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How young employees can thrive in the workplace

Laurie Hannant

On A Level results day Laurie Hannant, Audit Partner at national accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP in the East Midlands looks at what Gen Z are looking for in the workplace and what this means for business.

Laurie Hannant, audit partner at BDO in the East Midlands, said: “One thing which strikes me about our younger employees is that they’re looking to work for an organisation with a clear sense of purpose. This isn’t to say previous generations weren’t seeking this, but it is now clearly front of mind for our Gen Z team members who are very vocal about it and quite rightly challenge an organisation. Culture is important to this generation who place huge value on wellbeing initiatives, citizenship and permission to be themselves within the workplace. This can manifest in many ways such as our policy to ‘dress for your day’ which means team members can wear the clothes which they feel comfortable in depending on their diary for the day so the expectation is to be smart if they have client meetings, but this is relaxed if they are working in the office, for example.

“The workspace itself has changed hugely and flexible working patterns are in demand as Gen Z looks for opportunities for agile working. Our breakout areas and contrasting spaces for quiet work allow teams and individuals to move around in an environment which suits them. Technology has never made it easier to work remotely and this is a huge factor in our new way of working at BDO in the East Midlands. We know our people want to be able to work remotely and this can enhance morale and productivity. While not exclusive to Gen Z, it’s becoming a must-have for generations entering the workplace today.

“Because we are taking on more people as school-leavers alongside our graduates, we effectively have five generations working alongside each other. This mix of minds – and diversity in every sense – is what our clients need from our teams to be able to solve complex problems and help them succeed.”