Gen Z in the workplace - where lies their motivation?
Updated: Mar 26
When we mention the generation Z, the first thing that will come in mind of an older
generation, is that this generation is lazy, apathetic and can not do anything without technologies.Being myself a true and pure GenZ, I can tell you that none of those assumptions are true, and here is why.
The fact that we grew up with those technologies doesn’t make us lazy, but quite the contrary.
My generation can be defined as digital natives, we were born in the beginning of the
internet and we basically grew up with a screen in our hands. But is it really a bad thing regarding the productivity in a corporation or company? The fact that we grew up with those technologies doesn’t make us lazy, but quite the contrary. So how is this GenZ in the workplace? It made us more innovative, more creative with the tools that we had in our hands.
I remember a story from one of my previous manager when we spoke about this particular topic which was quite interesting. He told me that when he worked in the human resources, he had to recruit a new member for his company. One of the candidate was a girl of 19 years old, with nearly no working experience. After an impressive interview and a long time of thinking, he chose to give her a chance into the company’s marketing team. A few weeks later, his manager came up to him telling how happy he was with the new girl. She was in fact working on three different screens, using different tools at the same time. Her creativity and her innovating spirit made her known as one of the best in her department in a matter of a few months. She was lucky to have such an open minded team that letted her do what she thought was best. However, it is not common in a workplace, to trust a younger generation.
Today’s companies need to focus on how to manage and attract this GenZ, as we are the
workforce of tomorrow. GenZs motivational factors are different than older generations. For
example in the 80’s, success was defined by having a luxurious car, a huge house. On the other hand, the generation Z, is a lot more focused on financial stability. The subprime crises has marked this generation by seeing their parents struggling or being affected financially. By seeing their model having a hard time keeping the house together, my generation understood and learned that having a huge house or having a luxurious life doesn’t mean that you are safe for any crises. Therefore, the GenZs motivational factors can be defined as at being stable in the working place and at home as well. Consequently, money is of course a motivational factor like every other human, but it is not a primary one. Which means that they will be less driven by money when it comes to looking for a job.
Gen Z will be less driven by money when it comes to looking for a job.
Concerning the GenZ in the work place, an upcoming challenge in the workplace is the
independency of this generation. In fact, GenZs prefer to work alone and having some feedbacks at the end, rather than having to work in a group work. This could be due to the social medias, which has reduced consequently the amount of time spent with people, and has increased the amount of time spent alone. But this doesn’t mean that they can not work together. In the contrary, they have more divers thought and ideas and especially more creativity with all the tools that have been created. A specific example could be our university, Hotel Institute Montreux. The teachers made it mandatory to work in a group in order for us to learn how to combine every ideas that we have because they know we would rather do it alone and be done with it. Finally, one of the last challenges I would like to approach is the work place environment and layout.
I am absolutely terrified by the fact that I could one day work in a cubic space.
For my personal experience, I am absolutely terrified by the fact that I could one day work in a cubic space. I imagine this world as an old one, that we need to move from. This world doesn’t allow creativity, and ask of doing the same thing over and over with no interaction at all. In my opinion, a good work place should be flexible on how each individual is the most productive and creative and should offer the possibility of choosing your work environment. As an alternative, the workplace should be inspired by the trend of digital nomads. Having a simple table or desk with practically no walls, and having “cool” places to recharge your batteries, hang out with your colleagues, or even by holding a meeting in an open space. The GenZs motivational factors are also about the workplace environment. For me, every work place should be inspired by what google is trying to achieve by how they managed the layout and how they managed to bring this environment.
If you have any suggestions or ideas on how the workplace of tomorrow will look like, or
even if you just liked this article, don’t hesitate to leave a small comment down below.
Author: Mr. Oliver Aubry de Maraumont, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from France and Denmark.