Bridging the water

Co create to learn & experience


Results Workshop Generation Z is Coming: go with their flow

Durban, Young WISA Conference, 21 October 2019

A workshop titled Generation Z is coming: go with their flow was conducted on October 21st  at the 2019 Young Wisa Conference in Durban, South Africa. Workshop leaders were Nkosinathi Buthelezi (eThekwini Water and Sanitation), Londiwe Dlamini and Claudia Peters (both from World Water Academy). Eight participants attended the workshop consisting of one member within the Generation Z category and the rest being Generation Y (Millennials).  The goal of the workshop was to collectively identify what is most important for Generation Z and young people in general in the work environment and to develop guidelines to keep young people motivated in their jobs. The results of the workshop are the following:

The top ten of what is important for Generation Z:

  1. Growth
  2. Salary
  3. Flexibility
  4. Sustainability
  5. Work-life balance
  6. Career opportunities
  7. Trust
  8. Communication
  9. Impact
  10. Recognition

A guideline to what water organizations can do to keep generation Z/young people motivated in the workplace is detailed below based on the outcomes of the workshop conducted at the WISA conference:

The guideline is divided in 4 different topics that were pre-selected by the workshop presenters. The topics are: Work Culture, Personal Development, Work content/scope and Reward. The objective was to gather a consensus within the group of young people on the positive and negative attributes within each topic. The positive attributes represented what was important to young people and the negative attributes represented what young people would like to eliminate.  

Work Culture: Create an environment where people can interact positively with each other.

Positives Negatives

–        Young professionals get away/ break away

–        Year and functions

–        Manager’s awards

–        Sports day

–        Engaging young professionals in decisions about organization growth

–        Having technical forums

–        Exhibitions

–        Mentorship programmes (i.e. take a girl child to school)

–        Micro management

–        Discrimination

–        Non supportive

Personal development: Companies must have a structured and implemented mentorship programme for all levels of development

Positives Negatives

–        Mentorship (assigned and dedicated mentor in the work environment)

–        Funded further studies aligned with company goals/mission

–        Engage in decision making

–        Delegate

–        Benchmarking

–        Active to individual personal development plans and training

–        Performance appraisal

–        Talent management

–        Favouritism

Work content/scope: The youth wants to be given responsibility and kept motivated through a rotative environment that will enhance innovative mind and change the status quo of the organization

Positives Negatives

–        Stay relevant

–        Responsibility

–        Rotating work content

–        Include conferences and workshops to broaden ones horizons

–        Identify young stars

–        Repetitive work

–        No innovation

–        Status quo remains (no new ideas)

Reward: any form of reward is important to keep employees motivated however, the rewards should be well managed and for such that it doesn’t create competition amongst employees.

Positives Negatives

–        Share structures

–        Performance bonus

–        Succession planning/structure

–        Time rewards (leave)

–        Well done (manager must recognize)

–        Gamification

–  Too much emphasis on competition rather than cooperation

In conclusion, the workshop was highly interactive with involved young participants. The results from this workshop will be used during the WISA 2020 Conference.

If you want more information or if you have questions or suggestions, please contact Claudia Peters:

Bridging the Water is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme.