YOUNG people across the world are increasingly taking a pessimistic view of business, with most believing that their employers do not behave ethically and that most business leaders are not truly committed to diversity.
Global consultancy Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey looked at the views of 10,455 people born between January 1983 and December 1994 – millennials who already have university degrees, are employed fulltime and work primarily in large, private-sector organisations.
The survey was conducted across 36 countries including China, India, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand and South Korea.
It also looked at the views of 1844 Gen Z respondents born between January 1995 and December 1999 who are currently studying or have already obtained a degree.
It found a majority of millennials are “uneasy about the future” and feel unprepared for economies to enter Industry 4.0 – the shift to “smart factories” in which robotics and automation is already transforming manufacturing.
Only 36 percent of respondents said that their organisations were preparing them for the changes of Industry 4.0.
Most millennial workers highly valued diversity and flexibility in the workplace, with employers demonstrating these characteristics attracting greater loyalty. People working for organisations they perceived as diverse were much more likely to say they wanted to work there longer than five years.
Financial reward was still the primary consideration in choosing employment, however, being part of a “positive work environment” was the most important factor for new graduates.
“Millennials aren’t naïve—they realise profits are both necessary and a priority. But they believe that corporations should set out to achieve a broad balance of objectives,” including making a positive impact on society, creating innovative products and services, job creation, and diversity in the workplace, said the report.
Around 69 percent of employees who believed senior management teams were diverse saw their work environments as motivating and stimulating – compared to just 43 percent of those who don’t perceive their leadership as diverse.
“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” according to the CEO of investment management firm BlackRock Larry Fink.
“Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities in which they operate.”
But ultimately, Deloitte found, most millennials continue to believe employers were “prioritising the bottom line above workers, society and the environment, leaving them with little sense of loyalty.”
“The message is clear: Young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society – and to be responsive to employees’ needs.”