DEI and flexibility are highly valued in the workplace.
Culture is a critical component of the workplace. According to the 2022 EY US Generation Survey, nearly all the 3,000 full-time white-collar workers surveyed said company culture affects their decision to remain with their employer. Given the number of individuals working remotely or on hybrid teams, it's even more imperative for employers to establish a comfortable and happy workplace environment.
So, what matters to employees in workplace culture? The EY study asked individuals across generations—Gen Z, millennial, Gen X, and baby boomer—and dimensions of diversity.
"Employee expectations have shifted over the course of the last two and a half years and so have the ways people want to feel valued. They're looking to be supported both professionally and personally," says Leslie Patterson, EY Americas and US diversity, equity, and inclusiveness leader. "All four generations in today's workforce value different programs, policies, and benefits, presenting challenges and opportunities for organizations that are looking to attract and retain top talent."
Diversity, equity, and inclusion matters in a big way. Three-quarters of the workers surveyed think their company's commitment to DEI initiatives is genuine. The same amount of staff said they would leave their company if it did not offer DEI initiatives. However, how workers define those efforts varies. For example, Black respondents view DEI as their company's investment in advancing underrepresented populations, and LGBTQ+ respondents equate DEI initiatives with inclusivity.
Further, for half of millennials and Gen Zers as well as half of LGBTQ+ workers, they take into account their employer's stance on social issues when they decide whether to remain with the organization. Three in 10 millennials said they would leave within one year if their employer's values didn't align with theirs.
The study also found that respondents across all generations rate flexibility in where and how they work as the third most-important factor, after pay and benefits, in applying for a new job. That flexibility outweighs career advancement opportunities for each generation.
"Companies today have an opportunity to reimagine who they are and how they operate," says Ginnie Carlier, vice chair of talent for EY Americas. "As we navigate a tight labor market, companies that embrace flexibility will rise to the top and attract and retain top talent."