Millennials seek diversity, more perks from employers, report finds

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Big Four firm Deloitte released its seventh annual Millennial Survey on Tuesday, once again polling the modern business opinions of millennials and—for the first time—Generation Z. By and large, the report found that young people throughout the world are seeking more from their employers, both in tangible factors and mental attitudes.

The 2018 report is the result of polling 10,455 millennials (born between January 1983 and December 1994) throughout 36 countries who have college or university degrees, are employed full-time, and work mostly in large, private-sector organizations. The report also includes responses from 1,844 Gen Z (born between January 1995 and December 1999) respondents working in Australia, Canada, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Over a third of Gen Z respondents are working full-time (16 percent) or part-time (21 percent).

The most prominent themes in this year's findings involve young people growing more skeptical of a business's true purpose in society. A diverse and flexible workplace is increasingly seen as a must, and young people are growing unsure of succeeding in an automation-heavy, "Industry 4.0" workplace.

"The millennial generation is feeling uneasy about the future," the report notes. "The growth of Industry 4.0 technologies—from robotics and the Internet of Things to artificial intelligence and cognitive—has altered the nature of work, while political upheavals challenge the established world order. In this environment, millennials and Gen Z yearn for leaders whose decisions might benefit the world—and their careers."

Workplace loyalty was also found to be dependent on increasingly ubiquitous factors such as flexible work schedules and continuous learning opportunities, but also on more progressive attitudes. Factors such as a diverse leadership team, well-being programs, and businesses not perceived to be focused solely on profits were all linked to young people willing to stay with their employer longer.

"Millennials are more loyal to companies that provide that diversity," Michele Parmelee, global managing principal for talent, brand, and communications at Deloitte, told Accounting Today. "We understand [there's] a development to help [young people] and each other, and we recognize that we have a commitment to society to make an impact. We need to not just talk about it, but have opportunities, have experiences, to have an impact."

Other notable findings from the report include:

  • 48 percent of all respondents believe corporations behave in an "ethical manner," while 47 percent believe business leaders are committed to helping society.
  • 83 percent of millennials and 80 percent of Gen Z believe a successful business should be measured in more than just financial performance.
  • 64 percent of millennials consider their organizations "diverse," but only 16 percent see them as “very diverse and completely reflect wider society.”
  • 48 percent of millennials see their organization leaders as "diverse."
  • Only 28 percent of millennials and 12 percent of Gen Z envision staying with their current employer beyond five years.
  • Of millennials planning on staying in their jobs beyond five years, 55 percent report more flexibility options available to them. The same figure is only 35 percent with millennials looking to leave within two years.
  • 62 percent of millennials who would consider jobs in the gig economy cite "increased income" as the main factor.
  • 52 percent of millennials and 50 percent of Gen Z feel that Industry 4.0 will augment their job and allow them more time to focus on more "creative...and value-adding work."
  • However, just 36 percent of millennials and 42 percent of Gen Z believe their employers are helping them comprehend and prepare for Industry 4.0.

For the full report, head to Deloitte's site here.

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