‘Digital’ citizens demand special services from labor market

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The Generation Z (Gen Z) in the labor market has brought new challenges to employers. Internationally, Gen Z was born between 1997 and 2012. According to the 2020 research on identifying the generation of Mongolian society, people born after 1995 are considered the “new generation” in the country. Having been friendly with technology since birth, they can be described as “native digital citizens” who do not like the current established relations and attitudes of the labor market, especially the traditional ways of employers. 

On the other hand, most employers are critical of the new generation’s relationships, attitudes, and ways of working and want to change them. As a result, time has shown that this is not a simple problem, and the question “how to employ Gen Z” is being raised among the employers. 

In traditional labor relations, there is a big difference between boss and workers. Gen Z is forcing people to change the concept and attitude of being in control, fixed hours and stereotyped methods. The results of international and domestic research show that their perspective is completely different from that of the previous generation, and they are more free-thinking, innovative, and independent. This means that traditional employment relations are outdated and employers need to convert to other methods and management.

However, many employers in our country, without realizing it, have started to explain the shortage of human resources as the reason for the lack of human resources due to the fact that the labor force has been sent abroad, and the government has not taken any measures.

So what is the “recipe” to employ Gen Z and what special services do they need? The following is the positions of professional researchers and representatives of employers on this matter. 

‘Gen Z doesn’t choose organizations that don’t consider mental health’ 

CEO of Optimal en Max Company and psychologist G.Mandukhai: 

Gen Z is expected to occupy 27 percent of the global labor market by 2025. This generation has already started changing the labor market. Their main characteristic is that they are familiar with the Internet, e-networks, and smartphones, and are also called “native digital citizens”.

It can be said that this is a generation with high cognitive abilities, capable of gathering information from many sources. According to the Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, 49 percent of Gen Z say that maintaining work-life balance is more important. They admire someone who can maintain a work-life balance. When choosing a new job, it is important for them to get support for maintaining work-life balance. Compared to millennials, they consider family and friends more important than work.  

About 46 percent of Gen Z, particularly women, feel constant stress and anxiety. Many also place a high value on mental health, and are able to talk openly about it with others. We hope that the results of such research will help to better understand and accept young people. It is more important to try to understand people than to interact with them in a special way. In doing so, it is enough to follow the principles of positive and professional communication. This includes taking the time to listen to them, being faithful and non-judgemental about their feelings, paying attention to their feelings, and helping them open up.  

Underestimating employee mental health not only reduces organizational productivity, but also negatively affects long-term values ​​such as team cohesion.

According to a survey conducted in 2021, Gen Z is 47 percent more likely to be unemployed, or bored of work than others. The main reasons why they leave work include excessive workload, bad relationships in the work environment, loss of work-life balance, the organization not paying attention to the mental well-being of its employees, and receiving salaries that are not appropriate for the work they do. Z people are more aware of technological developments, look at problems from many angles, solve them scientifically, and have good critical thinking. Perhaps, the environment suitable for their characteristics and the fact that the management of the organization does not understand the difference between them will be the reason for Z’s leaving their jobs.  

The workplace environment is important for mental and physical health. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the mental health of employees. But organizations do not know how to start and what to do. In order to do this, it is important to include provisions in the internal procedures of the organization to support mental health.

‘There will be a whole generation fed by parents’

Director of the Department of Education and Training of the Mongolian Employers’ Federation B.Doloonjin:  

There are a lot of ads for recruitment, but there are very few people who go to work. I see that the main reason is that people do not like to work anymore. They want to make money as easily as possible. I think that to change this, we need government policies. It is important to immediately develop the policy and support the working people, especially the youth.

It is common for young workers to refuse their wages. In the past, people valued and emphasized work from the bottom, starting from the beginning and progressing step by step. But the current young people want to be the boss immediately. Politicians are the main people who influence them to do so. If you look at the biographies of politicians, they become leaders immediately after graduating from universities. 

On the other hand, parents are overprotective of their children and spoil them too much. Due to this, today’s young people do not listen to people, do not get along well with others, and are unable to work. In other words, there will be a whole generation fed by their parents. The family is the main environment for a person’s upbringing and development. Therefore, parents and guardians need to focus on making them like work. Another problem is that the quality of education in our country is very poor. We do not train the in-demand specialists. Lawyers and economists are trained in large numbers. Their knowledge and skills are poor. The government policy of preparing the pavement for work has already been lost.

