Millennials and their quest for purpose beyond profit : Businesses at risk of losing top talent, according to Deloitte’s global annual survey

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The fifth edition of the Deloitte Millennial Survey and the impact of Millennials on business and employers is one of the main topics on the agenda at the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, currently in progress.

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21/01/2016 |
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According to the survey, businesses must adjust how they nurture loyalty among Millennials—the generation of people born after 1982—or risk losing a large percentage of their workforces. 44 percent of Millennials say, if given the choice, they expect to leave their current employers in the next two years. That figure increases to 66 percent when the time frame is extended to 2020. The findings were revealed through a survey of nearly 7,700 Millennials from 29 countries worldwide during September and October 2015.

Concerns regarding a lack of development of leadership skills and feelings of being overlooked were often voiced by those considering near-term career changes. But, larger issues around work/life balance, the desire for flexibility, and differences around business values are influencing their opinions and behaviors. Millennials appear to be guided by strong values at all stages of their careers; it’s apparent in the employers they choose, the assignments they’re willing to accept, and the decisions they make as they take on more senior-level roles. While they continue to express a positive view of business’ role in society and have softened their negative perceptions of business’ motivation and ethics compared to prior surveys, Millennials still want businesses to focus more on people (employees, customers, and society), products, and purpose—and less on profits.

Earning Millennials’ loyalty

Millennials seek employers with similar values; 7 in 10 believe their personal values are shared by the organizations for which they work. This is where organizations can find opportunities to rethink the way they can retain these young professionals.

Closing the “purpose gap” will be critical to attracting and keeping Millennials. This group want to work for organizations that focus on improving the skills, income, and ‘satisfaction levels’ of employees; create jobs; and provide goods and services that have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Benjamin Collette, Partner and Talent Leader at Deloitte Luxembourg, states: “Employers that provide opportunities for leadership development and give Millennials more control over their careers, as well as foster cultures that encourage and reward open communications, ethical behavior, and inclusiveness, are those that will be most successful in retaining Millennial employees. Organizations which allow the young talents to express their innovative ideas have everything to gain.”

Values are traditional, less compromising

Contrary to perception, the survey found that Millennials aren’t particularly influenced by the “buzz” around particular businesses or employers. Survey respondents also indicate little desire to be famous, have a high profile on social media, or accumulate great wealth. Instead, in broad terms, Millennials’ personal goals are rather traditional. They want to own their own homes, they desire a partner for life, and they seek financial security that allows them to save enough money for a comfortable retirement.

“These findings may lead to organizations needing to reassess their outdated stereotypes on how to reach a younger target audience. Millennials are no longer the future workforce, but have grown up to be the current workforce. As any generation ages, methods used to previously attract them should accordingly mature,” concludes Benjamin Collette.

View the executive report of the Millennial survey:

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