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Gen Z Employees Bring More Optimism, Less Stress to the Workplace

A new generation is trickling into the workforce and they’re more optimistic and less stressed than the previous generation.


This is according to a survey of 796 workers of all ages by Korn Ferry, which found that Gen Z (born 1997-2010) enters the workplace with plenty of optimism, a lot of purpose and less stress than Millennials (born 1982-1996).

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) said Gen Z is more optimistic about the future. A slight majority (53%) said that Gen Z will bring more motivation to the workplace than Millennials and more than half (54%) believe that members of Gen Z will place more emphasis on whether their work has purpose.

“Beliefs that members of Gen Z are more optimistic may reflect the fact that they are new to the professional workforce and are ready to take on the world,” said Mark Royal, Korn Ferry senior director. “However, another aspect may be environmental factors in their upbringing. We have seen nearly a decade of prosperity and that is what members of Gen Z experienced in their formative years. On the flip side, Millennials are more influenced by living through the Great Recession, when many saw their parents lose their jobs as the economy tanked.”

More than two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents said Millennials are more stressed in the workplace than Gen Z, 58% said Millennials are more motivated by salary/compensation and 65% said Millennials are more motivated by moving up quickly in their careers.

Survey respondents were split on which generation values work/life balance more and which generation will be easier to work with.

“Each new generation entering the workforce brings with it unique attributes and challenges,” Royal said. “The key for managers is to understand what motivates all employees to bring their best to their jobs every day and to create a culture where all employees feel supported and valued.”


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