Younger generations value interesting work, continuous learning and work-life balance over pay and benefits, according to a new report by consultancy and marketing agency Lovell Corp.

The report, part of a research study conducted in partnership with the University of Guelph, aims to provide insights into the career aspirations, work values and career priorities of millennials and generation Z, with an emphasis on how employers can better attract, retain and engage these younger generations. 

Read: Prof touts the many ways companies can make workplaces better for younger employees

“We can describe millennials as driven by growth and lifestyle in the workplace while generation Z are motivated by growth and passion,” said Kelly Lovell, founder and chief executive officer, in a news release. “This is a generation prioritizing the impact and purpose of their work before salary.”

The study includes a survey of more than 2,000 Canadians aged 14 to 36, which asked respondents to rate the importance of 28 work value priorities, ranging from pay and benefits, social environment and the psychological benefits of the workplace.

Among millennials, the top five priorities were job security, interesting work, convenient hours of work, work-life balance and continuous learning. The priorities were slightly different for generation Z, which ranked interesting work, working for an organization they’re proud of, doing work they’re passionate about, having the information to do their job and continuous learning.

Read: How to support Generation Z employees

Since interesting work and continuous learning were two values shared by both generations, the report suggests employers that are looking to appeal to young professionals should consider investing more in personal development and training opportunities, as well as employee engagement activities.

The survey also asked millennials and generation Z what factors are important for them to join and stay with an employer. Both generations said employers must be willing to ensure opportunities for upwards mobility, create a culture that takes work-life balance seriously, build a brand with purpose that values ethics and social responsibility, foster a creative environment that supports personal development goals and provide job security.

When it comes to what employers could do to better support young workers, millennials are placing the greatest emphasis on employability supports such as education, training and career support, while generation Z is seeking greater support around mental health.

Read: Sounding Board: How to support millennials’ growing use of mental-health services

“With rising rates of anxiety and depression among youth, the emphasis placed on mental health by generation Z suggests that the tough labour market and precarious school-to-work transition is taking its toll on young professionals,” stated the report. “Offering added personal supports to help young professionals transition to new positions, cope with stress and ultimately excel in their roles will help foster better retention and performance.”

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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