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Meet Our Newest Workforce Segment: Generation Z
Rachael Lewandowski
February 8, 2017

The most tech-savvy generation yet, Generation Z, is the next group of employees joining the workforce - arriving May 2017, as soon as this first class of employees tosses up their graduation caps. With this generation practically handed an iPhone at birth, it’s easy to assume they are lazy and tech-obsessed, making them less-than-ideal employees. However, recent research from shows this is not necessarily the case.

Ready to drive their own careers

In fact, Generation Z shows a highly desirable attitude that you won’t want to miss out on. Out of the surveyed Gen Z-ers ages 15-20, 76% reported that they believe they drive their own career forward (compared to 70% across all cohorts surveyed). This motivated group has a “whatever it takes” attitude. For example, 67% said they would relocate for a job, compared to only 52% across all generations.

Motivated by purpose, but need to feel financially secure

Gen Z also has money on their mind, with 70% motivated by dollar signs. This is likely due to most growing up through the 2008 recession, wanting to create a secure future, and have some extra cushion for any curveballs that life might toss their way. Although this group has money as a motivator, they also want their work to have meaning. Gen Z said work should have a greater purpose than salary, 76% of them in fact. This stat is up a shocking 29% compared to the millennial generation surveyed (who were the original pavers of a purpose-driven workplace). Additionally, 58% of Generation Z-ers surveyed said they were willing to work nights and weekends (compared to 45% of millennials), showing that if their work is fulfilling, they’re more willing to go the extra mile and roll their sleeves up.

Entrepreneurs at heart

Some challenges for companies hiring this new generation could be their entrepreneurial spirit. Almost half of Gen Z would like to own their own businesses, compared to only 32% across all generations. Although the go-getter, self-starter attitude is certainly an asset, it could also be detrimental as employees attempt their own business ventures and are less loyal to their employers over time.

This change in mindset as Generation Z filters into the workplace in the next half decade will result in necessary changes to keep this new cohort engaged. Employee engagement and retention is highly correlated with employee recognition and employee rewards - in fact, Bersin by Deloitte shares that companies with employee rewards programs in place reduce annual voluntary turnover rates by 30%. 

Looking for a meaningful and effective way to reward employees of all generations? Check out our wide variety of experiential employee rewards, like hot air balloon rides, kitesurfing lessons, weekend getaways or intro to pottery classes, on our Experiences page.

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