20 – the golden age of demotivation

20 year olds are the least motivated workers in Britain a new study has revealed.


Key work turn-offs that make 20 the golden age of demotivation include little work/life balance (33%), too much stress (25%), workplace bureaucracy (22%), conflict and tension (20%). Scoring just 5.9 out of a maximum ten, these young Gen Z-ers are also demotivated by job insecurity and uncertainty, and the team they work with.



The UK’s most motivated workers are 51 years old, scoring 7.7 out of a ten on average. These enthusiastic workers are driven by flexible working options work that stretch and challenge them, opportunities to learn and develop their, or their team’s expertise.

‘The Motivation at Work report’ by Full Potential Group, a specialist in high-impact leadership development, team performance and coaching, surveyed 2,000 workers aged between 20-65 years old to identify the most and least motivated workers in Britain. Working parents were also shown to have some of the highest levels of motivation, scoring 6.7 for working mothers and 6.6 for working fathers, while lower ranking bosses showed higher levels of motivation at 6.8, compared to their senior bosses at 6.7.


Top workforce motivators

Researchers found that for all age groups the biggest motivators at work are flexible working options (67%), work that stretches and challenges (46%), and the freedom to make your own decisions (44%) – this rose to 68% for working mums as the most important motivator.

Interestingly for bosses, employee perks weren’t ranked in the top three motivators at work, such as salary (33%) duvet days or days off for birthdays 35%), promotion (28%) and company benefits including car, pension and healthcare (24%).


Biggest demotivators

The biggest demotivators for everyone surveyed were lack of work/life balance (33%), the inability to work remotely (26%) and job uncertainty (25%). While other big turn offs include a lack of recognition or reward (22%), the team they work with or manage (21%), and stress and no flexible working time (18% equally).


Carole Gaskell, Managing Director, Full Potential Group said:

“People might be surprised that 20 year olds were found to be the least motivated workers in Britain, but many bosses and leaders are getting it wrong by trying to motivate their young workforce in the same way that they motivate themselves, assuming they are identical to them. But times have changed and now the younger generation is less motivated by money or material awards but more by autonomy and a work/life balance.”


Author: Editorial Team

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