What Motivates Gen Z? 

What motivates Gen Z in today’s workforce? How do you ensure your company grows with the new generation of young people looking for new opportunities? 

It is on us, leaders, to understand them, and motivate them, so we can get the results we want from them as business leaders.

In this Bootstrappers episode, Jeremy and Gwenn explore what is the perfect strategy to motivate Gen Z.

Motivates Gen Z

What is a Gen Z?

Gen Z is the name given to the younger generation that is now incorporated into the workforce. While there is still a lot of debate on what demographic fits this generation, we understand Gen Z as the group of people who were born between 1997 and 2000.  

These dates, however, are just a general standard, but they can change; Gwenn recalls working with 30-year-olds with a Gen Z mindset. So, in this article, we are referring to a way of behaving, thinking, and acting that is related to the younger generation rather than a demographic born on a specific date.  

Listen to the full episode.

Gwenn’s Personal Failures with Gen Z

After hiring a lot of Gen Z and failing at it, Gwenn understood that she was provided what she thought they wanted, but not what they really needed. 

When the productivity and results decreased with the new Gen Z employees, Gwenn knew she needed to make a bigger effort into trying to understand them. 

Gen Z has different expectations and motivations compared to their millennial counterparts. While millennials value freedom, Gen Z appreciates money over other things. 


What Motivates Gen Z: Money

It’s no secret that Gen Z faces significant financial challenges, with the burden of debt and the rising cost of college education.

Consequently, their desire for financial stability and a steady income is a top priority. Understanding this key aspect can be instrumental in motivating and engaging Gen Z employees.

While millennials often prioritize freedom and work-life balance, Gen Z places a higher value on financial security. This distinction between the two generations is essential to recognize when developing strategies to motivate and retain Gen Z talent.

By acknowledging their financial concerns and addressing them proactively, leaders can foster an environment that aligns with their expectations.

While Gen Z appreciates money, they often have other expectations about the job market and what they can achieve, so once they have the expectation right, they can work better.

What Motivates Gen Z: Authenticity

Gen Z has grown up in a world where they feel let down by the system and authority, which can be pretty hard to deal with.

They are skeptical of authority and can easily detect inauthenticity. To build trust and attract their loyalty, it is essential to foster a company culture that values transparency, empathy, and genuine care for their well-being.

For Generation Z, their work company is more than just a source of income, but an entity that aligns with their values, so it makes sense that they want to work in a space where their ideas aren’t diminished and minimized. 

Motivates Gen Z

Flexibility Comes With Boundaries 

While Gen Z appreciates flexibility in the workplace, it’s crucial to establish clear boundaries that set a balance between work and life. Help them understand the limits of what is possible within your company’s framework. 

Letr says they need to go to a doctor’s appointment; that would be totally fine, but what would you think about then taking some time off just to see their favorite show?

Most of these people are just entering the workforce and still need to learn what is acceptable when it comes to a corporate job.

By setting realistic expectations, you can avoid misunderstandings and create an environment where both parties thrive.

What Motivates Gen Z: Transparency and Recognition

Gen Z craves transparency and wants to see how their work contributes to the overall success of the company; they want to feel important and like a key component in the organization.

Regularly communicate their impact and share results, as this will motivate them to go the extra mile. Recognize their innovative ideas and show them that their contributions matter. When they feel appreciated, they become more invested in the growth of the business.

Embracing the Gen Z Workforce

To thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape, it is crucial to adapt to the needs of the Gen Z workforce and let them improve your organization with the unique skills they bring to the business.

By understanding their motivations, demonstrating authenticity, providing flexibility within boundaries, aligning goals, and offering transparency and recognition, we can create a work environment that inspires and motivates Gen Z employees.

Are you ready to embrace Gen Z and unlock their full potential? Contact us today to hire your new innovative team; let’s build a workplace where both our businesses and our employees flourish.