To improve productivity, leaders have to help millennials and Gen Z meet life goals

To improve productivity, leaders have to help millennials and Gen Z meet life goals

“For many young people, work is not everything; their goals are different” — we have heard this statement often. In fact, recent years have seen some obvious shifts in career and life goals.

A recent report from Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance quantifies and highlights the change in these goals over the last few years. The report — Life Goals Preparedness Survey 2023 — covered 839 millennials in the 22-55-year age group in 8 cities.

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Key findings on life goals prioritisation
Between 2019 and 2023, there was a 35% increase in the percentage of young people choosing balanced life as a key goal. The survey showed that 85% chose this as a priority in 2023, against 50% in 2019. The pandemic could have played a role in this shift. Health and fitness as a life goal also saw a drastic increase from 33% prioritising it in 2019 to 63% prioritising it in 2023.

Another key goal was travel. As many as 29% stated this as a key goal in 2019; it was a key goal for 55% of the people surveyed in 2023.

Apart from these goals, the top 10 goals also included financial security for family and education for children.

Not surprisingly, there was a 2X increase from 2019 to 2022 in terms of how social media influenced people’s life goals. Two of the 5 life goals were influenced by social media. The other key influence was from people, family and friends.

Given the importance of financial planning for meeting life goals, over 50% of those surveyed said they needed expert financial advice to meet their life goals. This included advice on higher education, buying of property, business expansion and more. In fact, 50% said they were not sure of achieving goals like retirement, buying a home or business expansion.

What does this mean for leaders’ actions?
Taking a broader look at both millennials and Gen Z employees, Yulia Aslamova, Head of Asia, DRIM Global, says, “A dynamic strategy that combines tradition and innovation is needed to inspire and deeply connect with the next generation of millennials and Gen Z. Imagine leadership leading these digital natives through unfamiliar territory like a compass, not a map. Encourage an environment that has influence and significance to quench their hunger for purpose. Give them co-creation opportunities so they may contribute to defining the future. Create a work playlist like a DJ, that combines their interests and values with the objectives of the company. Recall that adaptability is the new stability, so modify your leadership approach to fit their various rhythms.”

A subtle strategy is needed to honour the goals and beliefs of the millennials and Gen Z, says Saravanan MP, Director, People & Communications, KONE India. These generations are driven by a sense of purpose, looking for jobs that align with their principles and advance society as a whole. Leaders need to establish an atmosphere based on open communication, honesty and authenticity to inspire others. When millennials and Gen Z workers feel valued, heard and empowered, they perform better at work.

“It is imperative to offer opportunities for growth and development as they place a high value on both professional and personal improvement. Crucial elements of motivation also include embracing technology, providing flexible work schedules and encouraging diversity and inclusiveness. Leaders can effectively motivate the millennial and Gen Z workforce and unlock their potential for both individual and organisational success by recognising their desire for meaningful work, supporting their growth and cultivating a workplace that promotes innovation and diversity,” Saravanan adds.

Aslamova calls them the “future’s architects”, so it is important to foster their curiosity and encourage their spirit of entrepreneurship. “Disconnect to reconnect in this age of perpetual connectedness. Real, in-person conversations are more meaningful than emojis. By working together, we can cross the generational divide and use it as inspiration to move forward toward a better future for all of us,” she adds.

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Author: Shirley