Top 5 Motivators for Gen Z in the Workplace

Top 5 Motivators for Gen Z in the Workplace

Many people are still not used to the term Gen Z. The generational conversation has been focused primarily around Millennials for the past 5 years however now the time to look at the next generation. Gen Z, the group of individuals born between the years 1996 and 2010, is finally starting to enter the workforce and are bringing their attitudes and mindset with them. Like it or not, by 2020 36% of the workforce will be comprised by Gen Z.  Even though there may not seem to be many differences socially between Gen Z and Millennials, their working mindsets differ a surprising amount.

Money, Money, Money

The most notable difference between millennials and Gen Z is the latter heavy focus on salary.  In fact, 70% of Gen Z consider salary to be their greatest motivator. Once you consider that this generation had grown up during the 2008 financial crisis you can begin to see why.  Having grown up at a time where the housing bubble burst and thousands of people losing their job, you can understand why a large salary is so important to this generation. Having some extra money stowed away when times get rough makes living during those times that much easier. They are so dedicated to getting a better salary that 58% say that they are willing to work nights and weekends to get it as opposed to all other working generations at 41%.  Essentially, Gen Z is extremely salary focused and is willing to put in the extra time and effort to gain that money.


Why is Gen Z so motivated to work? Money? Well yeah of course, but the real reason that they work so hard is that they believe they will have to in order to succeed.  77% of Gen Z believes that they will have to work harder than previous generations.  Society has changed drastically in the 20th century and it has changed even more in the 21st.  Their parents' generations were able to live with a better standard of living since they had access to a more affordable housing market,  fair college prices which in turn didn’t cripple them with debt. This along with the rapid advances in technology, increase in the amount of cheap labor, and more jobs being sent overseas, Gen Z has realized that the modern job market is hyper-competitive.


The other main motivator for Gen Z comes in the form of healthcare. Out of all of the perks that companies provide, 70% of Gen Z says that the most important perk to them is healthcare.  While many of Gen Z would prefer government provided healthcare, they have seen that it is not always the best option and because of this prefer that they are provided healthcare from their employer. With the increase in health insurance over the past 10 years it is easy to understand why this is another major concern for them.  Companies that will get the best employees from this generation will need to provide better incentives over their competitors.


Everyone is passionate about one thing or another and Gen Z is no different. 46% of Gen Z’s say that working in a field that they are passionate about is one of their main motivators.  The only motivator that ranked higher than this is salary, which just goes to show how important passion is to them.  People who find jobs in fields they are passionate about will not only enjoy their job more but will usually experience job fatigue much later than normal workers.  With the job finding tools job-seekers have access to nowadays, finding a job in a field that they are passionate about has never been easier.


The last and most interesting motivator for Gen Z’s is the challenge that their job provides. Gen Z growing up in a world full of video games constantly enjoys challenging themselves in any way shape and form. This trait has seemed to spill over into their work-life as 39% of Gen Z says that this is one other their top motivators at work. The challenge of overcoming a difficult task can be frustrating at times but the feeling that one gets after overcoming the challenge can be thrilling. The addition of difficulty in the workplace ensures that work will never be boring or tedious. This trait is an impressive one to see coming out of such a young generation and indicates good things to come from Gen Z.

In Conclusion

In short, it seems that Gen Z as a workforce is eager to work but knows the value that they bring to a company. In general, they are hyper-productive and hard-working members of the workforce that are just starting to break into the job market. Even though they are new to the job scene, many of them are already looking to benefit their career as a whole rather than limiting their scope to their current job. It will be interesting to see how their mindset will affect the future of the economy and the market as a whole.