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May 26, 2023

by Innova Solutions


Over the decades, employers have had to discern and understand the generations as they entered the workforce. What makes them tick? What do they seek in an employer? The Silent Generation sought company loyalty; the Baby Boomer Generation desired to see businesses diversify the workforce. So what of our current workforce, the X, Y (Millenials), and Z generations? What will it take to hire and motivate them to stay?

Before we delve into what makes these generations tick, it’s critical to clarify that over-generalizing people based on a generation label can be disastrous. People do not define themselves or make decisions based on their birth year. Instead, they adapt to new technology and the new way of the world around them. We dig in to discover each generation’s expectations when considering employment.

The Core

A recent study by Oyster questioned what expectations employees held and quantified the results based on the current workforce generations, X, Y, and Z. The study revealed that each generation tends to prioritize work expecations to a similar degree.


Unsurprisingly, flexibility is at the top of the expectation list for all three generations. The last few years have introduced a newness to the workforce- work from home, hybrid schedules, and flexible work hours. Based on the study, Gen-X seeks flexibility more so than its counterparts. However, each generation finds flexibility a highly sought-after benefit when considering job opportunities.

Employer Tip: If remote work isn’t an option, attempt to cater to the workforce by including flexible hours and allowing staff to work around their lives.

Cash is King

As much as we would like to say that money isn’t essential, the fact of the matter is that it carries a lot of weight when deciding on a job offer. Each generation wants to earn fair wages and, more importantly, avoid capped earning potential.

Establishing a budget for wage increases throughout an employee’s career will interest all three generations but will really garner the attention of GenX, with the Millennial generation close behind. Each generation is motivated by earning potential, so employers will do well to monitor the local market to keep up with the competition.

Employer tip: The more transparent employers are about pay, the more likely they are to create a trusting relationship with their employees, therefore, increasing retention.

Career Development

Gen X, Y, and Z want to develop in their careers, and they want assistance getting there. On-going training, continuing education programs, and mentorship programs are a few ways to assist employees in developing their careers. Gen Z values career development the most out of the three generations, with Millenials on their heels.

Employer Tip:Dig into employees’ career goals and help create a plan of action to help them achieve their objectives.

The Runner UPS

It’s hard to check off every box as an employer, but if there is room for more, employers should invest in the following.


Employee recognition can be one of the easiest yet most meaningful ways to attract and maintain employees from each generation. The Millennial generation tends to emphasize this particular work expectation more, so managers will do well to take time to recognize significant milestones and everything in between. A different study revealed that 40% of employees would be willing to work harder if leaders socially recognized them.

Employer Tip:Increase how often employees are recognized and include “at the moment” recognitions.


There was a brief time in recent history that office perks such as foosball tables and stocked kitchens were all the rage, but it has since lost its fizzle. Now, employees seek perks such as extended parental leave, 4-day work weeks, or childcare assistance to help create a balance in their lives. Gen Z and Gen X highly value perks when considering jobs.

Employer Tip:Cater your work perks to your staff by surveying the workforce to discover the most sought-after benefits.

Bringing It Together

When we look at each generation’s values, we can safely conclude that they all align with each other. Each generation seeks respect, validation, and more control in their everyday lives.

Employers adding to their workforce should consider all of the benefits above to attract top talent. Identifying talent is challenging and time-consuming, which is why partnering with an established staffing firm is so beneficial. At Innova, we provide the workforce and knowledge to do the job quickly and effectively. Connect with one of our many account specialists today to learn how we can assist you with your hiring needs.


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