AcademicsGen Z in the workplace - where lies their motivation?

The fact that we grew up with those technologies doesn’t make us lazy, but quite the contrary.

My generation can be defined as digital natives, we were born in the beginning of the internet age and we basically grew up with a screen in our hands. But is this really a bad thing when it comes to our work ethic?

I would like to argue that the fact that we grew up with these technologies has made us more innovative and more creative with these technological tools.

At Work

I remember a story from a previous manager when we spoke about this particular topic which was quite interesting. He told me that when he worked in human resources, he had to recruit a new member for his company. One of the candidates was a girl of 19 years old, with nearly no working experience.

After an impressive interview and a long time of thinking, he chose to give her a chance into the company’s marketing team. A few weeks later, his manager came up to him telling how happy he was with the new girl. She was in fact working on three different screens and using multiple tools at the same time. Her creativity and her innovative spirit made her known as one of the best in her department in just a few months. She was lucky to have such an open minded team that let her do what she thought was best. However, it is not very common in a workplace to trust the younger generation.


Gen Z at working place, Hotel Insitute Montreux


Reaching us

Today’s companies need to focus on how to manage and attract GenZ, as we are the workforce of tomorrow. GenZ’s motivational factors are different than older generations. For example in the 80’s, success was defined by having a luxurious car or a huge house. This generation is a lot more focused on financial stability. The financial crisis has marked this generation by seeing their parents struggling or being affected financially.

By seeing their parents having a hard time keeping the house together, my generation understood and learned that having a huge house or having a luxurious life doesn’t mean that you are financially safe. Consequently, money is of course a motivational factor like every other human, but it is not the primary one. Which means that they will be less driven by money than previous generations when it comes to looking for a job.

Gen Z will be less driven by money when it comes to looking for a job.

A challenge for GenZ in the workplace is the independence of this generation. In fact, GenZ prefer to work alone, rather than in a group setting. This could be due to social media, which has reduced the amount of time spent with people, and has increased the amount of time spent alone. But this doesn’t mean that they cannot work together. on the contrary, they have more diverse ideas and more creativity with all the tools that have been created.

A specific example could be our university, Hotel Institute Montreux. The teachers make it mandatory to work in a group in order for us to learn how to combine our ideas that we have because they know we would rather do it alone and be done with it.

Work Environment

Finally, one of the last challenges I would like to approach is the work place environment and layout.

I am absolutely terrified by the fact that I could one day work in a cubicle.

Personally, I am absolutely terrified by the fact that I could one day work in a cubicle. A confined setting doesn’t allow creativity. In my opinion, a good work place should be flexible on how each individual is the most productive and creative and should offer the possibility of choosing your work environment.


Gen Z at working place, Hotel Insitute Montreux


As an alternative, the workplace should be inspired by the trend of digital nomads. Having a simple table or desk with practically no walls, and having “cool” places to recharge your batteries, hang out with your colleagues, or even by holding a meeting in an open space. For me, every workplace should be inspired by what google is trying to achieve by how they managed the layout and what it brings to the staff’s creativity.

Oliver Aubry, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from Netherlands.

Oliver Aubry is a current Hotel Institute Montreux student working towards a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management.

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