Retain The Younger Generation of Building Services and Maintenance Employees

March 28, 2024

The building services and maintenance industry has historically dealt with labor shortages. Companies have always struggled with high burn rate and with replacing older, skilled laborers with younger workers. In fact, one study found that absenteeism and employee turnover rate is as high as 37%. The industry will, however, start facing a larger problem. 

As of 2022, between 4.1 million and 4.5 million people have quit their jobs each month since September of 2022. Even in this uncertain economic climate, that is still 16% above pre-pandemic numbers. High quit rates coupled with high turnover rates makes losing employees unsustainable. Replacing employees is time consuming and expensive. It’s estimated that it takes an average of 42 days and $4,129 to replace an employee

Employers need to rethink how they engage with workers to create the best possible employee experience and inspire team members to stay longer. Gen Z’s are the future of work, so how will your organization adapt to attract and retain the next generation of talent?

There is a disconnect between Gen Z’s and their older managers about what is important in the workplace. Gen Z’s crave flexibility, learning opportunities, and interpersonal connections more than any other generation before them. 

Growing up through periods of massive uncertainty has created a generation that takes initiative and wants to have greater autonomy over their development. Managers are going to be challenged by Gen Z’s to have clearly defined role expectations for the current role, as well as other roles that the employee might be interested in working towards.

In addition to clear career paths, Gen Z employees also look for meaning and purpose in their work, more than previous generations. In fact, 63% of Gen Z feel it is very or extremely important to work for an employer that shares their values (EY). Managers may find success in connecting individual roles to the organization’s larger mission, emphasizing an employee’s impact and value to the team.

Over the past few years, there has been a greater focus on work-life balance and what that looks like. This is a plus for the building services and maintenance industry because, unlike some office jobs, there is no pressure to take your work home with you. Once you’re done with work for the day, you’re done. While remote work isn’t an option, employers might consider flex time or compressed work weeks as a way to support their team members. Are there other benefits your organization can offer?

While there are themes of what Gen Z employees look for in their employee experience, it will ultimately come down to how connected their manager is to their needs. Managers can’t assume what’s important to their employees. Instead, they should have frequent, ongoing check-ins to identify what’s going well and what’s missing from the employee’s experience.

Gen Z’s impact on the workplace is going to evolve over time, so it’s crucial for organizations to continue to pulse on what’s important to their talent. Contact us today to learn more about our modern approach to performance management and development and how it solves for retention. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our Customers have to say.