How Can an Employer Effectively Motivate Its Z Workers?

In the frame of quantitative research, we analyzed the main motivation of Z generation in case of working. The word motivation - or incentive, inspiration - originates from the Latin word “movere,” which means to move, movement (Klein and Klein, 2008).

Motivation provides an explanation for the observable behavior of people. The understanding of the various motivational theories and tools is necessary for the selection of the best incentives and drivers ensuring the most efficient solution in case of employees as well. From the aspect of employer branding and management theory, it is important to know that performance is nothing but the product of abilities multiplied by motivation (Tothne, 2004). The result of a well-designed incentive plan is the performance expected by the organization and the satisfaction of employees. Leaders are able to have an influence on this, and with the proper range of motivational tools, they are able to generate an efficient stimulation in order to achieve the desired results (Gondor, 2003). Motivation theories were first studied to a deeper extent after the 17th century, and the most popular theories regarding consumer behavior and consumption psychology were drafted in the 20th century (Kophazi, 2007; Toth, 2009).

After the elaboration of content theories - Maslow, Herzberg - process theories were developed, Vroom, for example, revealed that it is important that workers should feel that they are able to solve the assigned task, and receive a reward for the performed work, which will appeal to them, and provide a motivation throughout the performance of tasks. Furthermore, he also emphasized that during a work process the factors driving a particular person must be taken into account, and the incentive system must be elaborated accordingly. It is important that performance should have to be measurable since that is the only way of providing accurate reward (Garda, 2009; Gonda, 2013).

The efficiency of external rewarding is questioned now by the motivation 3.0 theory. Pink proved that not only biologic and external rewarding can serve as motivation. He highlighted the fact that motivation can also be counterproductive in terms of efficiency; he compared reward to caffeine that keeps people at a fast pace only for a few hours, but after the effect is gone, things will get worse (Pink, 2010). Pink emphasized the importance of internal motives and their motivational impact on the efficiency and productivity of work. Trough it is not well known in Hungary, a number of companies in the United States of America apply the results-only working environment (ROWE) concept successfully (Howell, 2000).

The range of HR tools which can be applied effectively in case of the various generations is important from the point of view of employer branding. Our results reveal that the most important driver for generation Z is still a high salary, although promotion opportunities and the promise of a good team, good atmosphere also came close to the top. The results of the quantitative research are in accordance with the conclusions of the qualitative research, where during the discussions about how they select their workplace, the first factor mentioned by respondents was the payment as well, and the most frequently mentioned drivers also included a good working atmosphere, attractive environment, and a good team, where they feel good while performing their job.

"Die results of the qualitative analysis show that fringe benefits and more free time also serve as great motivational factors, being on top of the preference list. While these were also important in the quantitative research, they were not perceived as the most important ones.

A creative working environment and the opportunity to implement their own ideas seemed to be more important than a good cafeteria system (Table 6.1).

"Die opinion of experts also confirms the conclusions of our research that even though the salary is important for the younger generations, it is not enough to retain members of this generation at a certain workplace. The employer brand is becoming more and more important for them, and consequently, their desire to be proud of working for that particular company. A pleasant atmosphere and development

Table 6.1 Ranking of Proper Motivation Tools



Higher salary


Opportunity for promotion at the workplace


Opportunity for a career abroad


Greater independence in decisions


More free time, less work


Opportunity to implement own ideas


To work in a good team


Opportunities to take part in training sessions, professional development courses


Other fringe benefits (cafeteria)


Modern, creative working environment


and career opportunities are also important, as well as the fact that they should enjoy their job. If they are satisfied with these factors, there is a chance that they might spend longer time at a workplace (Kissne, 2014).

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