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Splendid Expectations: Two Gen Z’s top five expectations of the modern agency

A new generation has entered the workplace. In an industry that thrives on fresh, youthful creativity, it’s important that agencies are pushing themselves to make a culture that attracts and retains the best young minds.

As many rush to offer complimentary juice bars and yoga classes, we need to ask ourselves whether agencies are really giving the new generation what they need to thrive.

Francesca and George, Gen Z superstars at Splendid Communications, have shared the top five expectations the new generation have of their agencies.

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

The traditional 9-5 feels increasingly old fashioned, and it’s making us think about earnings in a new way. We are all working more varied hours, and having to find our own work/life balance. Naturally, being paid fairly is the primary motivator to ensure we are happy to go the extra mile when required. We know our worth, so it’s unlikely we’ll accept zero hour contracts, ‘benefits in kind’, or ‘exposure as payment’. These offers say more about the employer than us.

We expect to get paid for a job well done, but money without feeling value or purpose from the work could soon turn us off. Interestingly, a recent study found that the biggest motivator for millennials changing positions is the promise of purpose and fulfilment, not financial incentive – but purpose alone doesn’t pay the rent.

FLEX IT!

Within the workplace, two of the top three benefits employers are expected to provide are connected to flexible working. Working days in the creative industry are sometimes unpredictable, so it is incredibly beneficial when we are able to take time away from the office. In 2019, we should be able to do our work from anywhere and expect the tools to be provided to make this possible.

Most importantly though, we value the trust and belief that a ‘Work From Home’ policy shows in us as employees, even if it’s just for one day each week. It shows you understand we don’t need to be watched to deliver work, and it gives us headspace to think differently and focus down on specific tasks.

KEEP ON KEEPING ON!  

Employers need to be aware of how important progression and recognition is to our generation. Research revealed that 76% of our generation believe they deserve to be promoted within a year of starting their job. Naturally, this only works if we are ready, but the old notion of ‘doing your time’ in junior roles is dead. We want to feel valued, we want to see progression and we want to feel developed – and it’s on our employer to make sure the structures are in place to facilitate this.

For us, we don’t expect to be handed promotions – but we do want an environment where every team member feels properly valued and recognised, and frequent promotions to be something to aspire towards. If we are ready to move up you’d better not hold us back.

FRIENDS AND BENEFITS!

A culture where one can feel accomodated, respected and liked is one of the most important features of a modern workplace. We both agree with a quote from Enterpeneur.com that says “you can work to the best of your capabilities and creative skills when you are surrounded by an encouraging environment.” Environment is critical to us. We need to feel good about walking in the door every day.

On top of this, research from Forbes found that 89% of millenials prioritise workplace benefits over pay rises, and it is likely that this percentage would be even higher amongst our generation. It is easy to see why: we spend an increasing amount of time in the office, so want to be feel like we’re getting as much from work as possible, and not just in terms of financial gain.

Read the room! If you feel some stress, fatigue or anxiety in the team, make a gesture to at least show you’ve noticed. It’s the little daily benefits, not the grand gestures, that we often feel the most love from. Feed us, make us feel happy, ensure we have support, and always celebrate our hard work.  

MAKE IT SOCIAL!

An industry built on relationships and connections with clients should have really figured out that we need to build relationships and connections with our colleagues too. They should also realise that we shouldn’t be expected to build them with our own money either.

Happiness expert Annie McKie says “one of the ways we can make ourselves happy and feel more fulfilled in our workplaces is to build friendships with the people that work with us”, and this rings true. Not only is a night out, trip to an art gallery, or sporting event a great end-of-week reward, it allows employees to bond on a personal level, as well as allowing for freer conversation without the traditional hierarchies between the various job roles in a company.

It’s genuine sociability that creates the culture. Whilst not not as important in some industries, we believe that regular social events are one of the most important ways to keep a workplace positive. Think outside the box. Not everyone drinks, not everyone parties, and not everyone likes to read books or do crafts. Keep it varied, try to find something for everyone, but maybe not always in one night. By trying to appeal to all sometimes you appeal to no one.