Malaysia’s Gen Z workforce seeks more than renumeration

As the youngest generation to enter the workforce, Gen Z employees are looking beyond monetary fulfilment at work.
By: | September 6, 2022

These school-leavers and fresh graduates aged between 18 and 25 believe there is more to working life than bringing home a fat pay.

Assoc Prof Dr Eugene Pek Chuen Kee, CEO at UCSI Poll Research Centre, told The Star, “Gen Z is more nuanced in their expectations, expecting to gain flexibility, work-life balance, career growth, perks, benefits, coaching and empowerment, in addition to salary. Gen Z is also driven by idealism, and they would rather work for ethical companies that champion social causes.”

Pek added Gen Z want corporations to be good global citizens that take on societal challenges from climate change to gender equality, and explained, “But while value alignment, purpose, empathy, sustainability and respect, among other values, are important, one should also be realistic that the best company, however great they may be, are not perfect.”

Another factor which Gen Z places more importance than salary is flexibility in work arrangements, according to Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman, President of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), who urged Malaysian employers to relook at their employment practices to attract and retain Gen Z talent.

On average, he added, employees tend to stay with a company for 4.8 years, but the younger generation stays for an average of 2.4 years.

READ: Employees in Malaysia lack training opportunities

“Companies need to establish work-life balance practices at the workplace to strike the desired work-life requirements of employees,” he said. “Employees today demand flexibility tailored to their specific needs, be it work-life balance, physical and emotional health, or caring for the family.”