Approval-Seeking: Millennials Vs. Gen Z

Goals

To provide insights and articles that help to compare and contrast the level approval seeking behavior among Gen Z and Millennials.

Early Findings

APPROVAL SEEKING AMONG MILLENNIALS

  • According to a 2018 article by Forbes, "employer approval is the number one predictor of Millennial job satisfaction."
  • A 2014 study found that Millennials "seek constant reassurance from friends and family when it comes to shopping."
  • A 2017 article published by Fortune notes that when it comes to Millennials "recognition and real-time feedback is essential for them to calibrate and adjust their work, [and a] recent Gallup study discovered that employees are happiest when they receive some form of recognition every seven days."
  • Additional research has found that "Millennials compare themselves more to peers and suffer from FOMO culture whereas Gen Z values individuality."

APPROVAL SEEKING AMONG GENERATION Z

  • A study published in 2018 found that "Gen Z seeks immediate validation and acceptance through social media, [and] they curate different social media personas in order to please each audience and minimize conflict or controversy." However, the study also notes that "Gen Z is hyperaware of the negative stereotypes that have plagued Millennials" which could suggest that Gen Z doesn't want to come off as deliberately seeking approval.
  • The study also found that "they seek social validation and inclusion, but are looking to differentiate themselves professionally," adding that "Gen Z has been strongly shaped by their individualistic, self-reliant Gen X parents and they’re committed to avoiding the mistakes their meandering millennial predecessors made."

Proposed next steps:

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Although our initial research was unable to locate a solitary article that deliberately examines the approval-seeking behavior of Millennials to that of Gen Z, we were able to uncover a number of insights which can collectively help to support the hypothesis that Millennials tend to care more about being approved of/seek approval more often than Generation Z. We can continue building on these findings to provide a greater wealth of insight that further supports this hypothesis.