Danielle Ross is a 26-year-old who lives in a small town in New York City. She describes herself as artistic and creative. She paints in her spare time, and has worked as a mermaid for children’s parties, swimming in a tail she made herself.
Ms. Ross, who identifies as LGBTQ, couldn’t imagine working a job that required her to undermine her identity or her skills, which is why she found herself at a theme park in Goshen, NY. She was thrilled when Legoland New York Resort hired her. Be its first female master builder. Ms. Ross has been given wide latitude to use Lego bricks to build miniature cities throughout the park, drawing on her artistic side and her desire to promote diversity and inclusion.
“I can imagine people of all different races and nationalities and religions and any type, because I want everyone to feel represented,” she said. Her miniature figures are blind and plus-size. He has prosthetic legs and wears a burqa. Recently, he created a Hasidic Jew.
Creative freedom has inspired Ms. Ross to love her job – and that’s it. Over the past year, LEGOLAND New York has joined a growing number of companies working to create an environment that is engaging and stimulating for young employees who are who they are and where they hope to go. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by recruiting Generation Z workers — in the late 1990s and early 2000s — employers aim to harness their energy and creativity and create an intense labor force with nearly 11 million unfinished jobs in May. The shortfall is to be removed.
Last fall, Legoland began allowing employees like Ms. Ross to have piercings, tattoos and colored hair. A national hospitality company has started experimenting with a four-day work week. Health care company GoodRx is allowing employees to work not only from home but from anywhere in the country, enlisting an outside company to provide ad-hoc offices upon request. Other companies are carefully crafting career paths for their employees, and offering comprehensive mental health benefits and financial advice.
The goal is not only to get young employees to the doorstep, but to keep them in their jobs is not an easy task. Survey Show that young workers are comfortable changing jobs more often than other generations. But, with these efforts, many companies have so far avoided their competitors by suffering labor shortages.
“We currently have over 1,500 employees, and I can say with confidence that at least half are Gen Xers,” said Jessica Woodson, head of human resources at Legoland.
In Sage Hospitality Group, which operates more than 100 hotels, restaurants and bars across the country, 20 percent of its employees are members of Generation Z.
“We need this workforce,” said Daniel Del Olmo, president and chief operating officer of the company’s hotel management division. “We recognize that Gen Xers are looking for different things than other generations, and we’re trying to adjust for that.”
After the pandemic began, the company became acutely aware that many young workers wanted a healthy work-life balance. In fact, a recent study ADP Research Institute Show that many workers will quit if an employer demands a full-time return to the office.
Sage Hospitality is now operating a four-day workweek at select properties, including cooks, housekeepers and front-desk receptionists. These jobs have been the hardest to fill during the pandemic, and the company has about 960 open positions.
The four-day work week has helped, Mr Del Olmo said. “Instead of having this negative feeling, I have to go to work because I have to make a living,” he said, “all of a sudden it is, I want to go to work because I can connect it with my life that I I love.”
Employees of the company’s home office in Denver are allowed to work remotely at least one day a week, and all employees are allowed to take their dogs to work one day a week.
“A team member will take care of the dog if a colleague has to clean a room or show something to a guest,” said Mr. Del Olmo.
Mason Mills, 26, a marketing manager for the company’s hotel in Denver, said the pandemic had changed the outlook of his generation.
“We started to see that a career is incredibly important, so is living the life that’s given to you,” she said. “By allowing dogs into the office, and having a work-from-home schedule to accommodate some of those needs, shows that the company is evolving.”
According to Roberta Katz, an anthropologist at Stanford who studied Generation Z, younger people and previous generations view the workplace radically differently.
“American Gen Xers, for the most part, only know an Internet-connected world,” Dr. Katz wrote in an email. In part because they grew up using collaborative platforms like Wikipedia and GoFundMe, he said, younger employees see work as “something that is no longer a 9-to-5-in-the-office-or-schoolroom.” There was no obligation.”
Andrew Barrett-Weiss, workplace experience director at GoodRx, which provides discounts for prescriptions, helped the company do more than one deal by giving employees this kind of autonomy and flexibility. GoodRx offers employees the opportunity to not only be completely remote, but to have a desk wherever they wish to travel in the United States.
GoodRx also provides financial advisors for employees. “Jen Zar may not have enough money to have an investment account, but he may have it,” Mr. Barrett-Weiss said. Career coaching and fertility benefits are also provided.
“We’re trying to solve big problems in health care,” Mr Barrett-Weiss said, “so we need the freshest, youthful approaches we can find.”
Sidney Brody, 27, an account supervisor at Le CollectiveM, a communications agency in New York, was delighted when the company’s owner told her that in July she would provide employees with a home in the Hamptons, where they could bond with each other and their customers.
“I was already so loyal to the company,” said Ms. Brody, “but now I’m like, why would you look anywhere else?”
He was also given membership of an exclusive private club, Soho House, as a means of networking. “My company sees what I need as a person,” she said. “They are giving me the tools to excel personally and professionally.”
Kenko, a subscription food service focused on fruits and vegetables, is focusing on mental health. All employees as well as members of their household get six sessions with a therapist, not an insignificant benefit, given that hourly prices for such services have risen to $400 in some parts of the country.
Still other companies are trying to harness the desire of young workers to grow in their careers. in linkedin Survey This year, 40 percent of young workers said they are willing to accept a 5 percent pay cut to work in a position that offers opportunities for career growth.
That’s why Blank Street Coffee, a chain of 40 coffee shops in the United States and England, makes career development a part of its hiring pitch, said chief executive Issam Freiha. Employees who want to move up in the company are shown a clear trajectory that they can follow.
After Alex Quiok, a Blank Street barista in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who has a passion for coding, told her manager that she wanted to be behind a computer, “he mentioned it to the higher-ups, and eventually they took me to headquarters. Bring it,” she said. “I never thought in a million years that I would one day be kicked off the field and given a desk and a salary.”
Ms. Quiok, 27, now handles customer email and reviews as a Customer Success Associate. She also works on updating the brand’s app.
For the barista who sees his job on Blank Street as a side hustle, the company helps him take his next step. “We use our alumni and investor network to get people where they want to go,” said Mr. Freeha. “We got a barista on a TV show.”
Blank Street is constantly asking its young barista what they want. “We have to keep innovating,” said Mr. Freeha. “This generation doesn’t want to work for something that’s stale.”