Seed World

For Younger Generations, Balance and Connections Matter

When it comes to next generations, we’ve highlighted that young employees are eager to work. But, what sets them apart from previous generations? Their motivations. Two things that are driving Gen Z are personal connections and work-life balance.

Highlighting the ability to grow and the access to relationships at all levels is what sets companies like Beck’s Hybrids apart, believes Tanner Maxey, talent acquisition specialist at Beck’s.

“When you integrate culture into the workplace, you open the opportunity for employees to build relationships across the entire company,” he explains. “When culture is not a priority in the workplace, organizations lose the connectivity amongst each other. With companies like Beck’s, employees stay connected and relationships form, even across multiple states. That’s very enticing.”

Personal connections and an inclusive culture aren’t just imperative to retain employees — these aspects are also essential to recruit them. Following COVID-19 where there was that lack of quality communication, new hires are eager to regain that in the workplace and work for employers who value them as not only an employee, but also as a person.

“We’re still people at the end of the day, and with all the automation that’s out there — especially in agriculture — people like to talk to people,” says Jordan Moss, associate partner at Financial Exchange Group. “When you build a relationship or connection with someone when learning about a company, it’s a good way to get the person interested in the company.”

Work-Life Balance Is a Deal Breaker

The next generation is motivated by personal connections, the opportunity to make a difference, growth and transparency, but they also prioritize work-life balance and their personal lives — and expect the business they work for to do so as well.

“That flies in the face of the older generations approach to working harder and longer proves that you’re a hard worker, and a good worker. Whereas the younger generations are saying, ‘My family is more important than you. There’s lots of jobs out there. So, let’s find a happy medium,'” says Mark Waschek, president of Ag1 Source.

While work-life balance means paid time off and the avoidance of straining, long hours, it also means transparency. Many companies in the agriculture industry do require overtime and exceed the standard 40-hour work week. The presence of extensive hours isn’t what pushes away candidates. It is the lack of honesty and purpose when presenting the package.

“A company should be upfront with their employees on that timeline and how the employee will be awarded for the extra hours — whether that be with time off, annual pay increases or shift bonuses,” says Maxey.

Creating a community and providing benefits can help make up for the requirement of long hours. That’s why Beck’s offers the benefits of health and fitness, travel and events for its employees.

“We really encourage a focus on personal health and fitness, so we have a gym in house with a certified personal trainer that serves all of our employees. Each month, we offer voluntary quarterly health challenges in which employees can participate with the entire organization and through healthy competition can encourage each other to complete these health challenges,” explains Maxey.

Beck’s also hosts holiday and seasonal parties for its employees, providing a space for them to connect within the company and build those relationships. The company offers remote workdays when possible, as that has become a common desire in the labor force following the pandemic.

Despite the various aspects that need to be present when recruiting and retaining the next generation of workers, above all, these employees want to feel as though they have a purpose — whether that be at a large company in a major city, or a smaller company in a rural area. 

“When people look at this generation, they think they don’t want to work because they’re asking too many questions about what is next. It isn’t that they don’t want to work. It isn’t that they don’t want to work hard. They just want to know that the work they’re doing has a purpose,” says Waschek.