Generation Z ‘more motivated by teamwork than the average worker’

17 Aug 2017 By Marianne Calnan

HR urged to ‘use technology to its fullest’ to engage younger employees

Members of so-called generation Z are more motivated by teamwork, but less driven by flexible working, than the average UK employee, research has revealed.

In a survey by Vodafone of 3,019 UK employees, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of generation Z – who are also known as post-millennials and are generally regarded as being being born after 1995 – said their workplace team mattered to them, compared with 64 per cent of all workers.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent of generation Z said training boosted their productivity, but only 56 per cent of all those surveyed agreed. The younger generation also voiced a preference for high-quality technology, with 61 per cent believing that the quality of devices available made them more productive, compared with 55 per cent of respondents overall.

On the other hand, just over half (56 per cent) of generation Z workers said flexible working made them more productive, less than the average of 71 per cent. Workplace culture was ranked as important by 55 per cent of generation Z, roughly the same as the UK average.

Debra Corey, group reward director at Reward Gateway, said employers should strive to make teamwork and technology as interconnected as possible, particularly for younger generations. “Use technology to its fullest by finding ways to incorporate it into everything you do with your workforce, and provide formal or informal opportunities for employees to work as teams,” she said. “Leverage technology again to help you with this, using team messaging platforms such as Slack and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.”

Corey said HR could take this one step further by rewarding staff through online recognition programmes. “These could be discounts on their everyday shopping, discounts on gyms – anything to help them make their disposable income go further as they start out in their career, when they often have to pay back student loans,” she said.

However, she warned that unless employers build their HR programmes around employees’ needs and the company’s purpose, mission and values, individuals will not feel engaged.

The survey coincides with the release of this year’s A-level results. The proportion of A* and A grades rose overall for the first time in six years to reach 26.3 per cent – a rise of half a percentage point compared with 2016. For the first time in at least seven years, boys outperformed girls in achieving top grades, with 26.6 per cent gaining A* and A grades compared with 26.1 per cent of girls.

This latest set of results includes qualifications that have not been taken as modules, with students in England required to sit all their exams for many subjects at the end of two years’ study. Some of the qualifications also have a smaller coursework element than in previous years.

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