‘New generation is afraid of dangerous community atmosphere’ 

Chairman of the National Research Institute of Human Resource, Professor G.Tegshburen:  

Our organization studied the features, advantages and disadvantages of Gen Z and how to work with them. Everyone thinks that their main characteristic is that they are too ambitious, they learn things easily, and they are ready for anything. They can be defined as those who want hybrid working models, communicate openly with their management, are passionate about environmental and social protection, and are extremely sensitive to human rights. Weaknesses are biased thinking, haste, frivolity, fragile psychology, thoughtless speech, tendency to take life easy, simplify work. These people value satisfaction with the goals of their work more than salary. Therefore, when they work, they follow their desires. Making work interesting and fun is a key way to motivate them. An interesting environment where they can learn new things and a flexible work schedule that motivates and inspires them. About 85 percent of young people participating in our research are interested in changing their careers in a short period of time. Moreover, 67.8 percent considered mistakes to be part of the learning process. In addition, 50.4 percent agreed that there should be flexible time and shift arrangements with equal distribution of workload. About 49.2 percent answered that there should be a fair system of mutual understanding and exchange of opinions.

‘They cannot be ruled through domination or pressure’ 

Chairwoman of the ️Federation of Mongolian Human Resource Management Ts.Tsetsegmaa:

According to the final statistics of 2022, 22 percent of our country’s population is accounted for by Gen Z. Almost one-third or 31 percent of the total workforce is occupied by these people. 

The past generations are expected to work steadily in their work. However, for Gen Z, changing jobs is normal. They look for a suitable and comfortable environment by trying to work in many places. In addition, these people value communication through digital means, and consider it important to manage their work and life flexibly. For this reason, they do not tolerate the established style of the workplace, they want to freely express their ideas and engage in meaningful work. For example, according to a survey conducted in many countries at the end of 2021, about 40 percent of Gen Z prioritize working remotely and flexibly, maintaining work-life balance. In addition, they are likely to change jobs more than 10 times during their active working life. They began to look for psychologically stress-free, healthy and safe workplaces. They are ready to leave their jobs immediately if the wages and salaries do not match their demands.

Due to the above situation, the traditional forms of employment in our country do not meet the demands and requirements of Gen Z. Therefore, if the organization does not update its culture, working methods and management, it will not be possible to maintain its human resources in the future. It is not possible to manage new people who have the opportunity to exchange ideas and earn extra income in the digital environment with old-fashioned methods, such as ruling, harassing, and oppressing them.

'Flexible work schedule was created for young people’ 

Central Express CVS JSC:

Our company has more than 2,600 employees. Gen Z accounts for 89 percent of it. That’s why we’ve introduced an optimized approach for Gen Z. For example, we defined their work methods based on their five main features. We have introduced a flexible time system because Gen Z strives to maintain a work-life balance. They strive to be financially independent. Therefore, it is possible for them to receive a salary every week.

In accordance with the interest of these people, we have opened the opportunity to change their careers. Because they value comfort, a comfortable workplace environment makes them happy. The most important thing is that Gen Z choose their jobs based on their own values. This is why we have created value through organizational culture. They prefer to finish their work on time and do other interesting things. Therefore, we strive to be one of the employers that can meet their interests and provide a work-life balance.

‘Companies train their required employees themselves’ 

Director of the Research Institute of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry O.Tumen-Amar:  

Enterprises and organizations have mentioned two main problems. The first is funding and the second is human resources. Especially after the pandemic, enterprises and organizations face a shortage of manpower. For example, our organization conducted a survey in October last year, and 58 percent of the companies said that there is a lack of professional staff. This is twice as much as before the pandemic. In particular, there is a shortage of workers in foreign trade, tourism, transportation, and food production. Moreover, 85 percent of the agricultural companies responded that they are training and employing the necessary human resources themselves. 

It is said that the graduates do not meet the requirements of the job. When we asked what measures are being taken to alleviate the shortage of workers, large companies said that they have increased the amount of salaries. However, according to the research, small and medium-sized businesses are reducing their production and the scope of their activities. Such a situation is due to the migration of the labor force. In other words, it is due to the fact that many of the working-age citizens aspire to work abroad. Therefore, business owners are constantly telling us that it is necessary to take measures at the policy level.

Misheel Lkhasuren