Why Gen Z workers are ready to leave uncommitted employers

Majority will accept lower pay to work for a more environmentally active company

Why Gen Z workers are ready to leave uncommitted employers

In a recent study, it has been found that nearly half of Gen Z workers (48%) are prepared to abandon their jobs if their employers fail to fulfill their sustainability commitments.  

The study, conducted as part of Bupa's wellbeing index, revealed that employees are willing to sacrifice 19% of their income to work for organizations with more ethical values. Specifically, Gen Z workers are ready to take a 23% pay cut in pursuit of a more responsible workplace. 

The study also found that 42% of employees across different age groups would accept lower pay to join a more environmentally active organization. However, this percentage increases to 66% among Gen Z workers. Furthermore, 42% of respondents reported that a lack of action on social or environmental issues by their employers had a detrimental impact on their mental wellbeing. 

Employees expressed a desire for greater involvement on sustainability and net-zero targets. Around 21% believed that it's insufficient for senior leaders to merely make promises on sustainability without seeking input from the wider workforce. For Gen Z, this sentiment was even more pronounced, with 29% expressing the need for inclusive decision-making on sustainability matters. 

Additionally, more than half of Gen Z employees (56%) stated that proposing and implementing sustainability initiatives within their organizations would boost their motivation and drive productivity, loyalty, and retention.  

Gen Z workers also indicated a preference for collaborating with eco-friendly start-ups and innovators rather than adhering to conventional practices. 

“For younger workers, it’s essential that their employer is setting and meeting ambitious sustainability goals that they can see is making tangible change,” said Rachel Murray, head of employee health and wellbeing at Bupa Global and UK.  

“Many Gen Z workers in particular feel their generation is responsible for protecting the environment, a pressure that can take its toll on wellbeing and mental health in the workplace when they see practices that go against good sustainability action,” she said.