Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Generation Z is more optimistic, purpose-driven and less stressed out than Millennials

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) say Gen Z is more optimistic about the future and more than half (54%) believe that Gen Z will place more emphasis on whether their work has purpose, according to research by organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry. The youngest workforce has experienced nearly a decade of prosperity in their formative years, whereas Millennials are more influenced by living through recession.

Furthermore, 67% of respondents say that Millennials are more stressed than the latest generation of employees in the workplace who are in 65% of cases more motivated by moving up quickly in their careers. This can be explained by the fact that the creation of a healthy work-life balance has entered the agenda of HR professionals.

Younger people are now getting larger responsibilities earlier in their careers, so it’s vitally important to understand what is driving younger generations and what kind of support they need,” says John Atherton, Head of Leadership Development, Assessment & Succession for the UK and Ireland. “To do this organisations need to differentiate their workforce according to different needs and at the same time connect on an individual level with people’s sense of purpose.”

Since in 2020 70% of the workforce will consist of Millennials and Generation Z, companies should look for different ways to recruit and retain these generations. The main challenge will be to create a purpose driven culture as these employees think the purpose for the company should be society-focused rather than generating profit.

About the survey

The survey was conducted in August 2019 amongst 796 professionals of all ages. The survey examined how the next ‘Generation Z’ (born 1997-2010) in the workplace differs from the previous generation ‘Millennials’ (born 1982-1996)”. Due to rounding, responses may not equal 100%.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organisational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring their strategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people. Visit for more information.