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Creating Cultures that Gen Z Want to be Part Of

Creating Cultures that Gen Z Want to be Part Of

September 17, 2023

Generation Z (Gen Z) represents the future of business, and understanding their preferences can help organisations build a thriving workforce. This generation is driving workplace change that reflects social changes – but in what direction is that change heading?

Recently, at the inaugural ICMS Employability Symposium, a panel of industry leaders and a representative from the Gen Z generation gathered to discuss what Gen Z is looking for in a workplace culture.

The panel featured:

The Gen Z Advantage: A Growth Mindset and Entrepreneurship

Regardless of the generation, workplace challenges will always persist. However, Gen Z offers unique qualities that make them stand out as great employees.

This digital generation often embody a growth mindset, which is highly desirable for companies aiming to innovate and adapt to a rapidly changing world. They generally don’t shy away from looking online for training when faced with learning a new skill. They are comfortable using platforms like TikTok and YouTube to teach themselves key skills. They build their ‘soft skills’ by listening to podcasts and following their favourite influencer mentors on social media. They consume news and stay-up-to date on industry trends in the same way.

Additionally, many Gen Z’s pursue side gigs, showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit.

What Gen Z Workers Want

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, one thing remains constant: the need to engage and retain talent.

To create a workplace culture that Gen Z craves, consider the following factors:

  • Clear Growth Plans: Gen Z employees want to see a projected growth plan, which keeps them engaged and motivated.
  • Investment in Training: Companies should invest time in training and coaching to help Gen Z employees reach their full potential.
  • Flexibility: Gen Z values work-life balance and seeks flexible hours to accommodate extracurricular activities.
  • Outcome-Based Deliverables: Rather than focusing solely on time-based metrics, Gen Z prefers outcome-based performance evaluations.
  • Values and Ethics: Companies should demonstrate values and ethics that align with Gen Z’s priorities.
  • Social and Environmental Consciousness: Social and environmental responsibility should be inherent in company practices.
  • Meaningful Work: Gen Z places a higher value on meaningful and purpose-driven work over hefty salaries.
  • Social Benefits: Perks like free breakfast, lunch, and social functions that encourage cross-departmental connections are highly appreciated.
  • Wellness Benefits: Healthcare and mental health support are crucial for Gen Z.
  • Safe and Fun Spaces: Providing physical and mental safety, as well as shared and breakout spaces for enjoyment, enhances the workplace experience.

What Defines a Great Workplace for Gen Z?

According to Ben Hancock, a Gen Z intern, a great workplace should feel comfortable, “almost like a home”.

He emphasised that company culture is often more important than a high salary.

Gen Z: Shaping the Future of Business

Gen Z is actively reshaping the business landscape. They readily embrace AI, share their skills, hold managers and companies to higher standards, and prioritise continuous learning.

Their consumer behaviour is influenced by ethics and corporate responsibility, making them a driving force for change.

Advice for Gen Z

Panelists shared valuable advice for Gen Z:

Vernon Cheung: “Don’t be afraid; go with your gut. It’s okay to embrace your passion.”

Stuart Martin: “Keep your hobbies and interests alive beyond work; you never know where they could lead.”

Elizabeth Picone: “Skills are transferable; you never know when you will need them.”

Networking was also highlighted as crucial, as you never know when your path might cross with someone who can open new opportunities.


Creating a workplace culture that Gen Z wants to be part of involves embracing their unique qualities, understanding their challenges, and aligning with their values.

Gen Z is not just the workforce of the future; they are actively shaping it.

By heeding their preferences and insights, organisations can build environments where both Gen Z and the company thrive together.

For more information on the ICMS First Annual Employability Symposium, click here.


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