The Next Generation of American Workers: Gen Z Ranks Salary and Compensation, Work/Life Balance, and Opportunities for Advancement Among Top Motivators at Work, According to Snappy

Snappy, in partnership with Georgia Tech University Scheller College of Business and Penn State University, surveyed Gen Z to understand attitudes and motivators among the next generation of the American workforce

Gen Z employees seek hybrid work schedules and communicative, supportive managers; Report receiving meaningful gifts from their employers makes them feel recognized and valued

NEW YORK, NY, JULY 12, 2023 Today, Snappy, the award-winning gifting company, releases findings from Unwrapped: Snappy’s 2023 Gen Z Study, a study completed in collaboration with Georgia Tech University Scheller College of Business and Penn State University. The study examines how Gen Z thinks about their careers and what they need to be engaged participants in the American workforce. The report surveyed Gen Z students and employees affiliated with Georgia Tech University and Penn State University, ages 18-24.

Gen Z is comprised of people born between 1997 through 2012. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 13% of the American workforce is currently made up of Gen Z. And within the next two years, by 2025, Gen Z will account for about 27% of the global workforce, according to World Economic Forum


  • Gen Z students and employees were asked to rank their top career motivators. The top 5 motivators, in order of importance, to Gen Z are:
  1. Salary/compensation
  2. Work-life balance
  3. Opportunities for advancement
  4. Self-fulfillment
  5. Feeling a sense of belonging in their workplace
  • Gen Z desires flexibility in their work schedules, seeking opportunities to work in-person 63.5% of the time (or 3 out of 5 workdays) and work remotely 36.5% of the time (2 out of 5 workdays)
  • This trend is congruent with data uncovered by Snappy earlier this in 2023, which found younger workers are hungry for in-person collaboration, with 48.5% of 18-24-year-olds and 51.4% of 25-34-year-olds reporting they preferred to return to working in-person full time. Likewise, 29.4% of 18-24-year-olds and 28.2% of 25-34-year-olds reported they preferred a hybrid work environment, when surveyed in January 2023.
  • The most important attributes Gen Z seeks in a good manager are that they are communicative, supportive, and appreciative of their contributions at work
  • When it comes to what Gen Z seeks in their colleagues, whom they do not work directly with or are managed by, they want coworkers who are communicative, friendly, and appreciative
  • The bottom line: Being a good communicator and showing appreciation in the workplace are highly valued by Gen Z employees
  • When asked how Gen Z wished to be recognized for their contributions at work, receiving a gift was ranked as their top choice, with 1 in 3 respondents (37%) reporting gifts as their #1 choice for receiving employee recognition, and 2 in 3 respondents (61%) ranking gifts as either #1 or #2
  • Gen Z reports that gifting in the workplace makes a difference in their morale, engagement, and loyalty:
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (85%) reported “I feel like my contributions at work are recognized when I receive a gift” 
  • 7 out of 10 respondents (69%) reported “I feel like my opinion and point of view are valued when I receive a gift”
  • Gen Zers with professional work experience who have received a gift from their company report intending to stay with their employer 15% longer, on average, than those who have never received a gift from an employer 

For more information, and to start sharing delightful gifting experiences that deliver gratitude and joy, visit now for your employee and client gifting solutions.

Survey Methodology

Unwrapped: Snappy’s 2023 Gen Z Study captured responses from 630 Americans between March 14, 2023, and April 27, 2023; respondents were recruited based on demographics, including age and employment status, via an online sample distributed by Georgia Tech University Scheller College of Business and Penn State University.

About Snappy

Snappy is the award-winning, all-in-one gifting company that spreads joy, shares gratitude, and takes the guesswork out of gifting. 

Founded in 2015, Snappy was named one of Inc.’s fastest-growing companies in the Northeast in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Snappy is the trusted gifting partner to over 43% of Fortune 100 companies as well as thousands of individuals who use Snappy for personal gifting. Snappy has sent more than three million gifts worldwide.

Snappy thrives on connecting people and cultivating meaningful relationships through the power of gratitude and gifting. Our recipient-picks experience ensures gift-givers send the perfect gift every time, for everyone, on every occasion.

Snappy has been featured on Fortune’s "Best Small & Medium Workplaces," “Best Workplace for Millennials,” and “Best Workplace in Tech” lists.