Gen-Z Employees Need Weekly Check-Ins to Be Happy at Work: Study

A new study from 15Five shows younger employees thrive on weekly check-ins and a close working relationship with management: 90 percent reportedly do their best work when the company “supports their emotional wellness.”

Those employees are not alone: 94 percent of management folks say they recognize the emotional wellbeing of their direct reports is as important as the work they produce.

“This is a very exciting time, when research in psychology and human development is proving what we already know,” says Shane Metcalf, co-founder and Chief Culture Officer of 15Five. “Employees are indeed human beings who are driven to grow, develop, and fulfill a greater purpose. They have complex internal worlds and when managers and leaders address the hidden aspects of their experience, like values, beliefs, mindsets, and emotional well-being, we will see a major leap forward in how people achieve their potential at work, and the levels of success that businesses achieve as a result.”

Hear that, technologists? You’re human beings!

Many consider work a means to an end, but Gen Z (the youngest of the working-age; born somewhere between the mid-1990’s and Aughts) crave more. 15Five says this crowd needs a “conscientious” employer which keeps their mental and emotional well-being in mind. Underscoring the difference between this generation and those before it is this statistic: In one-on-one meetings, 75 percent of Gen-Z employees say they’ve sought personal advice from managers. Only 23 percent of Baby Boomers say the same.

Playing a sort of word-association game, 15Five found Gen Z employees who don’t have weekly one-on-ones with their bosses associate the terms “money,” “stress,” and “busy” with work. Those who have weekly check-ins associate “money” and “fun” with work. Weekly meetings also contribute to better emotional and mental well-being, and more trust in the company amongst those queried.

“A key component to creating strong human connections is regular, productive manager-to-employee 1-on-1s,” Metcalf says. “These meetings help create a culture of transparency and trust that leads to psychologically safe work environments.”

Weekly check-ins also help with employee retention. 15Five says half of those who participate in weekly check-ins plan to stay put for five years or more; 84 percent are “always honest” with their managers, and almost 75 percent have confidence in their bosses leadership. Conversely, 20 percent of employees who lack confidence in management leave their jobs within six months. Further, those who are not confident in their managers rate their job satisfaction as ‘four’ on a scale of 1-10.