Gen Z in the workplace: How to attract Gen Z talent and keep them engaged

To all the Millennials reading this post, here’s a flash news: Generation Z, or Gen Z, currently makes up 30% of the world population and is expected to make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025. Yes, you have our permission to feel old.

And for all the Gen Z butterflies skimming through this introduction: thank you for joining the workforce, and for all the changes you are pioneering so fiercely.

When it comes to Gen Zers joining the workforce, some would argue that Gen Z is not as hard-working and dedicated generation as the previous generations (and media headlines like this one I created ‘bare minimum Mondays’ — Gen Z’s latest low-effort work trend certainly don’t help)一but the reality is that they are trying to change the established corporate indoctrinations, prioritizing their mental and physical health, all to maximize productivity and performance. Whether you like it or not, Gen Z talent is changing employee demographics, but, moreover, it’s changing the workplace by questioning HR strategies and organizational values.

Knowing all of this, if you wish to run a successful business, it’s time to adjust your company’s values, principles and strategies to Gen Z, and create a workplace where Gen Zers can spread their wings and fly.

To help you on that journey, we will share what motivates Gen Z in the workplace and this generation’s views on work ethic. Shortly put: here’s everything you need to consider when creating a Gen Z-friendly workplace.

A little information on Gen Z before we begin

Gen Z has been the talk of the town for a while now. Not just because they are dominating the social media realm (especially TikTok) but because they are workers born from 1997 to 2012 who are determined to change the principles of corporate America.

Members of Gen Z are racially and ethnically diverse, more than any previous generation. They are also digital natives who can’t really contemplate the world without smartphones. They’ve seen the full effect of racism and discrimination, sexual harassment, and gun violence and are the ones to play crucial roles in fighting the system that allows such wickedness to happen.

They can question organizational values because they joined the workforce when unemployment was at its lowest (as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), and the demand was high. That’s why they know they are “holding all the power” and have the reputation of being high-maintenance and entitled. In fact, according to BusinessInsider, Gen Z treats life as a full-time job and their work as a side gig, treating life as if it was all about fulfillment and balance. Mind-boggling, right?

And we could go on and on about Gen Z’s work ethic, but one thing is for sure: they *will not* sacrifice their well-being just to hold on to a job title. They look for more in life and business.

Knowing the aforementioned, it’s time you step up your HR game if you want to attract and retain Gen Z talent. And here’s how you can successfully answer the question “what motivates Gen Z in the workplace”:

1. Gen Z is always looking for value and purpose.

It’s pretty simple: when Gen Z talent is applying for a job, they want to know there is room to leave their mark.

They also need to know there is a purpose to such a job position and understand clearly how they can contribute to an organization.

What does this mean for your company?

When creating a job ad, you need to clarify how they will contribute to your organization, why this position matters, and how their skills and knowledge will add value to the company. If you do so, you will catch the eye of enthusiastic Gen Zers.

Note: Another thing to remember is that Gen Z in the workplace knows no job loyalty. According to a recent study, Gen Zers are job-hoppers and are not afraid to leave an unfulfilling job even if they haven’t found a new job position.

2. Gen Zers prioritize personal values.

If you want to ensure members of Gen Z join your team, you need to make the job ad transparent and clear when it comes to communicating your company’s goals and compensation. On top of that, make sure this generation’s members understand what success looks like within your company, and what is expected of them. And remember: Gen Z prioritizes personal values, work/life balance, and well-being, so it’s essential to highlight that they won’t have to live at work, as all job responsibilities respect their boundaries and personal life.

One more thing to note is that members of Gen Z believe in doing only what’s in their job description, not more or less. So, don’t expect Gen Z to work extra hours, not even if the deadline is getting close.

3. Gen Zers *love* career growth.

And who doesn’t?!

But if you want to retain Gen Z talent and keep them engaged, let them know how they can professionally grow, not just by moving up the company ladder. They value you taking the time to build an individual career plan and are no strangers to performance reviews. This generation likes to know their strengths and weaknesses and where they can find room for growth.

Kadar can help you retain Gen Z employees!

You can develop individual career paths for each employee based on their current skills, performance, and job level.

You can also offer Gen Z talent room for development, thanks to our fully integrated library with dozens of courses for various teams and company departments. And the best thing of all? You can customize the learning library according to your company’s needs. So, if you notice that a Gen Z employee desires to develop a skill, just assign courses to that person in a couple of clicks.

Book a demo with our team to see a glimpse of the Kadar experience!

4. Gen Z values transparency AT ALL TIMES.

In times when your company is facing uncertainty due to recession or any other poor economic situation, you need to be brave enough to share the organization’s struggles and what is expected from your talent. And don’t be afraid to do so, as Gen Z in the workplace is open to helping and would, most likely, offer their skills and knowledge to “save your company”. They like to be heroes. 🙂

5. Gen Z values hybrid or remote working options.

As you might have suspected, this generation is all about working smarter, not harder, which may come across as a lack of work ethic. In reality, Gen Zers in the workplace prioritize other aspects of their lives, which affects commuting to work. They prefer to work remotely and, every once in a while, stop by the office. 

So, if you want to create a Gen Z-friendly workplace, find ways to integrate Gen Zers into your company and company culture. Some of the ways you can do so are:

  • Ensure they come to the office by hosting social events and parties.
  • Give them “a spotlight” during a meeting, and highlight how their presence would give them exposure to the top management.
  • Offer them in-person training so they can develop skills and knowledge (and meet their colleagues while doing so).


Gen Z in the workplace is all about ruffling feathers and making a profound impact in the workforce. They are redefining success in business and their personal life.

So, if you want to attract and retain Gen Z talent, keep an eye out for the 5 things we mentioned in this post. You can also consider this article to be your first guide to surviving Gen Z’s way of thinking. 🙂