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Combatting the labour shortage: how to attract and retain Gen Z staff

Australian organizations have been feeling the impact of the labor shortage crisis for over six months now, with the Australian Census data revealing part-time workers were extremely underutilized. Gen Zs comprise 20% of the Australian population, making up a large portion of Australia’s part-time and casual workforce. To better understand their working preferences, WorkJam commissioned national research into Australian casual and part-time Gen Z employees.

Understanding the working habits of Gen Zs

To enable us to better utilize our workforce, we need to understand the working preferences of Gen Zs. Due to this, we surveyed 1,000 Gen Z part-time and casual workers aged 16 to 25 years. With nearly one-in-three Gen Z employees (27%) working fewer than 10 hours per week, the data shows a desire for additional work. Furthermore, from the research, we can also see they’re open to opportunities across all industries, with 29% happy to work across hospitality, retail and admin roles.

Their willingness to work and lack of fussiness when it comes to the industry provides an opportunity for retail leaders to acquire and retain young staff by offering greater access to shifts.

Gen Z-ify your workplace

Flexibility remains the number one consideration when Gen Zs look for new opportunities. With frontline staff, providing the opportunity to work from home is not an option, however, providing an openshift workplace can allow your workforce flexibility with their hours. Gen Zs want the ability to pick and choose when they work, with the ability to pick up a last-minute shift or request to give up a shift.

As retail leaders, we must consider what factors drive Gen Z to leave their jobs, as in many cases the reasons can be preventable. Our research revealed that poor management (61%) was the top driver followed by lack of communication (43%). Gen Z employees feel they are not receiving enough work hours and their workplaces are lacking recognition and flexibility. Placing high importance on these factors can provide a better working environment, leading to greater employee retention.


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