| 11 June, 2021 | 6 Min Read

What motivates Gen Z in the workplace? 6 best practices

With Gen Z as the new workforce, managers are tasked with the responsibility to bring the best out of them. Here are 6 things to get Gen Z employees motivated and shine at their work.

Having watched their parents struggle during the 2008 recession, Gen Z-ers are driven to establish themselves to be more financially stable and secure. They have unique characteristics that are different from Millennials and other generations before them.

Therefore, managers of Gen Z-ers are required to adapt and think differently if they're to retain and bring the best out of this new workforce. Here are 6 ways to motivate Gen Z-ers in the workplace and increase their productivity.

What motivates Generation Z?

1. Provide regular feedback

Gen Z-ers desire regular feedback on their performance. This trait arises because they are accustomed to receiving real-time updates from their circle of friends and being in touch with the happenings all around them. Thanks to the presence of social media and Google search engine, Gen Z-ers have any information they desire at their fingertips so they expect to know how well they're doing in real-time. 

If you're holding out feedback for an annual performance review, you will find it challenging to keep their morale and productivity up. 

Swap out annual performance review for regular performance feedback. Communicate with your Gen Z employees and let them know how they're doing currently and what areas they can improve on. This will make them feel valued and will motivate them to be better. When you communicate your expectations and perspective, they can tailor their performance to fit the current requirements.

2. Promote interpersonal relationships 

While Gen Z-ers might spend most of their time using online communication with one another, they crave physical interactions from time to time as it fosters and strengthens bonds. Generation Z is primarily referred to as an informal generation and so placing official distance between managers and Gen Z employees can create a tense environment for Gen Z-ers to work in. 

To effectively motivate Gen Z-ers at work, engage them in face-to-face conversations, promote a physical relationship between them and bridge the gap between employees and the employer. 

For example, Amazon has 13 affinity groups, also known as employee resource groups, which bring Amazon employees together across businesses and locations around the world.

Moreover, office design plays a big role in this. The desk layout, cafeteria or the common space with the right set-up can boost social interactions and collaboration around the company. Company parties, team building activities or happy hours can also help to create a fun and relaxed environment.

Grove HR - how to motivate gen z employees - Promote interpersonal relationships (V2)

Inspiring office design promotes interpersonal relationships and social interactions

3. Implement a flexible work setting to reduce burnout 

As digital natives, Gen Z-ers are used to the convenience of the online world. They don't really care much for excessive stress and they love getting things done conveniently, so it is no wonder why "Workation" has become one of the latest trends in the workplace. Taking work outside the confines of the traditional workplace has seen an increase in work done among Gen Z-ers. 

The ability to work remotely has also proven to be an effective way to keep Gen Z-ers motivated to work. Not having to confine to the traditional 9-5 has provided a sense of freedom to gen Z employees and this flexible work setting has enabled them to balance their work-life whilst also avoiding burnout. 

Implementing flexible work patterns including work from home or hybrid work from home can keep Gen Z-ers motivated and healthy enough to be productive in their work. 

  • 4. Provide career growth opportunities

If there's anything Gen Z-ers detest, it is stagnant. They are a constantly evolving generation and they desire a job that suits their need to develop and grow. Gen Z-ers are ambitious and they're always on the lookout for advancement in their careers, so they can be easily motivated if you provide a pathway to career development. 

According to a survey carried out by ServiceNow, 37% of the respondents stated that personal growth and learning opportunities are their top priorities when looking for a job. To easily motivate Gen Z employees, providing a clear career development path by:

  • Setting both achievable and ambitious OKRs

  • Having frequent one-on-one career check-ins

  • Conducting skill training, coaching and mentoring 

  • 5. Embrace social media and technology at the workplace

Social Media and technology is right at the crux of a typical Gen Z-er. It is integrated into their lifestyle and as digital natives, they expect it everywhere, including at work. 

Let technology be their motivation at work. Startups like Hiip Asia - a leading influencer marketing platform, have adopted HR software to eliminate paperwork and manual processes.  And at Grove HR, we implement different state-of-the-art platforms for different departments: Hubspot for marketing, Jira for engineering, Mixpanel for the product team. Not only do we boost team productivity but also give Gen-Zers the thing they excel most at.    

Grove HR - how to motivate gen z employees - Embrace Social Media & Technology at workplace V2

Embrace technology transformation at the workplace


  • 6. Promote diversity and inclusion

It is no mystery how much diversity means to this present generation. Generation Z is the most accepting and diversified generation. They find it inspiring to be able to share ideas and interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. 

By promoting diversity and inclusivity in your company, you're encouraging gen Z-ers to be more interested in your company’s affairs. You become a more attractive prospect to gen Z talents and gen Z employees will be happy with the vibe in the workplace. 

Understand them to motivate them 

Generation Z enters the workforce with a new dynamic and mode of operation. It is crucial for managers and employers to understand what this new workforce is like, how to communicate with Gen Z at work and how best to manage them to increase productivity in the company. 

With Gen Z-ers taking over the workspace, Baby Boomers and Millennials need to figure out ways to keep the young blood motivated to work. By providing regular feedback, promoting interpersonal relationships and providing a clear pathway to career development, managers can empower Gen Z-ers to perform at their full potential.

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Reduce manual effort with automated HR processes

  • Reduce manual effort with automated HR processes
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