What Motivates Gen Z Employees When it Comes to Work?

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How to Keep Your Gen Z Employees Happy and Productive in the Workplace

Each generation is motivated by different things when it comes to work. And Gen Z is the latest generation to hit the workforce. While they have quite a bit in common with Millennials, they also have some big differences.

But why should you cater to these cultural differences for Gen Zers? Your business’ success depends on your ability to diversify your workforce and attract new talent to your company. Gen Z is ready to prove their worth too, but you gotta give them something in return for it. 

Cultural fit is so important to them that nearly 40% of them would relocate to another state for a job at a company with great culture. And when the culture between them and company meshes better, they stick around for longer. On average, Gen Z sticks around for three years with a company that has a good cultural fit. 

Security Deposit

Gen Zers were kids during the Great Recessions. They saw their parents take huge financial hits and those struggles have defined a huge portion of their lives. So while Millennials are more often driven by purpose over paycheck, Gen Z may lean more toward security and money than their slightly older co-workers. That isn’t to say that Gen Z doesn’t care about making a difference, because they most certainly do. They just want to have a secure life outside of work while doing their activism. 

Motivation Tip: To diversify your workforce with this younger generation, recruit them with the promise of job security and raises down the line. 

Bring it On!

Millennials are collaborative and teamwork-oriented and love a culture where inclusion takes a priority. Gen Z on the other hand, is a bit more competitive. They would rather work on their own and be judged on their own merits rather than those of their team. In fact, 39% of Gen Zers opt for a workplace culture that is fast-paced. 

Motivation Tip: Gen Z understands the need for constant skill development in order to stay relevant. They believe in working hard and that success isn’t just handed to you. So bring them that fast-paced competition and then reward them for work well-done. 

Independent Streak

Tied to competitiveness is the need for independence. Gen Zers prefer to work alone and many of them prefer to even have office space to themselves, rather than an open, collaborative workspace. This independent streak shows with their higher education choices, with many opting to skip college and racking up debt by heading straight into the workforce instead. Don’t overlook a potentially great employee just because they don’t have the education credentials you usually look for. 

Motivation Tip: Give Gen Zers the ability to manage their own projects so their skills and abilities can shine. 

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Linked to their need for eventually reaching financial independence, Gen Z is more entrepreneurial than Millennials and more likely to want to start their own company. And not only do they like to take risks themselves, but they prefer companies that take some risks too. In fact, 40% of Gen Zers prefer a culture of risk taking at work. 

Motivation Tip: Gen Zers want to soak up as much knowledge as they can, making them highly motivated employees to begin with. But be willing to try new approaches and take some risks with your company. You might find a huge reward, not just in profits, but in Gen Z employee excitement, which translates to more productive and better work overall. 

Culture Kings and Queens

If you think cultural fit doesn’t matter when hiring new employees. Think again. Gen Z is motivated by cultural fit and so far, companies haven’t met them on culture yet. A whopping 62% of Gen Zers have experienced being in a job that wasn’t a good cultural fit. And if they don’t feel they fit in with a company, they won’t stick around and you’ll be left filling an empty position yet again. So provide your Gen Z candidates and employees with financial security, opportunities for personal growth and the ability to take some risks. You’ll find that when you do, your Gen Z employees will improve your company on many levels.