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Last year, many millennials seemed to be planning near-term exits from their employers. But, after 12 months of political and social upheaval, those ambitions have been tempered, according to Deloitte Global’s sixth annual Millennial Survey. Young professionals now indicate they’re less likely to leave the security of their jobs, more concerned about uncertainty arising from conflict, and—especially in developed countries—not optimistic about their future prospects nor the directions, their countries are going. The findings are based on the views of almost 8,000 millennials questioned across 30 countries in September 2016. Download the report The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017Pessimism in the developed world runs rampant Millennials in emerging markets generally expect to be both financially (71 percent) and emotionally (62 percent) better off than their parents. This is in stark contrast to mature markets, where only 36 percent of millennials predict they will be financially better off than their parents and 31 percent say they’ll be happier.
Economic, social, and political sentiments: A chasm between the developed and developing world terrorism, “conflict” issues replace environmentalism as top personal concerns“Pro-business,” but expecting moreMillennials view business positively and believe it’s behaving in an increasingly responsible manner; 76 percent say businesses, in general, are having a positive impact on the wider society in which they operate. However, they also believe multinational businesses are not fully realizing their potential to alleviate society’s biggest challenges. Business as a force for the positive changeUnrealized potential of multinationals Business/government collaboration: Mixed results. Making an impact through their employersMillennials feel accountable for many issues in both the workplace and the wider world. However, it is primarily in and via the workplace that they feel most able to make an impact. Opportunities to be involved with “good causes” at the local level, many of which are enabled by employers, provide millennials with a greater feeling of influence. A sense of empowerment, millennials, and the “ripple effect”A preference for plain talk and inclusivenessSurveyed millennials, in general, do not support leaders who take divisive positions or aim for radical transformation rather than gradual change. They are more comfortable with plain, straight-talking language from both business and political leaders; respond to passionate opinions; and identify with leaders who appeal to anyone who might feel “left out” or isolated.
Millennials looking for directness and passion, not radicalism Freelance flexibility with full-time stability in spite of perceived across-the-board advantages of working as freelancers or consultants, nearly two-thirds of millennials said they prefer full-time employment. Millennials’ anxiety about world events and increasing automation may be partially responsible for them wanting to remain in their jobs, but the allure of flexible working options might be just as influential. Increasing loyalty and a desire for certain flexible working practices, loyalty, and the foundation of trust. Automation: Threats and opportunities Generation Z will be welcomed Millennials tend to have a broadly positive opinion of GenZ (those currently aged 18 or younger), believing the group to have strong information technology skills and the ability to think creatively. Six in 10 millennials believe GenZ will have a positive impact as their presence in the workplace expands; this belief is higher in emerging markets (70 percent) than in mature markets (52 percent).
Looking to the future, Generation ZA new Forbes survey of some of the most influential Millennials in America finds that 80 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs under the age of 30 still believe in the American dream. Not only is this generation optimistic, they are also altruistic, with 80 percent of them active in their community outside of work. Forbes millennials from the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list published in January 2016. The list featured 300 of the most influential entrepreneurs Under 30 across the continent. With a detailed questionnaire, Forbes found that younger people welcome change and 86 percent were “very confident” about their future earning potential and certain that the companies that employ them will grow and thrive. They are also idealistic with nearly 50 percent citing changing the world for the better as a goal. It is no surprise that these Forbes Millennials support Senator Bernie Sanders, whose campaign mirrors their desire to level the playing field so that anyone in America willing to work hard will succeed. It is revealing that 44 percent said that the opportunity to change the world motivates them to be successful. These Millennials, however, communicate much differently than previous generations.
The best way to reach out to them is through the Internet and social media. Sixty-seven percent get their news from trusted websites such as The New York Times or CNN and 61 percent to rely on links friends share with them. Only 38 percent read print newspapers and magazines. Avid users of social media, Facebook, by far, is their No. 1 choice for posting content (43 percent), followed by Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and SnapChat. They avoid brick-and-mortar stores with 65 percent preferring to shop online. Being an entrepreneur is important to this Millennial generation. Forty- four percent said that their No. 1 financial priority is funding an entrepreneurial endeavor. More than half report that their biggest financial regret is not saving enough money. Where do they get their financial advice? Parents and friends are the sources of this information for 66 percent.
Contrary to popular belief, only a tiny fraction live with their parents, and more than 53 percent do not have student loans. Reflecting the new trend toward urbanization, 79 percent live or plan to live in cities. This gravitation to urban life means that 30 percent see no need to own a car. What challenges do they deem most important to them? Twenty-seven percent replied global warming, 24 percent said terrorism and 22 percent said the economy and future recession. They are loyal to brands, particularly Apple, with 80 percent buying the iPhone over other providers citing superior design as their motivation. Though they seek to change, these Forbes Millennials are not revolutionaries. The survey demonstrates that these young people want to work within the system. They look for meaning in their work and are attracted to entrepreneurial endeavors.
Nonprofit organizations should reach out to them as they are receptive to any efforts that will make the world a better place. And again, the best way to reach them is through social media. Perhaps most important, 97 percent of these millennials are extremely optimistic about what lies ahead for them. Harnessing and nurturing this optimism should be a goal of all American companies hoping to show Millennials that their firms’ contribution will make the world a better place.
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