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Meeting the Needs of Gen Z: Retaining & Inspiring Future Leaders

Dr Kate Allatt

20 September 2023

Dr Kate Allatt is an inspirational TEDx keynote speaker, trainer and internationally published author who specialises in resilience, health and wellbeing, adversity and high performing teams. Dr Kate inspires and motivates others by using her own lived experience from recovering from a rare condition, Locked-In Syndrome, after suffering a brainstem stroke aged 39 – a condition where you can think, feel and see normally, but cannot move your body. In this blog, Dr Kate discusses key traits within the Gen Z generation, what matters to them and why it’s important to implement these into your organisation.


I’m Gen X, which makes me a sceptical, independent type: I got myself home from school, made my own after school snacks, and entertained myself in my house, didn’t have after school classes and built dams in my local stream.

I absolutely believe that my independence, resourcefulness and over-achieving nature helped me cope with the huge curve ball that would later drastically change my life and career forever, but my losses didn’t end there.

In 2016, I lost my registered charity, after five years. Then, my keynote speaking business was announced, just three days after Lockdown 1, whilst going through a costly divorce. So I had to dig deep again – just call me the comeback kid.

In my 40s and 50s, I have gravitated towards working for clients where I could achieve a work-life balance, flexible schedules and telecommuting with minimal supervision, sceptical to authority, rules and procedures. Although, I have to say that our use of Microsoft Teams has overly dominated our workplaces to the detriment of our effectiveness, impact and happiness, in my opinion.

Personally, I don’t believe you can beat face to face meetings and conferences for our well-being, inspiration, creativity and productivity. On the other hand, Gen Z, born between 1995-2009, value autonomy and the ability to work from anywhere.

The Gen Z generation want work that matters – and that, I totally agree on since my life changing event in 2010.

My impact and how my story  makes a difference to others, so that they may live their best lives, is my only motivator. Here you can find out more about my story at 39, from once being a 70 mile a week fell runner.

Gen Z expect sincere corporate social responsibility. In fact, Gen Z may be our most diverse generation yet. Diversity and inclusion matters to Gen Z, so it must matter to your organisation.

Gen Z saw their parents suffer economic hardship and job loss surrounding the Great Recession of 2008. Thus, they are particularly motivated by pay and traditional financial incentives like bonuses and other forms of variable compensation, like pay that hinges on certain outcomes not fixed, retirement benefits, healthcare coverage, student loan repayment, and tuition reimbursement are also important to Gen Z.

At a recent NHS Graduate Leadership event in Leeds, the super bright Gen Z participants told me some very interesting stuff around what would keep them motivated, interested, informed, involved and inspired at work and it makes very interesting reading.

They said they wanted their organisation to:

  • Value them
  • Get to know them
  • Have whistle blowing channels
  • Have variety
  • Have regular targets
  • Have holistic mentorship
  • Provide stimulating activities
  • Facilitate religious social groups
  • Champion diversity and inclusivity
  • Envoke a sense of belonging
  • Be encouraging and fun

Plus so much more. They also responded exceptionally positively to my proven leadership storytelling and also want to be able to make a difference, and to see their value and impact, which I totally get.

Be honest: is your business set up to attract, recruit, retain and inspire our next generation of talented managers and leaders? 

To find out more about Dr Kate Allatt, click here, or drop our team an email at for information on Dr Kate’s availability for events, conferences and webinars.

Dr Kate Allatt


After Dinner, Webinar, TEDx & Keynote Speaker. The ultimate ‘Ronseal Kid’ with an extraordinary journey of resilience after being ‘buried alive’ and losing everything both physically, professionally and emotionally, but Kate adapted and bounced back stronger and faster, as your team will after COVID. She will literally blow your mind! Kate walks her talk.

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