events for remote teams to foster their collaboration. Microsoft held the “Microsoft’s Got Talent” event (where several Microsoft regional teams in the US hosted virtual talent shows) for employees, offering the whole team an opportunity to take a break and cultivate new connections between employees through a large-scale event. Regardless of whether members of Gen Z work in the office or remotely, they can build relationships with their colleagues through entertaining channels, which can allow them to gain satisfaction from social relationships in a more relaxing way.

By creating a harmonious workplace culture that matches Gen Z’s interests, organisations can mitigate potential sources of job dissatisfaction. With positive employee experience, companies can then raise Gen Z talents’ 

2. Assisting employees in being themselves

Assisting Gen Z talents in expressing and being themselves in the workplace are also effective ways to retain this emerging generation of employees. Research reveals that the freedom to express their authentic selves is an important motivational factor for Gen Z professionals. This demographic tends to place greater emphasis on intrinsic values (e.g., satisfaction) brought from their jobs rather than extrinsic motivations (e.g., monetary rewards). As such, employers must develop a clear understanding and respect for the intrinsic needs of their Gen Z workforce.

By recognising that the Gen Z population is relatively open-minded and has a desire to express diverse thoughts, some companies have sought to create a welcoming environment for them to be themselves. For instance, HSBC used rainbow colours for lighting in its Hong Kong headquarters to actively express support for the LGBTQ+ community, thereby encouraging supportive talents to join and be a part of the organisation. Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, provides several internal communication channels to encourage employees to express and share their insights and feedback.

Beyond implementing actual policies, fostering positive employee experiences for Gen Z also involves establishing psychological contracts, which is an important and effective method for employers to identify and address the needs of Gen Z employees. Unlike formal labour contracts, psychological contracts refer to the unwritten, implicit agreements between an employee and their employer, encompassing the informal commitments, expectations, and understandings that shape their relationship.

It is recommended that employers provide opportunities for Gen Z employees to voice their situations and expectations, particularly during the onboarding process, policy changes, and when they feel uncertain about the future. This can foster mutual understanding between both parties and enable employers to better assist their employees in achieving self-growth within the workplace. When Gen Z talents feel valued and supported in their personal development, they are more likely to develop a stronger sense of loyalty toward the organisation.

3. Protecting Gen Z employees’ mental wellbeing

Prioritising the mental wellbeing of Gen Z employees is a crucial strategy to enhance and protect the overall employee experience, which can consequently lead to increased loyalty and reduced turnover. Researchers have reported that the relative lack of preparedness of Gen Z for the job market often causes high levels of insecurity, as well as a propensity for episodes of anxiety and depression.

Currently, some companies have implemented policies to protect the well-being of their employees. For instance, Alma’s employees are allotted two self-care days when they experience traumatic external events, demonstrating the organisation’s care for its workforce. Similarly, Netflix allows its employees to take mental health days at any time they deem it necessary, without setting an official “mental health day” allocation per month. These companies have taken a significant step in safeguarding the well-being of their employees. They provide their workforce with autonomy in setting their mental health days, prioritising employee well-being before considering the potential consequences for the company. These actions not only protect the employees of Gen Z, but also convey that they are highly valued by the organisation, which is an important consideration for members of Gen Z as well.

There are still different mental health support and benefits, including mental health first aid courses and workshops on mental health. When employees have access to the necessary resources to maintain good mental health, companies can better facilitate a positive employee experience. This, in turn, can foster greater loyalty among Gen Z talents and reduce natural attrition, as employees are less likely to leave due to worsening mental health concerns. Gen Z talents then can be retained.


As Gen Z enters the workforce, it is crucial for organisations to cater to their unique preferences to retain this emerging talent pool. By maintaining a harmonious work environment, assisting Gen Z in achieving their goals, and protecting their mental wellbeing, employers can cultivate a positive employee experience that fosters greater loyalty and reduces turnover. Gen Z talents then can be retained.

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