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What Motivates Generation Z in the Workplace: Insights from OECD Study

The research conducted by the OECD holds significant importance for understanding the dynamics of the modern workforce, particularly when it comes to Generation Z. As Generation Z emerges as the largest generation in the workforce, it becomes crucial for employers to gain insights into their motivations and preferences. By conducting in-depth studies, such as the one on career readiness, the OECD provides valuable insights into what drives and motivates Generation Z employees. This knowledge is essential for employers to attract, engage, and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive job market.

In this article, we will explore the findings of the OECD study on what motivates Generation Z in the workplace. Understanding these key motivators can help employers create an environment that appeals to Generation Z employees, ultimately fostering a motivated and productive workforce.

Opportunities for Personal Growth and Development

According to the OECD study, opportunities for personal growth and development were cited as the top motivator for Gen Z. This indicates that a significant portion of this generation values jobs that provide them with the chance to grow and expand their skills. It is interesting to note that a substantial 44% of respondents expressed their desire for a job that not only challenges them but also allows them to continue learning and developing new skills. This highlights the importance of creating a work environment that fosters continuous learning and professional development for Gen Z individuals.

According to the OECD study, opportunities for personal growth and development were cited as the top motivator for Gen Z

Work-Life Balance

One of the key priorities for Gen Z individuals was maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In addition to having a flexible work schedule, the ability to work remotely, and generous vacation time, they also emphasized the importance of having a supportive work environment that promotes work-life balance. This includes having access to wellness programs, opportunities for personal development, and a culture that values work-life integration. It is clear that Gen Z recognizes the significance of achieving a harmonious balance between their professional and personal lives, and they prioritize employers who understand and support this need.

Social Impact

The study found that Gen Z is highly motivated by social impact. They want to work for a company that is making a positive impact on society and the environment. This indicates that Gen Z individuals prioritize finding employment opportunities that align with their values and allow them to contribute towards creating a better world. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to understand and cater to this motivation.

The study found that Gen Z is highly motivated by social impact

Job Security

Job security is a crucial aspect that motivates Gen Z in their career choices. They seek a job that not only offers stability, but also provides a clear and well-defined career path. In addition to these factors, competitive pay and attractive benefits are equally significant to them. Ensuring a sense of security in their employment, along with opportunities for growth and advancement, is a key consideration for Gen Z individuals as they navigate through their professional journey.

Collaboration and Teamwork

The study conducted also revealed that Gen Z, has expressed a strong preference for employment opportunities within an environment that fosters collaboration and teamwork. This finding highlights their inclination towards working collectively as a cohesive unit, driven by a shared purpose or objective.

The study showed that Gen Z wants to work in an environment that encourages collaboration and teamwork


This generation actively seeks out opportunities to work for organizations that not only recognize the significance of technology but also actively incorporate it into their operations to enhance overall effectiveness, streamline processes, and maximize output. Embracing technology is seen as a fundamental aspect of their ideal work experience, as they value its ability to optimize efficiency, boost productivity, and enable seamless collaboration. Therefore, companies that prioritize the integration of technology into their workflows are more likely to attract and retain Gen Z talent, as these individuals are driven and motivated by the prospect of working in an environment that aligns with their tech-forward mindset and values.

Diversity and Inclusion

Finally, it is important to note that Gen Z, highly values diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They actively seek out companies that not only acknowledge the importance of diversity but also actively promote inclusivity as a core value. This means that Gen Z individuals are looking for organizations that not only have a diverse workforce but also have policies and practices in place that ensure equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their background or identity. They believe that a diverse and inclusive work environment fosters creativity, innovation, and overall employee satisfaction. It is evident that this generation is pushing for positive change and is eager to be part of organizations that share their values and actively work towards creating a more inclusive society.

In conclusion, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study on career readiness has identified several key motivators for Generation Z in the workplace. These include opportunities for personal growth and development, work-life balance, social impact, job security, collaboration and teamwork, technology, and diversity and inclusion. Providing these motivators can contribute to creating a successful and motivated workforce. Companies can stay ahead of the competition and create a work environment that fosters growth, creativity, and productivity by prioritizing these motivators.