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Young workers ignored in workplace

Revised ONS statistics demonstrate the importance of the younger workers’ voice, yet new research from Robert Half ( shows that more than 60% don’t feel listened to in the workplace.

The failure to understand how the new generations of workers behave means reaching this group via old-fashioned survey methods does not work.  According to Robert Half’s recent Candidate Sentiment Survey reveals that the majority of staff under the age of 34 don’t believe that employers are listening to the wants and needs of their employees, cited by 62% of those aged 18-34 (above the national average of 56%).

“No matter what direction the labour market and economic landscape is heading, the ability to engage effectively with younger generations of the workforce – and work with them for future success – should be a top priority for businesses planning for sustainable growth.  However, our candidate sentiment data suggests that far too many firms are at risk of neglecting the wants and needs of younger workers,” says Matt Weston, Senior Managing Director UK & Ireland, Robert Half.  

“Those in this segment of the workforce aren’t necessarily feeling listened to, which is reflected by the broader sentiment around their willingness to move jobs. If we look at Generation Z, for example, it’s widely recognised that they are more enticed by flexible working and the social responsibility of a brand, but they seemingly feel they aren’t getting what they want from employers.”

“It’s crucial that businesses not only listen to the needs of the different generations of the workforce, but also act on the nuances.  A lack of action will only lead to increased talent shortages further down the line,” comments Weston.

Robert Half’s research data shows that more than a third (39%) of those under the age 34 would take a pay cut in exchange for more flexible working arrangements.  A further 72% of 34 year olds believe that attracting new staff will be hard for companies that don’t offer flexible working – higher than all other age groups.

Additionally, with the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda high on the priority list for the younger generations, nearly half (48%) of those under 34 say that they are likely to look for a new role if their employer does not improve on ESG activity soon.  This was by far the most impacted age demographic, with just 23% of those aged 35-54 stating the same.

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