Millennials and Gen Z in the Workplace

December 4, 2019

Preview: In each newsletter, we share interesting reading from AWEC staff. This report – The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019 – caught the eye of Meredith Krieg, Program Manager at AWEC and in particular, how entrepreneurs can pay attention to the needs and values of their young customers and workforce.


In the last few decades, several studies have been conducted about the Millennial and Gen Z generations and their impact on the economy. This Deloitte annual survey studies the impact of economic growth on these groups, their outlook towards their careers and the impact of socio-political trends on their work. 

The views of 13,416 millennials and 3,009 Gen Zs across 42 countries and territories were documented and analyzed. Business leaders across the world should pay attention to this survey to better understand their team members and customers who fall within these generational groups. 

“I always find data-driven reports about the habits of the Millennial generation interesting because they have such a strong influence on the economy and can be used to predict where we’re heading,” says Meredith. 

Key Takeaways from the Survey

Many millennials feel like the trajectory of life that they were promised has been disrupted. According to the report, disruption can lead to innovation and agility in the economy, however, unbridled disruption leads to mistrust and disillusion. 

Top Concerns Among Millenials and Gen Zs

“We can see that these generations are expressing growing pessimism in established structures like mass media, large corporations and political systems,” says Meredith. 

As faith in traditional institutions declines, these generations are showing increased dissatisfaction with their lives and jobs and are more skeptical of business motives than any other previous generation.

In response to this dissatisfaction, these generations are building solutions that solve their problems. The gig economy also appeals to both generations to allow them to earn more income, work more flexible hours and achieve work/life balance. 

They also value experiences and aspire to travel to help their communities before starting families of their own. The top issue of concern for both generations is climate change, closely followed by income inequality and injustice. 

According to the report, the major reason why both generations change their relationships with businesses is societal and ethical impact of the businesses. 

“Millennials are driven not only by the ‘what’ but also the ‘how’: they care about where their money goes and who they support,” Meredith continued. “The way that millennials behave as consumers is driven by moral alignment in addition to the quality of the product.” 

What this Means for Business Leaders

Millennials cannot be ignored. They make up the largest portion of consumers on the planet and play a significant role in the economy. It is clear that Millennials care about the ethical and socio-cultural considerations of a business and how the business impacts the world around it. 

This means that business leaders have an opportunity to retain millennial customers and team members by prioritizing their concerns. They also vote with their wallets more than any other generation and this means that they will patronize businesses that match their values. 

“As the largest population of consumers on the planet, it is important for small businesses (particularly those who target a younger clientele) to consider the impact of their product or service on the world and the role that they play in the community,” says Meredith.

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