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Gen Z and Millennials seek agility, courage, and trust in workplaces: Nestlé Canada study

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December 11, 2023
By Talent Canada

Photo: Getty Images

Agility, courage, and trust. Those are the foundations of a workplace that will appeal to Gen Z and Millennials, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Angus Reid, was commissioned by Nestlé Canada and sought to shed light on the unique needs of young professionals as they reshape societal and workplace norms. It surveyed over 1,100 young Canadians between the ages of 20 and 35.

An overwhelming majority of those surveyed (93%) want to work for an organization that is agile, meaning it supports quick and flexible decision-making. Most Gen Z and Millennials also feel they can do a better job when they are trusted at work.

An even larger number – 96% – say the best organizations to work for are those that reward courage and allow employees to share new and bold ideas. Courage is one of the key attributes employees want but are not finding at work, with only 55% feeling their current employer embraces these principles, the company said in a press release.


“Gen Z and Millennials are reshaping workplace norms, compelling leaders to adjust to workplace cultural shifts,” said John Carmichael, president & CEO of Nestlé Canada. “At Nestlé Canada, our commitment to continuous learning and growth fuels us to adapt and respond to the ever-evolving demands of today’s diverse workforce. This requires going beyond our organization, actively exploring external viewpoints, and applying these meaningful insights to shape our culture at Nestlé.”

While agility, courage and trust are trending high on Canadian workers’ wish lists, these expectations might not be fully realized yet, uncovering an opportunity to redefine Canadian workplaces of the future, and an unmet need to build cultures rooted in these factors.


Additionally, Gen Z and Millennial Canadians are more satisfied and willing to stay in their job when agility, courage, and trust are central to their working environment.

Among the professionals who are contemplating leaving their current positions, over three quarters (77%) say their employer is not agile. Similarly, 78% of those say their current workplace falls short in promoting courage, and 72% say they’re not given the level of trust that they need.

“In this constantly changing marketplace, the need for agility and courageous action is greater than ever. These attributes aren’t just aspirations for employees; they’re what they expect from their employers and the culture they want to immerse themselves in. Leaders must invest and proactively shape the culture within their companies, or they will not be able to attract and retain the top talent of today and tomorrow,” said Carmichael. “The results of our surveys affirm that our approach – founded on agility, courage, and trust – resonates with our employees and aligns with the evolving expectations of Gen Z and Millennials who seek empowering and inclusive workplace cultures.”

Findings from within Nestlé Canada

Nestlé Canada’s recent internal pulse survey revealed that 86% of the company’s employees believe Nestlé is a great place to work.

Through its ACT framework, Nestlé is fostering an environment where 85% of the workforce say they feel empowered to make decisions, 80% find the work environment conducive to agility, and a similar percentage feel comfortable taking calculated risks, it said.

Survey highlights

Of Canadian Gen Z and Millennial professionals who are unsatisfied with their jobs and work culture:

  • 78% say, they do not feel their employer empowers them
  • 81% say, their employer is not agile
  • 84% say, their employer doesn’t want them to share new and bold ideas
  • 69% say, they are not given the level of trust they need by their employer
  • Overall, 65% are very or extremely likely to continue working with employer
  • 77% among those say their employer is agile
  • 80% among those say their employer rewards courage
  • 77% among those get the level of trust they need

The survey was conducted from Oct. 24 to Oct. 30, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,113 online working Canadians, 20 to 35 years of age, who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

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