How To Motivate And Inspire Gen Z In The Workplace

Just a few short weeks ago, Fortune published an eye-opening interview with LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky with a word of warning for employers; “Motivate and inspire Gen Z, or risk being left behind.” As companies compete for talent, focusing on attracting and retaining promising young employees is crucial for future corporate success.

Generational data collected by LinkedIn shows the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted workplace attitudes and caused many professionals to jump ship from one career prospect to another. Mainly driven by Generation Z, this “Great Reshuffle” has had a profound impact across every industry and shows that retaining Gen Z employees is “not as straightforward as it once was with previous generations.”

Business News Daily notes that “Generation Z already makes up 24% of the global workforce, and that’s only going to grow larger in the coming years.” In other words, to remain viable, employers must not only strive to understand this young cohort, but they must also provide leadership development opportunities designed specifically for Generation Z, such as the innovative services provided through our Looking Forward Lab.

Here are some tips on how to motivate and inspire Gen Z in the workplace.

Be Flexible

As we mentioned earlier, workplace attitudes have changed in recent years. While the increased reliance on remote work since the start of the pandemic has presented unique challenges for Gen Z employees, the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) Annual State of Gen Z study found that 44% of Gen Z members polled would not work five days a week in the office. This means that employers need to be flexible and adjust their expectations. Ideally, opting for a hybrid schedule may be a wise solution for retaining and properly upskilling young talent. It can also help to prevent burnout and establish a sustainable work-life balance that is highly valued by Gen Z employees, according to Raconteur.


Born roughly between 1995 and 2012, Generation Z has a strong desire for social connection and an innate understanding of the digital world. Utilizing technology is an easy way to spark engagement and build a strong workplace community, alongside in-person mentorship and opportunities for collaboration. It’s also important to note that members of Generation Z prefer to work for companies that promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB). In recently published research on Generation Z by Stanford News, Stanford scholar Roberta Katz notes that a typical Gen Zer is highly social and ​​deeply cares about others. They also have a “greater appreciation for diversity and the importance of finding their own unique identities.” Therefore, creating a workplace culture that values DEIAB is essential.


Generation Z values leadership development, and they will be loyal to companies that are willing to invest in their growth. Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group has spent the past two decades delivering innovative and interactive approaches to leadership development for early career professionals, as well as providing comprehensive tools for those hiring and managing them. Through the multi-platform company, Looking Forward Lab, is harnessing the energy and passion of Gen Z by providing curated in-person cohort learning and training, online courses group and individual coaching via tools designed at the intersection of need and interests. We also offer a community to network with and support each next step of learning. Visit our website for more information, or contact us and let’s talk!


Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm, as well as Looking Forward Lab, which offers a full-service learning engagement model focused on Gen Z workplace development and support for their managers.

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